It’s probably common for everyone not familiar with Scrum to misunderstand what it really is. I have a feeling that these misunderstandings are most common among senior management. The reasons for this could be many, but of course limited time to learn what it’s all about is of the reasons (since they obviously have more important things to do!). I personally feel senior management should understand at least the basics of Scrum if any part of the organization has implemented or is going to implement Scrum.
Just recently a CEO of a company was trying to describe to a crowd of his customers how they work in relation with their outsourced projects. He started with saying that Scrum is pretty much all about estimating, and this is done by doing planning poker. In planning poker the product owner always want to have as low an estimate as possible, while the developers want as high an estimate as possible. In the end all the individual estimations are summed, and that sum is the estimation of that task. Yes, and they work in sprints too. He also consistently called the product owner a Scrum Master. It’s unclear whether he understands the difference of those two roles or not, but probably he doesn’t.
Lets not get into details about how wrong this CEO has gotten Scrum. Instead – lets just conclude that Scrum trainers and coaches aren’t going out of work any time soon.