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Complexity Science View of Scrum
Written by Lisbeth Cardoso   
Monday, 03 December 2012 18:48


Scrum is definitely an easy practice to manage complex processes. Scrum sees software as a new product requiring creativity, research and adaptability; it demands self-organizing teams and overlapping development stages.

Having self-organizing development teams usually terrorizes to those people, especially management, that don’t truly understand how Scrum works. Complexity Science, a set of interdisciplinary studies that describe self-organizing systems, will help us to better understand why and how Scrum works.

Complexity Science states that self-organizing systems rely in several features in order to function properly:

• Composed by free agents: The Scrum Master, the Product Owner and the team members act independently.
• Open systems: Scrum allows the exchange of information; for instance, the team interacts with the Product Owner and, in some cases, with other teams.
• Dynamic systems: Scrum is always evolving according to the outcomes of the Daily Scrums and the Sprint Planning Meetings.
• Flows among agents: Scrum team members interact every day during development sessions and in the Daily Scrums, the Scrum Master and the team share information in the Daily Scrums, and the Product Owner communicates with the team at the Sprint Planning Meetings or whenever is required.
• Diversity and specialization: In Scrum there are different roles: Scrum Masters, Product Owners and teams. Also, each team member has his or her own areas of expertise.
• Adaptability: Scrum has a high ability to constantly react and adapt to projects’ requirements.

Scrum possesses a self-organizing structure pretty close to the edge of chaos. It sounds scary, I know. But as a living organism, Scrum’s ability to interact with its surroundings, adapt and evolve, have made of it the best approach to deal with complex projects.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 18:59