A man went to the doctor... - codecentric AG Blog

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“Hello Doctor, I have epicondylitis lateralis and I think we can fix that with Shockwave. Shockwave is a brand new treatment that is faster, cheaper and better than all the other methods. Everyone I know does it. Don’t bother looking that up for I’ve done some research on the internet. It’s the best there is. I really think that Shockwave is the solution.”

Where the doctor says: “Well alright then. It’s very nice that you have done some research but while you come to me with a problem I will, being the professional I am, first try to find the cause of your problem before we’ll find a treatment. First things first. I’ve studied for this you know.”

“Hello sir. All our projects are late and over budget and I think we can fix that with Scrum. Scrum is a brand new method for developing software which is faster, cheaper and better than all the other methods. Everyone I know uses it. Don’t bother looking that up for I’ve done some research on the internet. It’s the best there is. I really think that Scrum is the solution.”

Where the supplier says: “No problem sir. Scrum is the best there is. I even use it at home! We Scrum all the time. We will start right away if you want.”

I know that a customer asking for Scrum must sound like heaven for some. We are so passionate about our agile ways of working and thinking that we want others to experience and gain from this too. But working agile is not the goal. It can be a way to achieve goals but is not the goal itself. The Doctor has a point: without searching for the cause of the pain, any solution is a lucky shot.

It might scratch. It might scratch really really good. But if it’s scratching where it doesn’t itch, it makes no sense.

To really help a customer we need to take responsibility and say: “It’s very nice that you have done some research but while you come to us with a problem we will, being the professionals that we are, first try to find the cause of your problem before we’ll find a treatment. First things first. We’ve studied for this you know.