Constrained Options, Focused Interests and Free Choice
No roles, no artifacts, no bullshit. Just People’s Scrum.

Purpose of What You Do

Your system serves a purpose. Identify it clearly.

This fits most product development contexts:

“We enable our users to kick ass.” (Joshua Kerievsky)

Replace “users” with an audience of your choice.

Creating a connection with someone that gives them the option to become somebody different, is called ART. Artists think out of the box. Artists shift contexts and change our perception of reality. They break rules.

Purpose of This

Scrum is a means to break rules.

This is my attempt to explain and introduce Scrum without needing any rules.
Liquid Scrum is for you if you

  • want break-through impact.
  • read  The People’s Scrum and are inspired to start.
  • want to descale your organisation to create whole-hearted business.
  • want to again love what you do and be loved for what you do.

The Trust Artist’s guide to Scrum.


Everyone involved takes shared responsibility for success. Focused interests (see below) never imply that something is not within your responsibility.


Assume everyone is contributing the best they can.
Focus your conversations on options you have right now, not on what should be or should have been.
Choose wisely: decide using consent or better.

Constrain Your System With a Timebox

Set a timebox of two weeks. This will give you rhythm and enable you to see what emerges, and give you options to focus:


  1. Deliver.
  2. Visualise what you do in a way that supports your understanding of how you do it.
  3. Reflect daily on what you see, decide on choices you have.
    Adapt the rhythm if that makes reflecting more effective.
    Only execute these three options until you can reliably deliver every two weeks. Everything else may confuse you.
  4. Experiment  within the bi-weekly timeboxes.
    Detail the options you discovered to set clear goals up front and indicators for success and failure. Decide what to invest and how to limit risk. Never run an experiment without making explicit what you want to achieve or learn.
  5. Focus on what to deliver.
  6. Reflect on what you did, and how you did it, and discover options to get better.

Focused Interests

Your system may get better faster at making a difference if you focus on these three interests:

  1. Do the right thing.
  2. Do things right.
  3. Get better and better every day.
    Better at delivering faster.
    Better at doing the right things faster.
    Better at doing things right faster.
    Better at deciding which of these is important, right now.
    (some people call this effectiveness, and it’s blurry)

In many or most systems having people take explicit responsibility for one of these works well. By-the-book Scrum prescribes one voice for 1. (Product Owner) and 3. (Scrum Master). In mosts contexts, that’s good advice and a good choice to start with.

Are We Doing Scrum?

If you care to check if what you’re doing is worthy of being called Scrum, check if you

  • deliver consumable value at least once every two weeks,
  • regularly and continually improve, and
  • have established the focused interests.

Then I’d call Scrum what you do.

Framed differently, if you achieve

  • Focus,
  • Alignment,
  • Artful Making,
  • Self-Organisation, and
  • Rhythm,

you’ve got the Soul of Scrum.


  1. Olaf Lewitz Scrum in Stories: Sam Gamgee » Olaf Lewitz
    February 9, 2014

    […] models from famous stories resonated with people. When they wanted to find a better name for the Scrum Master “role”, they started having conversations around movie and story characters that […]

  2. Olaf Lewitz De-Scaling Inspirations » Olaf Lewitz
    July 31, 2014

    […] My approach to “Scrum like Water”… […]

  3. Olaf Lewitz Liquid Scrum - Olaf Lewitz
    August 20, 2014

    […] We’re translating Tobias Mayer’s The People’s Scrum into German. Tobias asked us to create a spirited rather than literal translation, adding some of our own material to the book. We’re nearly done with the translation. There is one essay I added, which I’m so excited about that I translated it into English for you. It elaborates on ideas I’ve written down here. […]

  4. Anton
    August 16, 2017

    Very nice to read this list. Have been telling this or something very very similar to customers for over a year now. Will refer to this site.


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