In the midst of all the methodology wrangling… I’ve always felt that there is a time and a place for Vanilla Scrum. The problem is that most of the time, folks are giving vanilla Scrum a try when Vanilla Scrum just isn’t a very good fit for their organization. So that begs the question… when is it safe to apply Vanilla Scrum in your environment?
Here is my take, borrowing a little language from the Lean/Kanban community… ask yourself, can your entire value stream be encapsulated within a single Scrum team? If there are steps in your process that happen either before your team starts, after your team starts, or you have dependencies on other teams during the development lifecycle, Vanilla Scrum probably isn’t going to work.
Giving Vanilla Scrum a try without understanding your entire value stream, only results in the dev team being a local optimization in the larger enterprise. When I’m talking to clients that want to do Scrum, this is the first question I ask. If more than one team is at play… chances are I need more than Scrum to be successful.