Using Agile for Evil…part three

This is the last part of our Using Agile for Evil series. If you’re just finding us now, take a few minutes to catch up by reading part one and part two before continuing. 

Pointless Sprint Demos

Don’t invite anyone outside of your team to your sprint demos. Definitely not stakeholders, other teams, managers, or even your Product Owners. Villainous Scrum Masters do not voluntarily share information. Villainous Scrum Masters don’t celebrate their team’s successes—hide any great work your team has done from others. And they don’t look for feedback to verify the work is heading in the right direction. Villainous Scrum Masters understand that sprint demos are just busy work – another valueless activity to distract the team.

Painful and Pointless Retrospectives

Retrospectives are an excellent time for villainy. Be sure to point fingers and blame anyone and everyone else for your team’s problems. Invite lots of people from outside the team: managers, stakeholders, even people from other teams. Shame should be public! Make things as uncomfortable as possible for everyone involved.

At the end of each retrospective, select as many action items as possible to implement the next sprint. That guarantees your team won’t finish any of them. Villainous Scrum Masters aren’t about making improvements.

Alternatively, take the concept of “relentless improvement” to an absurd degree. Complain loudly whenever your team isn’t improving. Make your expectations so high that they can never possibly reach them.

If you do all these things your team will likely consider you the worst Scrum Master ever. And that is your goal, right? To make people miserable while you gather the funds for your death ray?

Agile for Evil and Profit

Or is Scrum Mastery a route to something greater? Micromanaging a Scrum team is, after all, lots of work, leaving you with less time for your pet projects. And Agile is surprisingly good for innovative, one-of-a-kind projects like death rays or globe-spanning computer viruses. Consider this: you could instead use Agile principles to help build your death ray.

Agile’s values and principles, warm and fluffy and soft-hearted as they look, might be just the thing to help your team get their work done faster. Happy hench-people are loyal and motivated hench-people, and they usually do a lot better at getting the job done. Plus, they’re less likely to testify against you in court!

Let us know if you liked this series through the comments on our social media platforms!


Sarah Stewart, SPC5, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO

Sarah is a Senior Technical PM, Agile Coach, and consultant. She helps organizations, from individual teams all the way up to the enterprise level, adopt Agile/Lean practices and frameworks. She works as a coach, trainer, mentor, and writer. Read more of Sarah’s work on LinkedIn.

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