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“A Few Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know”

My new book “97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know” is now available.

In a Zoom Webinar I have read following Things from the book:

  • article 4. Ken Schwaber – Scrum is simple. Just use it as is.
  • article 28. James O. Coplien – Specialization is for insects
  • article 30. Bas Vodde – Digital tools considered harmful: Jira
  • article 33. James W. Grenning – Agile is more than sprinting
  • article 58. Marcus Raitner – The court jester at the touchline
  • article 69. Stijn Decneut – How human nature overcomplicates what is already complex
  • article 84. Paul Oldfield – Networks and respect
  • article 91. Bob Warfield – The “standing meeting”
  • article 93. Jasper Lamers – Scrum events are rituals to ensure good harvest

Encore:

  • article 73. Daniel James Gullo – The effects of working from home

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

Thank you for watching. Thank you for the feedback. Thank you for being an inspiration to other Scrum practitioners.

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My PSM class of May 2020 will be online.

A virtual and integral learning experience.

In April 2020, I facilitated my first PSM course (‘Professional Scrum Master’) in an online mode. Ever. Looking at the feedback received, I needlessly worried over the ability to have some great conversations and interactions:

I was pleasantly surprised with the online setup. It did really work and definitely with the size of our group. It was a job well done!

It was amazing to see how Gunther can tell a story and take you into the wonders of Scrum seamlessly. I read the guid upfront but he made it comprehensible and into one story.

So, that certainly increased our confidence and allow our next Professional Scrum Master course to happen online again. Check your agenda for your availability on 28 and 29 May 2020. Seats are limited. Get in touch via my partner Sugar-Me.

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Availability of the book “97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know”

My new book “97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know” is widely available, electronically as well as in print.

Following are a few channels: eBooks.comAmazon.com, Amazon UK, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon SpainGoogle Books, Barnes & Noble, Bol.com., Computer Bookshop India, and Amazon India.

No fewer than 68 practitioners expended the effort to write one or more essays about Scrum for you. We did not invite them for their titles, ranks, or positions. We invited them because they have valuable insights to share with fellow practitioners like you. I thank every single one of them.
I thank you, reader, for buying the book, but even more for employing Scrum and for sharing and spreading how you make use of Scrum in addressing your specific challenges. Keep being an inspiration to other Scrum practitioners.

Find the full description of the book also at the website of the publisher, O’Reilly Media.

– – –

O’Reilly Media and I started collaborating on the book in August 2019. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting into, where it would take me, or how much 97 is (a lot, actually, as I discovered). Inviting and working with authors from around the globe was an exciting endeavor however.

The work has much consumed (and sometimes drained and overwhelmed) me, but I am very happy with the result. Given the tons of available literature on Scrum, it proved not an easy feat trying to still make a difference. Thanks to the generous and insightful contributions of the participating authors, I believe we have done that.

I enjoyed looking for commonalities and shared themes as essays poured in. I have tried to group and order the collected essays in a way that makes sense to the many seeking Scrum practitioners out there. It was a way to create some flow across the book:

  • Part I. Start, Adopt, Repeat: 11 Things. Because adopting Scrum is more than just a one-time effort of introducing Scrum; it is a continual exercise of thinking, rethinking, and discovery.
  • Part II. Products Deliver Value: 11 Things. Because in a complex world of unstable requirements and ever-evolving technologies, “product” provides a minimal form of stability to organize your work with Scrum.
  • Part III. Collaboration Is Key: 10 Things. Because creating, sustaining, and evolving complex products and services in complex and changing environments requires collective intelligence, skills, and expertise.
  • Part IV. Development Is Multifaceted Work: 12 Things. Because development of complex products (in often complex circumstances) requires more than technically producing work (like coding or programming only).
  • Part V. Events, Not Meetings: 10 Things. Because what are commonly called the Scrum meetings are actually events that provide specific opportunities for inspection and adaptation.
  • Part VI. Mastery Does Matter: 12 Things. Because mastery matters not just for Scrum Masters, although they are quite important as masters of ceremony.
  • Part VII. People, All Too Human: 8 Things. Because development is done by people, often resulting in work for people. And people are…people.
  • Part VIII. Values Drive Behavior: 6 Things. Because Scrum is a framework of rules, principles, and…values. And values drive behavior.
  • Part IX. Organizational Design: 9 Things. Because introducing Scrum is not possible without impacting the organization and existing organizational structures.
  • Part X. Scrum Off Script: 8 Things. Because for Scrum practitioners to help shape the future of Scrum, we need imagination combined with historical awareness.

