Please Hold On To Your Wallet When You Hear Someone Claim That Scrum Scales Linearly

1 minute read

In 1975, Fred Brooks wrote “nine women can’t make a baby in one month.” And adding people to a late project only makes it later.

Scrum has no shortage of hype. Be skeptical of anyone who tells you that nine Scrum teams will finish your product in one ninth the time. All else being equal, it’s not going to happen even if you do everything right and scale the optimum way.

Be especially skeptical of pitches having anything to do with fractals. We want so desperately to believe in miracle cures. And there are people who will sell them to us. Here’s a tweet that demonstrates how easily smart people can be seduced by a beautiful-looking theory:

Excited to be a certified [redacted]@[redacted] Practitioner with [redacted]. Coolest thing I learned? These concepts are based on cellular biology. As a former microbiologist, that completely blew my mind.

If only you believe in miracles!

But users want integrated products, not fractalized products. The fractal idea looks beautiful on paper. Here in the real world we need teams to slow down, work with each other, and continuously integrate a whole product.

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