I have a bit of a problem regarding implementing Scrum into a project. The team I'm working with is generally just very bad at coming up with ideas. I'm not sure if it's a matter of them not feeling comfortable with the environment or what.
I've worked with them before, and they actually work best under a Waterfall development strategy where all the requirements and tasks are laid out for them, and the roles are assigned by some Project Lead, and they don't have to do much of the thinking or organizing themselves. They work fine under that methodology.
However, when it comes to generating Sprint Tasks, all I get in the Sprint Planning Meeting is blank stares. No one's willing to speak, and I am forced to drive the discussion. Maybe I'm not leading them on very well either, I'm really not sure what the root of the problem is unfortunately. We just don't get anywhere in the Sprint Planning Meeting unless I'm leading them on, and even then, they just nod when I say something, and then I write it down as a Sprint Task, and the cycle repeats. Not very Agile in my opinion.
I asked one of the team members I'm a good friend with why they might be having trouble, and he said it was because they lacked a thought out requirements specification for each PBI, so they couldn't really generate any Sprint Tasks when they didn't know what goal they were trying to achieve. I recognize that we can't just dive into a project without understanding the requirements even remotely.
In response I devised a one-to-two month "Product Backlog Planning" phase before each Sprint where we look at the PBIs, decide which ones we want to "flesh out" (which we call realizing), and then spend the next month or so and the next 3-4 meetings writing informal "Requirements Specifications" for the chosen PBIs.
It seems to work, and it doesn't feel like it clashes with the principles of Scrum or the Agile Manifesto, but I don't want to lie to myself. Also, spending one to two months between sprints is a terrible waste of time in my opinion, and from what I've read it sounds like the time between Sprints is usually between one to two weeks. I also don't want to risk turning into a "Scrum-but".
I've worked with Scrum before, but never on a team where it just worked. So I never got an opportunity to really observe and appreciate why the things in Scrum are the way they are, and so I never had any understanding of when it was necessary to change them (see "We Tried Baseball and it Didn't Work").
If it's of any importance (which I believe it might be), we currently do not have any established or official Customer, meaning we have to go out and actively look for the requirements, instead of the Customer bringing their requirements to us.
What should I do to help overcome this team impediment, whilst also not turning into a scrum-but? Am I on the right track, or an I flying way off the rails?