(4/19) Predictability

In this video, Ryan delves deeper into the practical application of Scrum, particularly focusing on its relevance in the complex domain, as identified in the Cynefin framework. He contrasts Scrum with other methodologies like Waterfall, suited for the complicated domain, and Kanban, often associated with the chaotic domain, to highlight that no single framework is universally applicable.

Ryan underscores the importance of understanding the nature of the problem and the domain it resides in to choose the most effective framework. He articulates that Scrum comes with its own overhead and is most valuable when dealing with unpredictable variables. He breaks down product development into three key variable types: people, technology, and requirements, each contributing to the overall complexity and unpredictability of a project. To illustrate this point, Ryan engages the audience with an interactive activity: envisioning themselves as builders estimating the cost of constructing a house, considering various influencing factors like material costs, labour, and design requirements. This exercise is designed to mirror the complexity found in product development, where numerous uncontrollable variables can impact outcomes.

Ryan concludes that while Scrum doesn’t eliminate all risks, it provides a structured approach to manage and adapt to the unknowns. It’s about making progress visible and managing dependencies in an environment where not everything is within one’s control. Scrum’s real value lies in its ability to maintain forward momentum despite the presence of unpredictable variables, making it a strategic choice in complex scenarios.