Why Scrum? Why Agile? CEO Elevator Pitch

The second instalment of why Scrum, why Agile? What to say to a CEO...

“What do you want?”

“I have an idea that could be valuable to the company.”

“You have 60 seconds”


“We have a lot of people working on the product, but [enter employee survey here] shows that they are unhappy. They are also very clever, yet [some percentage of projects - usually ½ to ⅔] of our projects are failing - costing us a lot of money and frustration. Moreover [some big competitor] are moving faster than we are. Many of our people don't know who they create value for or why.


“This is caused by our big plans and need to control the process.


“We could take a small, self-organizing team, with all the necessary skills and permissions, and start releasing customer value early and often. It’s called Scrum - I’ve seen it work at a start-up but it also saved [some competitor] from going under.”


“What’s in it for us? Sounds like we would lose control”


“Scrum would at least show up our dysfunctions transparently and early - better to know we have no control than to have highly controlled, failing projects.”

“Hmm, ok - what if it fails?”

“Well, that’s the charm - you can see success or failing, every few weeks. If you don’t like what you see, you can pull the plug.”

“If we do this - what do you need from me?”

“We need:
  • A project/product/goal
  • A dedicated team - containing one person representing you and a few people with all the skills, tools and permissions to make the product.
  • Your presence at the same time and place every few weeks so you can give this some short but focussed attention.”


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