I have always heard this word in a negative context. But I don't understand why? I don't see anything bad in deviating from the Scrum. Why not, if it works? Well used ScrumBan is ScrumBut too. Or even if this deviation is not very good, but dictated by unavoidable external factors (such as company policy, or the terms of a contract already signed), why not take benefits from other aspects of Scrum that can be implemented?

Maybe there is not any negotive connotation for this term and the word acquired a negative color only inside my quite wide, but still the local community (In the Russian language translation of ScrumBut "СкрамНо" sounds very similar to the Russian translation of the English "s-word". But on the other hand sametimes I have seen ScrumBut with an additional "t" on the end, which reinforces the negative connotation too).

So, I have two questions:

  • Does this term have any negative connotation?

  • If it has, why? If it is (yet) impossible to follow all the prescription of Scrum, maybe it would be better to use ScrumBut and have part of Scrum benefits, rather than none?

P.S. If this is the correct definition of ScrumBut (ScrumButs and Modifying Scrum) then I didn't see anything wrong with this.

  • Please, leave a comment in case of downvoting. I want to know, what is wrong with this question. Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 10:49

4 Answers 4


Unfortunately, ScrumBut does have some negative connotation, showing that one is not good enough to implement a full Scrum. On the other hand, most of the Scrum implementations are actually ScrumButs (yes, there will be comments arguing but that's just a few from thousands of thousands implementations), but people fear to call it that way because of scrum bullying.

Scrum works only if one implements all its features, but ScrumBut is a good start, if you don't call it that way. "We are introducing Scrum" means exactly the same, others will help you, and you'll feel better.


Doing Scrum not "by the book" is not in an of itself bad. The best scrum teams have progressed well beyond the "book".

ScrumBut is used to describe unhealthy implementations of Scrum. Yes, Scrum can be wildly varied and still be very successful. Scrum can also be wildly varied and a horrible failure. My first experience with agile was something that would now be called ScrumBut and was a farce of the principles of agile.

In general, ScrumBut is when an organization is using the terms without actually implementing the practices. Daily Standups that are 45 minute long status reports to the project manager. A product backlog that is just the PRD requirements put into a user story format while still being prescriptive (the button will go right here). Sprints that are three months long, followed by a QA "sprint" of a month.


Yes i think there is a negative connotation to "scrum but" - it's used almost like a confession - we "kind of" do scrum but we don't actually have fixed sprint end dates. There is a negative connotation there. Other examples are along the same lines.

But - if it's a new / not quite mature team - then yes i agree with you - it's better to be doing 'scrum but' instead of 'nothing'. In the spirit of continuous improvement - we get started in whatever fashion - review/inspect what we're doing - and look to improve upon that - then 'scrum but' could be viewed not so much as negative connotation - but a step in the right direction.


I agree the word scrubbut comes with negative connotation and is used where ever the team using scrum feels they should be doing certain activity but then they are not doing so and gives a reason for deviating from the actual process defined.

Considering that being agile is all about continuous improvement I feel it is better to have scrumbut and build from there on.

Found some interesting example on below scrum.org and hence sharing here https://www.scrum.org/ScrumBut

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