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What is the hardest thing for people to grasp about Scrum?

The Paradox of Scrum: Its Simplicity

Isn’t it paradoxical?

It surprises me that the hardest thing most people grapple with when it comes to Scrum is realising how uncomplicated it truly is. 😲

When discussing Scrum, it’s common for individuals to wander into the complexities of user stories and other intricate practices. 🎯

But, at its core, Scrum isn’t about the layers people tend to pile on. Instead, it thrives in its simplicity.

The conversations frequently drift towards user stories and a myriad of additional practices. Yet, when you boil it down, Scrum is incredibly straightforward.

Let’s Break It Down

1. The Sprint – It’s the very heart of Scrum. It’s like a container that holds all the essentials neatly in place. This isn’t just a box-ticking exercise. It’s the essence of Scrum, where all elements find their rightful place.

2. Consistency – Scrum paves the way for a clear starting and finishing point. Scrum offers a rhythmic pattern akin to a heartbeat. It’s a predictable cadence that allows teams to synchronise effortlessly, providing predictability in the dynamic world of product development.

3. Planning and Check-Ins – In Scrum, we have planning, check-in daily, and replay. Regular touchpoints to ensure we’re on track and aligned with our goals. We don’t just set it and forget it. We strategise, and then we regroup daily.

4. Stakeholder Feedback – At the close of a Sprint, it’s about reviewing and retrospecting. What can we refine in our product? So, we have a chat with our stakeholders about how to do better. Feedback is gold, and Scrum ensures we mine it regularly.

5. Team Reflection – It’s not just about the process. It’s about the people, fostering healthier relationships, and ensuring continuous improvement. It’s about evolving collectively, ensuring the team doesn’t just work but thrives.

6. Simplicity is King – Some feel the pull to make it complex despite its simplicity. But remember, adding layers doesn’t always mean adding value.

It’s amusing yet slightly tragic. Over the years, I’ve heard countless voices proclaiming, “That’s not enough! We need more!”

And then, I gently remind, “Do you really?” Because Scrum, in all its purity, will highlight whether the layers you’re adding are truly beneficial or just mere adornments.

Are You Ready to Embrace the Simplicity of Scrum?

Dive into the world of Agile and Scrum with my courses. Let’s journey through its simplicity and potency together.

Don’t let misconceptions cloud your understanding. And if you’ve got a burning question or just a curious pondering, don’t hesitate to drop me a message. I’m here to help and discuss!

If you are interested in becoming an agile coach and value mentored, coach-driven skills development in your journey to mastery, visit our Growing Agile Coaches page.

If you are inspired by the idea of an online apprenticeship for a scrum master, visit

If you like the idea of becoming a scrum master and want to achieve internationally recognised and certified accreditation as a scrum master, visit our Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course page.

If you are already a scrum master and want to upskill to a more advanced level of knowledge and agile coaching capability, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course page.

If you have several years’ experience as a scrum master and want to validate and certify your professional skills, visit our Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course page.

For more information on John McFadyen, visit or connect with John on LinkedIn at

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author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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