Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Scrum is so Popular?

I was thinking the other day about why Scrum is such a worldwide phenomenon in terms of popularity, I mean, why is with Scrum that everybody seems to be so eager to learn about it?

One or two steps back, other frameworks and thinking tools like XP or Lean are tremendously good, their principles are so down to the earth that you should absolutely follow them in whatever project that you try to start. Further, there's certainly too much overlap among Agile, Lean, XP, Scrum and even Kanban, but at the end of the day Scrum seems to be gaining more popularity that the other Agile flavors.

If you like the books and read Beck, Jeffries, Poppendiecks, Schwaber's and others, you'll find that all are excellent but somehow Scrum succeeding again attracting more visibility.

So, ready to develop the mystery? My theory, and please take it just a personal believe without hard data behind, is what has propelled Scrum to the top was the certification program. If you think it twice you'll see that there are around a hundred Certified Scrum Trainers around the world that has to pay a $7000 annual fee to maintain their certification status and still make a profit out of that. This small army of CST are intensively active organizing courses around the globe and as a result we currently have around 60.000 Certified Scrum Masters.

CSMs paid close to a grand in the US for a two day course, of course that is well invested money but certifications are not just for shining, has to have a practical use. CSMs do their best to introduce Scrum in their teams and organizations, but soon enough they discover that almost nobody beyond them has heard of or is willing to adopt Scrum. What they do? Convince more people to take the CMS course and keep preaching the Scrum word in their organization.

As a result we have a growing community that spreads very quickly, some people even called it "Pandemic Scrum". Of course that there's a business model and people making profit of it, but what a heck, Scrum is a great framework that is making IT people happier and more productive.


  1. Agile certifications are a very good way to gauge an individual’s knowledge of what Agile really is and how Agile Principles are implemented across different scenarios. It is very important for an individual to participate in a good training session ahead of any Agile certification e.g. PMI-ACP™ by PMI, Scrum Master Certification (SMC™)by SCRUMstudy, The Agile Project Management™ (AgilePM®) certification by APMG etc.

  2. A smallish campaign with a homemade list would not be likely to yield much of a result. To achieve anything worthwhile, a much more aggressive effort is needed. Then, the age-old value analysis applies: projected earnings = margin on total projected sales - cost of campaign.