First Lines: De kracht van Scrum

Last week, a co-worker gave me a book that I had to read. You see, we’re moving to a more Agile approach of working on the website. And reading up on the Scrum method was sorta kinda required.

The very first line of the very first of a two page list of raving recommendations says that it’s a book about Scrum that reads like a novel. Be that as it may, De kracht van scrum: Een inspirerend verhaal over een revolutionaire projectmanagementmethode (how’s that for triple word-value?) by Rini van Solingen and Eelco Rustenburg doesn’t read like a particularly good novel.

It’s main problem is that it’s predictable as hell. The Hero is the CTO of a software manufacturer, with a project that is going nowhere fast and the client who’s losing patience. Then he meets a wise, Finnish Yoda who tells him about the magical Powers of Scrum, which he could use to overthrow the evils of traditional project managements. After dumping a cubic light-year of back story and other info, The Hero starts to wonder if maybe he should unleash the awesome Force of Scrum to save his butt. He all but hires Yoda on the spot, and together they manage to convince the common laborers to give it a shot by dangling a carrot of self-empowerment in front of them.

At this point, any decent plot would introduce some obstacles that The Hero would need to overcome to attain his goals. But no. Apart from one minor characters needing a stern talking to in order to receive an Epic o ja erlebnis—one that makes the one of Saul on the road to Damascus look like child’s play—absolutely nothing interesting happens. The Hero successfully introduces Scrum in his company and saves the day, making lots of monies. Who’d have thought?

Apart from that, the writing style didn’t win me over either. I don’t know about you, but when I see more than a few exclamation marks every chapter—even in dialogue!—I get a bit anxious, as if someone is trying to sell me something. Imagine what happens why you spot several of them on a single page!? Oh, and speaking of dialogue—please, spare me. The characters, paper thin as they are, they aren’t really talking to each other. It’s more that whenever someone says something, Yoda takes his chance to preach on and on and on and on.

As a book about Scrum, it wasn’t bad at all. Sure, it repeats a few things a few times to many, but it could also have been an indigestible pile of drivel.

But as a novel? Lame.

Book read
Rini van Solingen & Eelco Rustenburg — De kracht van scrum: Een inspirerend verhaal over een revolutionaire projectmanagementmethode
First line
Wat een dag…