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Scrum and Bass: Why your dev team works just like a band

Your scrum team and your favourite band probably work quite similarly – although probably without the sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Hear me out, a band has to work in sync, and they have to harmonise. How do they do this? Everyone has a pre-defined role and they stick to it. Your scrum master is like a band’s drummer, they’re keeping everyone on time and on track. But at the end of the day, you’re in a rock band – not an orchestra – so there’s room to play around a bit. You don’t have to play the music the exact same way each time, you don’t have to operate within a strict hierarchy, you’re a rock star!

So how exactly is a scrum team like a rock band?

Team centric

In a Scrum team, it is the team who is praised, who is criticised. There’s no room for individual egos. Now just think of your favourite rock band. When you go and see them play, if one of them messes up and plays out of tune and out of time, the whole song is a mess. But you wouldn’t blame the individual person, it’s the band’s fault for not working together and sorting it out.


Unless you’re a Simon Cowell manufactured boy band, it’s likely your band will have to organise itself. You’ll have to coordinate times to rehearse, and what you do in each rehearsal. Then, compare this to the way a scrum team works. They don’t wait until work is assigned, they are proactive and able to manage the work efficiently and effectively without the need for an overbearing manager shouting “you’ve got to appeal to the teenage market” at them.

Rock solid framework

When it comes to rock bands there is a tried and tested framework. You’ll need a guitar, a bass, some drums and some vocals. You don’t necessarily know how to play these well – just look at the Sex Pistols – but it just shows, when the framework is strong it works!

Continuous improvement

Back in 1960, a little-known band called the Beatles formed, but they weren’t catapulted into superstardom until 1963. In those first years, the band played various clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg learning every night what was working and what wasn’t, they had to commit to continuously improving before they found their big break. Part of continuous improvement is also learning when a member of the team just isn’t working. When the Beatles recorded their first studio album, they replaced their weak drummer with Ringo Starr.

If you think music and development go hand in hand, then be sure to sign up to our Code Bass event – a night of music and technology talks!

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