The Scrumweasel

Rules of the Scrumweasel

  • The Scrumweasel sniffs out Weasel Words.
  • The Scrumweasel says nothing – just looks at you with its beady little eyes.
  • Only you know if the Scrumweasel is looking at you.
  • No team members should acknowledge the Scrumweasel.
  • The Scrumweasel is not interested in your excuses – even if they’re perfectly valid.
  • Keep the Scrumweasel happy – just don’t make eye contact!

Beware the Scrumweasel!
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 13.33.41Nobody knows, in truth, where the Scrumweasels comes from. Some say they are drawn to the positive energy created by a team trying to succeed in the turbulent world of Agile development. Others believe they feed on the remains of abandoned Post-It notes.

Imprinted in the Scrumweasel’s brain are the Rules of the Daily Scrum. Just as a pig can hunt for truffles and a chicken lays eggs, a Scrumweasel understands the three questions that each team member must answer:

  1. What did you do yesterday which advanced the project?
  2. What will you achieve today?
  3. What hurdles stand in your way?

Their highly developed noses sniff out Weasel Words in the Daily Scrum. Words such as:

  • “Nearly done” (which means “not done”)
  • “soon”, or “probably later today” (which means “tomorrow”)
  • “I’ll see what’s on the board” (which means “I haven’t looked at the backlog for a while”)

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 13.33.34Upon hearing Weasel Words, the Scrumweasel does not react – at most, it will glare at you for a while. It’s not interested in your excuses, of course – even if they’re valid.

But if the Scrumweasel turns its eyes on you, then you – and you alone – will know.

It’s difficult – nay impossible – to avoid the Scrumweasel’s gaze entirely. But you can keep it placated. Try some of these:

  • “This task is not yet done. I still have to do the unit tests. It’ll be done by lunchtime.”
  • “This task is not yet done. I’m stumped. Can anyone help me?”
  • “By the end of the day I will have finished the coding, but not the testing.”
  • “I’ll pick up the logging bug, if it’s still available.”

There’s always room for improvement – the Scrumweasel understands this – and it visits good teams as well as bad. Ultimately, just like a little whiskered Avatar of Agile, it hopes to inspire us all to be just a little bit better than we were before.


About north5

Software developer, larper, father.
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