What is Scrum?

Scrum is a lightweight framework by which people, teams, and organizations create value through adaptive solutions to complex problems. - Scrum Guide

I suggest analyzing this definition of Scrum and identifying what Scrum is and what Scrum is not.

What is Scrum?

Scrum itself is a lightweight framework that provides a minimal structure to build a solution in an evolutionary/progressive way.

Scrum is a deliberately incomplete and minimalist design. Any person, team, or organization that wants to create quality products with Scrum will need to complement it with techniques and practices specific to their industry. Scrum tells you what to do and doesn't tell you how to do it.

Generating value through Scrum involves creating a product so that you can see it working frequently as it grows and evolves. In this way, you can inspect and adapt everything you consider necessary.

This approach only makes sense if you face complex and uncertain problems, where you must build a product and discover in parallel which product to build.

What is not Scrum?

Scrum is not an approach to managing projects or teams. In Scrum, there are no managers who direct and control the work that team members do. Specifically, at this point, Scrum relies on the team’s self-management capabilities, which has complete autonomy to choose what to work on, how to do it, and who works on what within the team.

Scrum is not a methodology with processes, sub-processes, inputs, and outputs. Scrum is not a method for closely tracking individual tasks of Scrum team members on a day-to-day basis. Scrum is useless if what you want to do is keep doing the same thing, but faster.

The cheetah and the gazelle

It was a sweltering afternoon in the African savannah. While lions, hyenas, and leopards sleep, a shadow drifts through the thicket. This is its moment; that shadow is from the cheetah.

In the distance, a herd of gazelles can be seen, to which the cheetah is stealthily approaching. Suddenly it stops, looks, and chooses. Once its prey has been identified, it instantly starts sprinting to a sustained speed of 70 mph for one-third of a mile.

The gazelle sees the cheetah coming.

The gazelle immediately starts to run away, knowing that if it tries to compete against the cheetah for speed, its 0.6 mph is hopeless.

As the gazelle flees, it sees the cheetah approaching. To maximize its chance of escape, the gazelle draws on a secret power: its ability to change direction with cost-effectiveness.

Unlike the cheetah, whose vision is prepared to see far and clearly, the gazelle has a better peripheral vision that gives it more excellent spatial orientation. Furthermore, the gazelle has a lightweight musculature and skeleton. All this allows the gazelle to change its direction abruptly.

Therefore, the gazelle does precisely that; it veers suddenly to the right. The cheetah, which was approaching it at about 100 kph, has to change its body’s center of gravity by pushing its legs and moving its tail. Despite all this effort, the cheetah cannot fight against the force of its inertia. And it misses the gazelle.

The cheetah resumes the chase, increases its speed, it is almost there, just a few more meters ... and PUF! The gazelle veers abruptly to the other side. OH, THE CURSE AGAIN! The cheetah loses its target once more. They go on like this for a while. Until the cheetah needs to stop because it is exhausted. The gazelle, meanwhile, moves away calmly, towards the immensity of the savannah.

The cheetah is faster than the gazelle. The gazelle is more agile than the cheetah. The cheetah is prepared to travel a lot in a short period. The gazelle is poised to change course with cost-effectiveness. The cheetah's speed prevents it from changing its direction so quickly. The gazelle prefers to go slower so that it can turn without inertia beating it.

Scrum is not about going fast with tunnel vision. Scrum is about being able to change direction at a low cost, using peripheral vision.

Scrum turns you into a gazelle. Scrum doesn't turn you into a cheetah.