My background is a different way of working named The Theory of Constraints.
One of the rules in ToC is that when you pick up a task you finish it, before you pick up a new task.
In all my teams I steer on this rule, because it gives focus and increases velocity. My question: why is this such an undervalued topic for SCRUM trainers?
Second question is, also driven from my background with ToC, that I miss any method of dealing with Business Value.
Of course we have the Product Owner and we can prioritize on business value, but there is a world too discover before you put in a user story on your board. In the development of SCRUM I sincerely hope that there will be a best practice how to give meaning to the business value which resonates between stakeholders, PO and the Team.
(Take a look at the scaled agile framework, it is not even 10% of the framework!!)
CEO / Zwolle, Netherlands
Agile coaches answer:
In my trainings and coachings I also stress this idea of “stop starting, start finishing” and suggest strongly that the teams I am working with finish stuff before taking up new work.
I know that all of my colleagues at Scrum.org see this the same way as I do, therefore I can’t say that this is an undervalued topic in our community.
If this is different with the Scrum practitioners you work with, please educate them in that respect.
The thing with business value is that there is no single definition.
You have to define business value in your specific context (organization, product, team) and it might change over time or in special circumstances.
Plus it is only one important factor to order your Product Backlog, among risk, cost, dependencies, …
Since Scrum is a framework to address complex-adaptive problems it can’t deliver best practices, because there are no best practices for complex problems.
The way to solve those is to know your constraints, work in short cycles and improve your practices over time. Dave Snowden has described that quite well in his Cynefin model.
I don’t get the point about SAFe. Do you mean that Scrum is only 10% of SAFe? If yes: I don’t see Scrum anywhere in SAFe as there are no Product Owners in SAFe and the focus is not on products. But that is a completely different discussion - and I am biased. ;)
Answer by Peter Götz