Understanding The Scrum Guide: What is Framework?

This is the first post of “Understanding The Scrum Guide” series. The purpose of the series is to discuss what people might be thinking when they read the Scrum Guide for the first time. Of course, it is impossible to read people’s minds, so all I can do is just guessing and hope I could get feedback from you to guess better. Guess better? Am I joking? You might be laughing if you have been familiar with the #NoEstimates movement 🙂

Every time in the series I will quote sentences from the Scrum Guide in an orderly manner from the top to the bottom of the Scrum Guide. In this very first of the series, all the sources of the quotes are coming from the “Purpose of the Scrum Guide” section of the Scrum Guide.

Let’s pick the first quote:

Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products

The Scrum Guide

For now, I just want to talk about the definition of the framework. We will talk about developing, delivering, sustaining, complex, and product on the next posts, so you won’t take much time to read this post.

What is Framework?

Many people thought Scrum is a process, a standard, and/or a methodology. Is that true? Let’s find out what Google says about the definition of the word framework. Google uses the Oxford Dictionary as the source of its English dictionary. This is what I found:

Can you find the word “process” as one of the synonyms of the word framework? It is so clear that Scrum is not a process. Again let’s see what the dictionary says about the definition of process:

Scrum is not a process because if you read thoroughly the definition of the process above, Scrum won’t tell you about a series of definitive actions, steps, procedures, operations, or activities that must be taken. Scrum is also assuming that your business will not end, so there is no particular end in Scrum.

Please, don’t get me wrong. Scrum is also talking about processes but in different contexts. The Scrum Guide has mentioned the word process 20 times which I will talk about them later. Okay, I give you a bit of hint about Scrum and process relationship which you can also find it in the Scrum Guide:

it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques

The Scrum Guide

In short, Scrum is the container of your organization’s processes and techniques. Further, Scrum is also the container of your organization culture and habit.

How about whether Scrum is a methodology or not, let’s refer to the definition:

Is Scrum a system of methods used in a particular of study or activity? Let’s take a look on the definition of method first:

So interesting that process is also the synonym of method. If Scrum is not a process, then Scrum is also not a methodology. Again, don’t get me wrong, the Scrum Guide does mentioning some of those words which I will address them later. But keep in mind this formula (ouch!) to understand the relationship between Scrum and methodology:

Scrum is a framework to help you continuously improving your [fill with any of method’s synonym]

Ivan Darmawan

for example, Scrum is a framework to help you continuously improving your process, procedure, technique, strategy, plan, tactic, recipe, rule (including Scrum?), system, etc.

That’s all for now. Let’s close this post with following Dilbert Cartoon.

Improving the processes

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