Fortunately, the essays can be read separately as well. At the end of the book, a Scrum Glossary was added, listing and explaining in the simplest way the terms used in the book.

Warm regards
Gunther
independent Scrum Caretaker

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Moving Your Scrum Downfield (Six Essential Traits of the Game)

Apparently, it is easy to get stuck at interpreting the rules of Scrum. In the publication “Moving Your Scrum Downfield” I have described the six essential traits of the game to help you get unstuck and up your game. As they express rather intrinsic and implicit principles, they are too often disregarded. Yet, they are needed for a more unconsidered performance of Scrum, which allows minding the goal of the game–push back the old adversary of predictive rigidity–rather than the rules. These six essential traits are indicative of Scrum coming to life.

Having worked with Scrum since 2003, I am fascinated by its ever-expanding use, which is not limited to software and (new) product development.

Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber moved the development of Scrum forward in the early 1990s. They are the co-creators and gatekeepers of (what is) Scrum.

Ken Schwaber first documented Scrum in 1995 in the paper “SCRUM Development Process.” In 2010 he initiated the creation of the Scrum Guide. Upon Jeff Sutherland’s consent, the Scrum Guide became the definitive body of knowledge holding the definition of Scrum (and what is not Scrum). A few small, functional updates were released since then, without drastic changes to the core definition of Scrum.

Scrum was instrumental in embracing software development as a form of new product development, and thus as complex work. An ever-increasing variety of work in modern society however is inherently complex too. Software and (new) product development are a subset of complex challenges, but the use of Scrum is not limited to it.

As an independent Scrum Caretaker, I care for people and organizations asking for guidance and support on their journey of Scrum, no matter the nature of their problem.

My work builds on the belief that organizations best envision their Scrum. I don’t believe in mechanistically reproducing past or others’ ways. Every case of Scrum is unique. Your Scrum is unique. No external instance—expert or otherwise—can devise your Scrum for you. There is no copy-paste. What works today might not work tomorrow. Rather than cookbook solutions, I offer help in developing people’s ability to think in terms of Scrum.

Apparently, many get stuck at interpreting the (exactness of the) rules, meanwhile losing sight of the goal of their game. Having authored the books Scrum – A Pocket Guide (2013, 2019) and 97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know (2020) I took a step back to consider what it is that makes Scrum work. The rules of the game are well documented. Assuming they are understood, what is needed to get unstuck, engage, and up your game?

I believe it is in embedding the six essential traits of the game. As expressions of rather intrinsic and implicit principles, they are easily disregarded. Yet, they are crucial to excel at Scrum and need to underly your game strategies. They are indicative of Scrum coming to life. They need to be ingrained and embodied for a more unconsidered performance of the game, for you to focus on the goal of the game again rather than on the rules.

Consider how the six essential traits of the game are indicative of Scrum coming to life:

  1. Scrum Is Simple, Yet Sufficient. The players unfold the potential of Scrum by using the simple rules that apply and explore how tactics, interactions, behaviors, and the six essential traits make Scrum work.
  2. Scrum’s DNA. The players form a self-organizing unit around the challenge of collectively creating observable, Done Increments of work, while employing empiricism to manage all work and progress.
  3. Players Demonstrate Accountability. The players contribute to valuable system outcomes through spirited collaboration, and sharing and challenging rules, agreements, skills, practices, ideas, and viewpoints.
  4. Transparency for a Flow of Value. The players use the Scrum artifacts to uphold transparency over all work done and work to be done, manage for a flow of value and preserve the ability to capitalize on unforeseen opportunities.
  5. Closing the Loops. The players regularly and repeatedly close the many intertwined loops within a Sprint toward full closure by the end of a Sprint and preserving unburdened adaptability at the macro level.
  6. The Scrum Values. The Scrum Values of Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage take prominence in the behaviors, relationships, actions, and decisions of the players and their ecosystem.

Are you ready to start moving your Scrum downfield, push back the old adversary of predictive rigidity and sustainably increase your agility?

Gunther Verheyen
independent Scrum Caretaker

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts – Episode 5

Ever since the accidental creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I’ve been receiving inquiries about an audiobook version. So far, I have not been able to make that happen but the 2020 pandemic storm got me into implementing the audio idea in a different form.

In subsequent daily broadcasts I have read all chapters from my pocket guide to Scrum. Every reading session happened on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions were open for 100 attendants and were time-boxed to a total of 1 hour of me reading.

