Not just ceremonial

If you woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me to choose between Kanban and Scrum, I would choose Kanban in the blink of an eye.

(In addition to bashing your head in, because what are you doing in my house in the middle of the night, waking me up to ask me questions about Scrum and Kanban :D)

That said, I also think that the Scrum framework is very powerful and very well-designed.

It is quite fashionable today to say how the ceremonies of Scrum are not important – the mindset is.

Well duh! Sure!

But are we downplaying the importance of the ceremonies?

Is it fair to be dismissive of the ceremonies is all contexts and environments?

Aren’t ceremonies a great vehicle to bring about the aforementioned and much-coveted mindset change?

Isn’t each scrum ceremony designed in a way to expose underlying constraints and impediments?

Teams don’t participate in Iteration Planning – could expose empowerment or ownership issues!

Daily scrum takes considerably longer than 15-20 mins – could point to intra-team communication and collaboration challenges!

Retros are a drag and are frequently skipped – could be because teams struggle to implement any of the improvement items.

And so on!

Am I advocating the mindless pursuit of ceremonies – of course not!

But ceremonies are a great starting point for teams –

as teams mature and grow, they will experiment and spread their wings and fly and I will give them a push off the cliff to help them along.

But to start with I wouldn’t dismiss the ceremonies as merely ceremonial.

Ceremonies create muscle memory – they help create cultural change….dare I say mindset change!!