I have seen many times companies or professional teams that claim to be like a family. Being like a family is associated with success almost everyplace I have been to.
There are many reasons for this association. The proximity and intimacy of a family is associated with openness and good communication. The family love is related to the unity that connects people in an organization. Blood ties relate directly to self sacrifice towards a common goal, the goal of the family.
All these are perceived to have value and indeed can be a very positive influence on other organizations.
Now, considering the other aspects of a family, there are many dysfunctions to be avoided as well. Paternalism is one of those patterns. In the search for proper teams, management gets carried away and wants to become parents. Mutual proximity of peers can easily become condescendence and intimacy may become discomfort.
What is really important for companies, teams or families is not how things are organized or what is produced. What is valued should never lay in the rules (dogma).
Being a family, or doing Scrum can only be good if what you experience with it is good.
It may sound strange for some, but every time I hear from people that my company is like a family I have mixed feelings. The company does not seek that at all. I guess when a company value openness and collaboration the way we do (or try to do), the association can be inevitable. I think the main reason why Scrum fits well with us is because we value similar things in the first place.
To do Scrum is very much to be aligned with the original Agile Manifesto. To understand Scrum and to do Scrum is far from following a set of rules. In its core Scrum is pursuing some very basic values.
To do Scrum one needs to understand the people involved in projects as people and not as resources.
To do Scrum one needs to seek to generate tangible value. It’s a professional and ethical commitment with oneself.
To do Scrum one needs to communicate with others openly and value it.
To do Scrum is to adapt oneself to reality.
To do Scrum is to ask oneself many questions.
To do Scrum is to value teams with a special bond.