Scrum Guide 2017 - what's all about?

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland just updated the Scrum Guide for the 4th time. You can download the latest version or listen to the update interview or watch the one hour video directly on YouTube. Read on if you just want to grasp the gist.

My Summary

In my own words, here’s what changed or was clarified compared to the previous version:

  1. Scrum can be used for all sorts of product development, not just software.
  2. Release! As often as possible!
  3. Scrum Masters are coaches, not referees. Help and support the teams, do not command them.
  4. Time Boxed means maximum length, you can be done in a much shorter time, no problem.
  5. Use the Daily Scrum to meet the Sprint Goal. It is up to you how to get there.
  6. At least one process improvement shall appear in each Sprint Backlog.

Official Summary

And now what the authors emphasize in their words:

  1. Use of Scrum – From its Software Development Roots Scrum has evolved to be used in many different contexts. These contexts highlight the flexibility of Scrum and how an empirical process, values and focus on learning can help solve any complex problem. By adding this section Jeff and Ken provide a way for Scrum Masters not in software delivery to justify the use of Scrum. It helps resolve the age-old question ‘Scrum is only designed for software development’.
  2. Refining the role of the Scrum Master – The Scrum Master is a key role in driving change within any organization by serving the team in their use of Scrum. This update of the Scrum Guide increases the clarity of the role by adding some words around what they do and how they do it.
  3. The Daily Scrum – Perhaps the most popular event in any agile adoption but often this daily event becomes a status meeting instead of focusing on inspection and adaption. By changing the emphasis from the 3 questions and describing other ways the Daily can be run re-enforces the idea of inspection and adaption rather than status.
  4. Time Box is a maximum length – It seems a simple idea, but for many a time box is the time, not the maximum. This leads to silly behavior, for example where everyone sits around for the 15 minutes for the daily, or insists that a Sprint Review takes x number of hours. The idea of a time box in Scrum is to focus the team, reduce amount of work being worked on and keep the rhythm of work.
  5. Continuously Improve - Scrum is a framework that helps teams deliver work in a complex environment. That means the team should always be looking for better ways to work, to learn and to deliver more value. By adding the idea that the Sprint Backlog includes one high priority improvement the Scrum Guide reminds teams that improvement is NOT optional and that every team should have at least one thing they are trying to improve.