Scrum Guide 2017: What changed?

2018 02 01 head

The Scrum guide was revised in 2016 and got clarification concerning the core values. I was thrilled. Talking about values and mental models, you must have to successfully introduce and be agile is awesome.

A new revision was published at the end of year 2017, just a year after the addition of values.

What has changed?

What has the community learnt and committed to the new version of the guide?

Scrum is not only for Software

Scrum was initially developed for managing and developing products. Starting in the early 1990s, Scrum has been used extensively, worldwide, to:

  1. Research and identify viable markets, technologies, and product capabilities.

  2. Develop products and enhancements.

  3. Release products and enhancements as frequently as many times per day.

  4. Develop and sustain Cloud (online, secure, on-demand) and other operational environments for application use.

  5. Sustain and renew products.

The essence of Scrum is a small team of people. The individual team is highly flexible and adaptive. These strengths continue operating in single, several, and networks of teams. They develop, release, operate and sustain the work and work products for thousands of people.

They collaborate and interoperate through sophisticated development architectures and target release environments.

Scrum is a tool to solve complex problems, any kind of complex problem. It is already the industry standard for software projects. It is becoming a major standard for all complex products.

What does a Scrum Master?

Changed wording in The Scrum Master section to provide better clarity to the role. The text now reads:

The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which are not.

The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

Added to the section Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner

Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible.

Scrum master is a servant leader and promotes Scrum and agile approaches. The whole team works on a product. They understand the vision, goals, scope, and have extensive domain knowledge.

This means the whole team talks with stakeholders and users. The team members have a genuine interest in learning more about the product domain.

Scrum Events

Updated the first paragraph of the Daily Scrum section to read

The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Development Team. The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint. At it, the Development Team plans work for the next 24 hours. This optimizes team collaboration and performance by inspecting the work since the last Daily Scrum and forecasting upcoming Sprint work. The Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place each day to reduce complexity.

Updated the Daily Scrum section to provide clarity on the goals of the Daily Scrum including this text

The structure of the meeting is set by the Development Team and can be conducted in different ways if it focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal. Some Development Teams will use questions, some will be more discussion based. Here is an example of what might be used:

  • What did I do yesterday that helped the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?

  • What will I do today to help the Development Team meet the Sprint Goal?

  • Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the Development Team from meeting the Sprint Goal?

Added clarity around time-boxes

Using the words “at most” to remove any questions that the time-box for Events means maximum length, but could be shorter.

The guide clarifies the daily Scrum event. It establishes a daily feedback loop for improvement.

For slow learners, time-box means maximum duration.

Scrum Artifacts

Added to the Sprint Backlog section

To ensure continuous improvement, it includes at least one high priority way in which the team works, identified in the previous Retrospective meeting.

Added clarity to the Increment section

An increment is a body of inspectable, "Done" work that supports empiricism at the end of the Sprint. The increment is a step toward a vision or goal.

The guide emphasizes the learning and improvement process. One root of the agile manifesto is lean thinking.

For slow learners, you inspect the result of the increment and put at least one improvement measure in the next sprint backlog.

Previous Changes

The biggest change for the daily work was introduced in the previous revision. Read previous blog <<[scrum-guide-2011>>. The word commitment is no more used in the description of the planning event. The team now provides a forecast which stories shall be realized until the end of the sprint.

This change was necessary because people - especially command and control responsible - did not read the official definition of commitment - Oxford Dictionary -.

The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, an activity.

The second big innovation was the introduction of five Scrum values: Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage.

I welcome the focus on values, principles and core behaviors over detailed checklists and rules. Please also read again the twelve principles of the agile manifesto.