Recently I moved from a Scrum team to a non-Scrum team. I was kind of aware that after nearly a year of doing Scrum (a total of eleven sprints) this would make a difference to me, but only now can I say for sure how that affected me and my perception of work in the first days after switching from Scrum to non-Scrum.

Frankly, it’s kind of terrifying. This is even stranger since for the most part of my work experience so far I have worked in non-Scrum environments. It seems like the Scrum-experience is indeed a bit intense and has an effect on you that you might not expect.

The way I work now can be loosely described as „there is no defined process“. In other words, there’s work to be done and the goal is to get that work done on time. That’s it.

During the first week I was confused by the lack of daily Scrums. We had daily Scrums at 11:30 am and I noticed that around that time I got slightly nervous and had to remind myself that there was no daily scrum. No more. I could just keep on working. Similarly the lack of daily feedback irritated me. How would anyone know how far I’d come since yesterday? How would I learn what everybody else was doing? (The answer, of course, is simple. They could ask me. I could ask them. Done.)

Apart from that, the lack of tasks is even more irritating and it still gets me from time to time. How long am I supposed to work on this? When is it done? When I should I start worrying about how long it takes? How long is it supposed to take anyway? Help!

Fortunately, I think these are just minor withdrawal syndroms that I will get over soon. But still, I find it interesting how the way Scrum works and the way you work with Scrum can affect you, especially if suddenly you find yourself NOT doing Scrum anymore. The bottom line is, Scrum provides a safe (or seemingly safe) environment for the team to work in. Things are clear. There are rules. There are numbers. There are timeframes. There are commitments. There are dates. There are times.

With all these things gone, you feel lost. (You really do.) The challenge now will be to create a safe environment to work comfortably in without all these fixed things surrounding you.

I will be working on that.

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  1. Woah. Interesting to read about your comparisons. I experienced something quite similar from a product owner / manager perspective when I helped out on that, you know, not-scrum product again. While the level of detail I am forced to work at in Scrum sometimes gets to my nerves and just does not leave me enough time to do the more strategic part of PM, I realized I missed all the (seemingly?) safe rules, too. And all the details. And the frequent, regulated updates. While my exposure to non-Scrum was much shorter, and my withdrawal symptoms therefore less intense, I still found I just did not feel as involved and informed. Less trust, in other words. It felt less organized, too, which is ironic – there is a huuuge project plan, and another huge document with status updates and actions, plus some people focus on organizing others. And of course there are our huge requirements documents. Turns out plans & documents aren’t communication, after all.

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