Scrum Guide 2020 - what's all about?

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland just updated the Scrum Guide for the 5th time. Like in 2017 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.

What has changed?

Shorter, clearer

The Scrum Guide is much shorter and clearer. How come?

  1. Scrum is still Scrum. Now even shorter, on 13 pages instead of 19.
  2. Scrum can be used for all sorts of product development, not just software. Now all references to software development have been removed.
  3. There is still value in the removed parts from the 2017 version, like the Daily Questions. But the Guide shall explain Scrum as clear and precise as possible, not how to do it, so those references have been removed as well.

But what has changed within?

Scrum Team

  1. There is only a Scrum Team. It has a Product Owner, a Scrum Master, and Developers. Full stop. There’s no longer a Development Team.
  2. Roles have gone, they are accountabilities now. As above, we have Developers, a Product Owner, and a Scrum Master.
  3. By the way, developers are not specifically software developers, they are the guys who make the increment happen.

Commitment to artefacts

  1. The Product Goal is the commitment guiding the Product Backlog.
  2. The Sprint Goal is the commitment guiding the Sprint Backlog.
  3. The Definition of Done is the commitment guiding the increment.

The Product Goal is newly introduced as the long-term objective for the Scrum Team.

Self-managing instead of self-organized

Oh, bust, all those well-meant slides are just gone for good ;-). Spot the difference:


Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills necessary to create value each Sprint. They are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.


Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. … Development Teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their own work.

The focus is on the Scrum Team now, not only on the Development Team. In addition the what gains importance.

Go further

Actually I like the comparative post on from Simon Flossmann in German. Concise and precise. You might want to have a go and play Scrum Jeopardy on JeopardyLabs to test your updated knowledge. Or you might just read the Scrum Guide 2020.