Le parole di Scrum (Italian version of the Scrum glossary)

I am excited to announce that Michael Forni is working on an Italian translation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”. We aim at releasing “Scrum – La Guida Tascabile” (working title) in 2018, hoping it brings value to many Italian Scrum practitioners.

I took the opportunity to revisit my original text (dating from 2013). It resulted in small revisions and an update to my Scrum Glossary. Michael and I hereby share the translation of the latter as “Le parole di Scrum“. We are more than happy to evaluate any suggestion you might have.

Note: in the translation process of the Scrum vocabulary and definitions, besides the obvious care in avoiding to change or alter the well-consolidated words of Scrum, we also considered the well-spread wording among the Agile community and the Italian version of the Scrum Guide.

Nota: per la traduzione della terminologia Scrum, ferma restando l’inopportunità di modificare o storpiare i consolidati sostantivi caratterizzanti del framework, si è tenuto in debito conto il lessico oramai d’uso comune tra i praticanti di Scrum, nonché le traduzioni delle varie versioni in italiano de “La Guida a Scrum”.

  • Daily Scrum (sost. m.): evento a cadenza giornaliera limitato nella durata (time-boxed) a non più di 15 minuti – o meno – necessario a ri-pianificare il lavoro di sviluppo durante uno Sprint. Questo evento serve al Development Team per condividere i progressi giornalieri, pianificare il lavoro delle 24 ore successive e per aggiornare lo Sprint Backlog di conseguenza.
  • Definizione di “Fatto” (Definition of Done): insieme di elementi attesi e qualità che un prodotto deve dimostrare di avere affinché lo rendano rilasciabile, ad esempio compatibile ad un eventuale rilascio agli utenti del prodotto.
  • Development Team: gruppo di persone responsabili di organizzare e realizzare tutto il lavoro di sviluppo incrementale necessario per creare un Incremento rilasciabile non più tardi del termine di uno Sprint.
  • Durata dello Sprint: Durata, limitata nel tempo (time-box), di uno Sprint. Può essere di massimo 4 settimane o inferiore.
  • Emersione (Emergence): processo che porta alla luce o mette in risalto elementi non previsti, oppure la conoscenza di un fatto non precedentemente noto o diventato visibile inaspettatamente.
  • Empirismo: tipo di controllo dei processi nel quale le decisioni sono basate sull’osservazione di risultati, esperienze e sperimentazione. L’empirismo prevede di implementare ispezioni ed adeguamenti regolari, basati sulla trasparenza che, così facendo, viene ulteriormente rafforzata. È anche noto come “controllo empirico dei processi”.
  • Grafico “Burn-down”: rappresentazione grafica che mostra la progressiva e cumulativa diminuzione del lavoro rimanente rispetto al tempo.
  • Grafico “Burn-up”: rappresentazione grafica che mostra l’aumento di un parametro (ad esempio il valore) rispetto al tempo.
  • Impedimento: Qualunque intralcio o ostacolo che blocca o rallenta il lavoro del Development Team e che non può essere risolto attraverso l’auto organizzazione del Development Team. Deve essere segnalato non più tardi del primo Daily Scrum disponibile. Lo Scrum Master é responsabile della sua rimozione.
  • Incremento: set di lavoro potenzialmente utilizzabile che si aggiunge agli Incrementi precedentemente creati e coi quali forma – nell’insieme – un prodotto.
  • Previsione (Forecast): anticipazione di un trend futuro basato sull’osservazione del passato. Tipicamente selezione di determinate parti di Product Backlog ritenute consegnabili durante lo Sprint corrente o in quelli futuri, anche in relazione al Product Backlog futuro.
  • Product Backlog (sost. m.): elenco ordinato sempre in evoluzione di tutto quanto è ritenuto necessario dal Product Owner per poter creare, consegnare, manutenere e sostenere un prodotto.
  • Product Owner (sost f./m.): persona responsabile dell’ottimizzazione del valore espresso da un prodotto, attraverso la gestione incrementale del Product Backlog, nonché l’esplicitazione di tutte le aspettative e idee in esso contenute; referente unico dello Scrum Team verso tutti gli Stakeholders.
  • Affinamento (Refinement) del Product Backlog: attività portata avanti con continuità  durante lo Sprint, attraverso la quale Product Owner e membri del Development Team aggiungono granularità al Product Backlog, in continua evoluzione potenziale.
  • Scrum (sost. m.): (1) framework semplice per il rilascio di prodotti complessi; (2) framework semplice per la gestione di problemi complessi.
