On how to improve story scope by taking known unknowns into account.


At funda, we use Scrum to structure our Product Development (hereafter referred to as PD). Scrum and other agile approaches such as Agile Software Development, The Lean Startup and Toyota Production System (Beck et al., 2001)(Ries, 2011)(Morgan & Liker, 2006)(Sugimori et al., 1997) are generally perceived as beneficial for product development (Krafcik, 1988)(Marmer et al., 2011)(Womack & Jones, 1997). Scrums premise - in broad strokes - entails the following: helping people to structurally address adaptive complex problems whilst decreasing the risk of building the irrelevant (Schwaber & Sutherland, 2017)(Robinson, 2015).

Next to its benefits, Scrum has its challenges. This essay addresses a, to me, central one: Scrum’s unkept promise to predict development velocity as a way to manage stakeholder expectations. I have observed that often innovations take longer to design, develop and validate than predicted within Scrum. This Procrustean prediction-reality-gap is unproductive. …


Caesar Zwolle

Product Designer at Crisp. Previously at Funda, Peerby, Norse Projects and YES!Delft. Views my own. caesarzwolle.com

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