We Must All Hang Together

January 18, 2016

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

– Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence


In the global economy, integration is becoming king. GE refers to its cross-industry sharing of insights and innovation as the GE Store. Dr. Carol Goman says this has grown in popularity because “corporate clients around the world [are] realizing that ‘silo mentality’ and knowledge hoarding behaviors are wasting the kind of collective brainpower that could save their organization billions, or lead to the discovery of a revolutionary new process or product.” Scrum has been helping companies harness integration successfully for decades by making collaboration one of its key principles.

In Scrum, this principle advocates project management as a shared value-creation process with teams working and interacting together to deliver the greatest value, according to A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™). Others have seen this this principle in action: “When working on a project, sometimes one employee isn’t going to know everything they might need to,” says Murali Krishna in a recent LinkedIn Pulse article. “By collaborating with others in different departments, or even offices, skills can be pooled in order to make the project more successful than it might otherwise be.”

Collaboration in Scrum refers to the Scrum Core Team working together and interfacing with the stakeholders to create and validate the deliverables of the project to meet the goals outlined in the Project Vision. It is important to note the difference between cooperation and collaboration here. Cooperation occurs when the work product consists of the sum of the work efforts of various people on a team. Collaboration occurs when a team works together to play off each other’s inputs to produce something greater. This playing off each other delivers important benefits: “Collaboration not only equals a happier workforce; it represents an educated one. This is because it naturally inspires a sense of community within an organization, meaning that employees feel almost like they are a part of a family. Additionally, collaboration allows employees to learn from each other and the bosses,” says Murali.

Collaboration is so intrinsic to Scrum that it shows up when the SBOK™ answers the question, “Why use Scrum?”:

  • Faster Problem Resolution—Collaboration and colocation of cross-functional teams lead to faster problem solving.
  • High Trust EnvironmentConduct Daily Standup and Retrospect Sprint processes promote transparency and collaboration, leading to a high trust work environment ensuring low friction among employees.


Dr. Goman also observes that corporate heads realize collaboration “in the current economic climate, [can] help keep their company afloat when others are sinking!” So, if we do not hang together, then we …  you know, what Ben Franklin said.



Works Cited

A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK™). http://www.scrumstudy.com/overview-of-sbok.asp

“The Electric Ben Franklin; The Quotable Franklin.” USHistory.org Retrieved on 1/15/2016 from http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/quotable/quote71.htm

Goman, Dr. Carol Kinsey, “Seven insights for collaboration in the Workplace,” ReliablePlant.com. Retrieved on 1/15/2016 from http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/23929/7-insights-collaboration-workplace

Krishna, Murali. “The Importance of Collaboration in Today’s Workplace.” Pulse. Retrieved on 1/15/2016 from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-collaboration-todays-workplace-murali-krishna


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