  • Scrum Master (sost f./m.): persona responsabile di favorire e sostenere un contesto Scrum attraverso attività di guida, addestramento, insegnamento e facilitazione di uno o più Scrum Team, nonché del loro sviluppo nella comprensione e corretto utilizzo di Scrum.
  • Scrum Team: combinazione delle responsabilità in capo a Product Owner, Development Team e Scrum Master.
  • Sprint (sost. m.): evento della durata massima di 4 settimane o meno, che funge da contenitore di tutti gli altri eventi Scrum. Punta a realizzare un sufficiente ammontare di lavoro, assicurando regolari ispezioni, riflessioni e adattamento a livello di prodotto e di strategie. Gli unici altri eventi ammessi in Scrum sono: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review e Sprint Retrospective.
  • Sprint Backlog (sost. m.): visione d’insieme – materializzata in varie forme ed in continua evoluzione – di tutte le attività selezionate dal Product Backlog da parte le Development Team e relative allo sviluppo necessario alla realizzazione dello Sprint goal.
  • Sprint Goal (sost. m.): affermazione sintetica che esprime l’obiettivo generale di uno Sprint.
  • Sprint Planning (sost. m.): evento della durata massima di 8 ore o più breve, che segna l’inizio del nuovo Sprint. L’evento è funzionale allo Scrum Team per ispezionare gli elementi del Product Backlog ritenuti in quel momento di maggior valore, nonché per determinarne la pianificazione all’interno di uno Sprint Backlog tenendo in considerazione lo Sprint Goal generale.
  • Sprint Retrospective (sost. f.): evento della durata massima di 3 ore o più breve, che segna il termine dello Sprint; l’evento è funzionale all’ispezione – da parte di tutti i membri dello Scrum Team – dello Sprint che si sta per concludere, nonché per decidere come lavorare nello Sprint successivo.
  • Sprint Review (sost. f.): evento della durata massima di 4 ore o più breve, che segna il termine dello sviluppo relativo allo Sprint. L’evento è funzionale all’ispezione – da parte dello Scrum Team e degli Stakeholders – dell’Incremento, del progresso generale e dei cambiamenti strategici, per permettere al Product Owner di aggiornare il Product Backlog.
  • Stakeholder (sost. f. / m.): persona esterna allo Scrum Team 1) portatrice di specifiche conoscenza e/o 2) rappresentante di un interesse per un prodotto, necessari per l’ulteriore evoluzione del prodotto.
  • Standard di sviluppo: l’insieme di standard e pratiche che un Development Team identifica come necessarie per creare Incrementi di prodotto potenzialmente rilasciabili non oltre il termine dello Sprint.
  • Time-box (sost. f.): contenitore temporale limitato, caratterizzato da una durata massima e potenzialmente fissa. In Scrum tutti gli eventi sono caratterizzati da una durata massima, ad eccezione dello Sprint, che ha una durata fissa.
  • Valori di Scrum: set di 5 valori e qualità fondamentali il framework Scrum: impegno, focalizzazione, apertura, rispetto e coraggio.
  • Velocity (sost. f.): indicatore molto diffuso che misura l’ammontare medio di Product Backlog trasformato in un Incremento, potenzialmente rilasciabile durante uno Sprint da parte di uno specifico (o dalla composizione di uno) Scrum Team. La Velocity rappresenta essenzialmente un utile supporto alla previsione del lavoro rilasciabile (forecast) a disposizione del Development Team, parte di uno Scrum Team.

On a personal note I want to share that I regularly get requests or suggestions for translations. Few get to the point of actually starting. I thank Michael for his commitment and wish him the persistence it takes for such a hard and complex endeavor. Rather than making a simple word-by-word translation, it involves adaptations, interpretations and redirections requiring affinities in English, Italian and Scrum​.​ This is far from trivial.

Thank you, readers. (What do you want in my new book?)

Dear reader

Thank you for reading, sharing and promoting my pocket guide to Scrum, in its various guises (English, Dutch, paperback, digital).

I created the English version in May 2013. It was published in November 2013. I am grateful that over 10,000 (ten thousand!) copies have been sold so far. Who would have guessed back then? And the story continues. In March 2017 the German translation was published.

I would love to hear what makes my book special for you. What sticks out? What are your favourite parts? Do you have a quote to share? Share it as a comment. Share it on Twitter. Or join the Facebook page for my book.

