4 April, 2023

Top 10 Things to Know about the Scrum Guide

By Mike Clayton

Agile, Agile Project Management, Scrum, scrum guide, video

Scrum is the best-known and most widely used Agile methodology. And that methodology is documented in the Scrum Guide. So, what do you need to know about the Scrum Guide?

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Scrum Guide – 10 Things

The Scrum Guide Document

  1. The Scrum Guide is available to download, free, from scrumguides.org. The official version is in English, but community translations are available in over 30 languages and 4 audio versions.
  2. It is written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the co-creators of Scrum. They currently run scrum.org and Scrum Inc respectively.
  3. The Scrum Guide is a short document – just 13 pages in the official, English language, version. It is written to be easy to read. The Scrum Guide defines the Scrum framework as ‘purposefully incomplete’. That is, it only defines the core elements we require, to implement Scrum. The content is a guide to the kinds of processes that will create a lean, empirically-based agile project. It leaves it to practitioners to find detailed ways of working within the framework.

The Three Roles in the Scrum Guide

  1. Scrum has 3 Roles:
    • The Development Team consists of the engineers who build the components of the final product or products. It is self-organizing and self-managing, and usually cross-functional, with all the skills and capabilities it needs.
    • The Product Owner, whose focus is on the needs of customers, users, and other stakeholders. Their job is to understand what the stakeholders want and need, and to turn them into specifications for specific functionality, called Stories.
    • The Scrum Master is focused on the members of the Scrum Team. They facilitate the Scrum Process, to deliver the project as efficiently and effectively as possible. They are the source of knowledge and advice on the Scrum process, and the principal problem-solver for managerial and process challenges. They manage the five ‘Scrum Events’.

The Scrum Guide Process

  1. The Scrum Process has five steps
    • Starts with a Product Backlog – an ordered list of work that the Development Team will carry out to either improve the product or create new components or functionality. The team commits to the Product Goal.
    • Sprint Planning initiates the Sprint – the primary event (and ‘heartbeat’) of Scrum. The outcome is the Sprint Backlog in which the team commits to the Sprint Goal.
    • The Sprint is a fixed length (‘timeboxed’) period of work for the Development Team. Most commonly it will be two weeks. During the sprint, the team will hold Daily Scrums, where they inspect their progress towards the Sprint Goal.
    • At the end of the Sprint, but before the Development Team can declare the Increment to be ‘Done’, they must expose it to inspection and scrutiny by their users, customers, and other stakeholders. This is at an event called a Sprint Review.
    • Once the team has delivered the Increment, they will meet to review their work together. This event is called a Sprint Retrospective. They look for ways to work more effectively and efficiently in the next Sprint.

Scrum Artifacts, Commitments, and Events

  1. There are 3 Scrum Artifacts
    • Product Backlog
    • Sprint Backlog
    • The Increment
  2. There are 3 Scrum Commitments
    • Product Goal
    • Sprint Goal
    • Definition of Done
  3. There are 5 Scrum Events
    • Sprint Planning
    • Sprint
    • Daily Scrum
    • Sprint Review
    • Sprint Retrospective

The Scrum Guide has 2 Bases, 3 Pillars, and 5 Values

Scrum is based on two important ideas:

  1. Lean Thinking – focusing on what is essential and eliminating waste
  2. Empiricism – favoring what we learn by observation over theory

Empiricism has three pillars:

  • transparency,
  • inspection, and
  • adaptation.

Scrum also has five values:

  • Commitment
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect
  • Courage

Certification Based on the Scrum Guide

  1. The principal certifications are available through the Scrum Alliance and scrum.org. Each offers a range of certifications for different roles and at different levels. I will put some links in the description.

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What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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