“What Would Roomba Do (WWRD)?”.

After re-reading the official Scrum Guide recently, I continued the learning with Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. I may have a new motto WWRD: What would Roomba Do? and here is why:

A robot that moves incrementally based explicitly on feedback from its environment guided by a simple set of rules personifies Scrum.

What would Romba do?

Rather than try to build something with a single central brain, they built a robot in which each of the six legs had its own brain. A processor in the spine had a few simple rules: move forward, go back, don’t bump into other legs. The neural-network chip in the head of the robot knew these rules and acted as referee for all the parts.

..each time you turn on the robot, it learns to walk for the first time. There is no database of where everything is in the room. Instead, the world is its database.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

This ingenuity shared by Rodney Brooks about the 6-legged insectoid which is a predecessor to Roomba (and other actionist robots) inspired the creators of Scrum to create a similar framework for teams.

A framework that could coordinate individuals with constant feedback about their environment, leading to much higher levels of performance in the face of complex problems with many unknowns.

I find the Scrum framework very liberating because it does not require you to know everything before you get started. If you do not have that detailed project timeline or a fancy Gantt chart, it is okay. In fact, it is perfect. It gives you the freedom to start as soon as you have a couple of weeks of work figured out.

So if you want to adopt the Scrum Framework and the adaptive intelligence that it inspires, just think “WWRD?” and let the world be your database!