On Monday 30 March 2020 I delivered episode 5 (the final) of my “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts” in which I have read following chapters from my book:

4. THE FUTURE STATE OF SCRUM

4.1 Yes, we do Scrum. And…
4.2 The power of the possible product
4.3 The upstream adoption of Scrum

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts – Episode 4

Ever since the accidental creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I’ve been receiving inquiries about an audiobook version. So far, I have not been able to make that happen but the 2020 pandemic storm got me into implementing the audio idea in a different form.

In subsequent daily broadcasts I have read all chapters from my pocket guide to Scrum. Every reading session happened on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions were open for 100 attendants and were time-boxed to a total of 1 hour of me reading.

On Friday 27 March 2020 I delivered episode 4 of my “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts” in which I have read following chapters from my book:

2.7 The Scrum values

3. TACTICS FOR A PURPOSE

3.1 Visualizing progress
3.2 The Daily Scrum questions
3.3 Product Backlog refinement
3.4 User Stories
3.5 Planning Poker
3.6 Sprint length
3.7 How Scrum scales

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

 

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts – Episode 3

Ever since the accidental creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I’ve been receiving inquiries about an audiobook version. So far, I have not been able to make that happen but the 2020 pandemic storm got me into implementing the audio idea in a different form.

In subsequent daily broadcasts I have read all chapters from my pocket guide to Scrum. Every reading session happened on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions were open for 100 attendants and were time-boxed to a total of 1 hour of me reading.

On Thursday 26 March 2020 I delivered episode 3 of my “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts” in which I have read following chapters from my book:

2.5 Playing the game (continued)
2.6 Core principles of Scrum

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

 

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts – Episode 2

Ever since the accidental creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I’ve been receiving inquiries about an audiobook version. So far, I have not been able to make that happen but the 2020 pandemic storm got me into implementing the audio idea in a different form.

In subsequent daily broadcasts I have read all chapters from my pocket guide to Scrum. Every reading session happened on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions were open for 100 attendants and were time-boxed to a total of 1 hour of me reading.

On Wednesday 25 March 2020 I delivered episode 2 of my “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts” in which I have read following chapters from my book:

1.6 Combining Agile and Lean

2. SCRUM

2.1 The house of Scrum
2.2 Scrum, what’s in a name?
2.3 Is that a gorilla I see over there?
2.4 Framework, not methodology
2.5 Playing the game (intro)

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

 

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts – Episode 1

Ever since the accidental creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I’ve been receiving inquiries about an audiobook version. So far, I have not been able to make that happen but the 2020 pandemic storm got me into implementing the audio idea in a different form.

In subsequent daily broadcasts I have read all chapters from my pocket guide to Scrum. Every reading session happened on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions were open for 100 attendants and were time-boxed to a total of 1 hour of me reading.

On Tuesday 24 March 2020 I delivered episode 1 of my “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts” in which I have read following chapters from my book:

Foreword by Ken Schwaber
Preface
1. THE AGILE PARADIGM

1.1 To shift or not to shift
1.2 The origins of Agile
1.3 Definition of Agile
1.4 The iterative-incremental continuum
1.5 Agility can’t be planned

Besides the recorded episode being available on my YouTube channel, find the audio version on SoundCloud.

 

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Daily Scrum Pocketcasts

Ever since the accidental creation of my book Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion) in 2013, and its deliberate evolution in 2019, I frequently receive inquiries about the availability of an audiobook version.

Although I see value in the idea, I have not been able to make it happen so far.

Given the current pandemic storm, forcing many friends of Scrum to remain at home, I decided to implement upon the audio idea in a slightly adjusted form.

Starting Tuesday 24 March 2020, I have planned a first series of five “Daily Scrum Pocketcasts.” In subsequent daily broadcasts I will read my Scrum Pocket Guide front to back. I will do a reading session on working days at 3 pm CET (Central European Time), with each session continuing were the previous session ended. The sessions are open for 100 attendants. Registered attendants can send me questions about the book, or parts of it. I plan to read for 30-45 minutes every day after which I hope I can address questions related to the chapter(s) of the day. Every daily session will be time-boxed to a total of 1 hour.

I plan to also record the sessions and make them available via my YouTube channel. I hope to collect the questions and my (written) answers in a document that, if all works out, I will share for free with everyone.

I have no idea where this will take us, how long it will last, or how the idea and its emerging implementation will unfold. Of one thing I am sure, it won’t all be smooth. Come find out with me, and register on Zoom (or copy following link to your browser https://us04web.zoom.us/meeting/register/upclduugrT8ruk_h1txTV8KP1_59Dj9sZg). Note that each session requires separate registration.

Warm regards
Gunther
your independent Scrum Caretaker