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Note: as of July 26th 2016, this certification was renamed to PSM III.

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Mechanical vs Professional Scrum

Explain the difference between “Mechanical” Scrum and “Professional” Scrum

I’m not fully aware of these terms, so let me define them first:

Mechanical Scrum: an adaptation of Scrum, where the team and organization has implemented Scrum by the book; they do all the events, have assigned all the roles and deliver a working increment every sprint.

Professional Scrum: an adaptation of Scrum that (might have started out as Mechanical Scrum and) has led the team and organization to discover the values and principles of Scrum and thereby to continuously improve their product and process to better and quicker serve their users and customers, and to a more joyous and innovative work space.

In mechanical scrum, the team and organization go through the motions (of Scrum, of their respective context) but don’t utilize the transparency Scrum provides wrt their own work and context to improve it by addressing the most important issues. This aspect of Scrum can be hard and it takes courage, perseverance and discipline that not all teams and organizations have.

In my opinion, this courage, perseverance and discipline to inspect the tough problems and adapt to them is what shows the truly professional Scrum Team.

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