And… take it a step further. Writing that first book was a pivotal experience. I am working on a new book, more on Scrum and the Agile way of working (what else?). Share any ideas, topics, subjects you feel are valuable for my second book.

Warm regards
Gunther (Ullizee)
Gratified writer, connector, speaker, humaniser
29 March 2017

 

Announcing the “Scrum Taschenbuch”

scrum-taschenbuchAfter attending my PSM class in June 2016, Uwe Schirmer asked me whether he and Peter Götz could translate my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” to German. Having felt the difficulties of producing a proper-quality translation of my book in Dutch (my mother tongue) in early 2016, I warned them. To no avail. Fortunately. I am glad they persisted. In March 2017 the translated work will be released as “Scrum Taschenbuch (Ein Wegweiser für den bewussten Entdecker)” by Van Haren Publishing. Find it at their webshop or at Amazon.de.

Uwe and Peter were so kind to create following introduction, in German and in English:

(Deutsch) Es gibt eine Frage, die wohl jeder Trainer unabhängig vom Thema schon oft in seinen Trainings gehört hat: “Welches Buch kannst Du mir zu dem Thema empfehlen?“ Die Frage ist nicht immer leicht zu beantworten. Für Scrum haben wir gerne Gunthers Buch empfohlen. Mitunter kam dann die Frage „Gibt es das Buch auch auf Deutsch?“ oder „Gibt es ein anderes gutes Buch auf Deutsch?“. Die Antwort auf beide Fragen war jeweils „Leider nein.“

Als Uwe in 2016 bei Gunther in einem Train the Trainer Kurs für den Scrum Master war, musste er ihn deswegen fragen, ob eine Übersetzung in Arbeit oder wenigstens geplant war. Gunther erzählte, dass es bereits Versuche einer Übersetzung gegeben hatte, dass diese aber immer im Sande verlaufen waren. Also fragte er Gunther, ob Peter und er die Übersetzung machen dürften.

Es war eine interessante Erfahrung. Wir haben im Juli 2016 mit der Arbeit begonnen. Natürlich organisiert in Sprints mit einem Taskboard – auch wenn die Sprintlänge nicht ganz der Empfehlung aus dem Guide entsprach. Nach einigen intensiven Iterationen und inhaltlichen Refinements haben wir im Februar 2017 vom Verleger die gesetzte Fassung erhalten. Es waren 8 intensive Monate. Die Arbeit am Buch hat uns großen Spaß gemacht. Wir mussten uns nie zum Weitermachen zwingen – der gesunde Gruppendruck in unserem Mini-Team hat gereicht. Es war im Gegenteil sehr lehrreich, sich einmal auf diesem Level mit dem Thema auseinanderzusetzen und den Inhalt und die Sprache ins Deutsche zu übertragen.

Wir haben eng mit Gunther zusammengearbeitet und einige Passagen und ihre Bedeutung mit ihm diskutiert. Unsere Reviewer Thomas Barber, Jean Pierre Berchez, Dominik Maximini und Anke Scheuber haben großartige Arbeit geleistet und uns sehr wertvolles Feedback gegeben. Auch unsere professionelle Lektorin Monika Dauer konnte die Qualität des Ergebnisses noch wesentlich verbessern. Vielen Dank noch mal für Eure Arbeit und Unterstützung. Ohne Euch hätten wir nicht diese Qualität erreicht.

Wir hoffen, dass wir mit unserer Übersetzung etwas zur weiteren Verbreitung und Festigung von Scrum in Projekten und den Köpfen der Leute beitragen können. In diesem Sinne (schamlos bei Gunther geklaut): (Start or) Keep Scrumming.

(English) There is one question almost every trainer – independent of the topic at hand – will have to answer in his trainings: “What book can you recommend for this topic?” The question is not always easy to answer. For Scrum we liked to recommend Gunther’s book, which sometimes lead to the question “Is there a German version?” or “Is there another good book in German?” The answer always was “Unfortunately not”.

So when Uwe was in one of Gunther’s Scrum Master Train the Trainer courses in 2016 he had to ask him if there was a translation in progress or at least planned. Gunther said that there have been some attempts of translating the book, which had never been finished. So he asked Gunther if we (Uwe and Peter) could translate it.

It was an interesting experience. We have started work in July 2016. Of course we worked in Sprints using a task board – even though the Sprint length did not follow the Scrum Guide recommendation. After a couple of intensive iterations and content-wise refinements we have received the typeset version from our publisher. These have been 8 intensive months. Working on the book was big fun for us. We never had to force ourselves to continue working – the peer pressure in our tiny team was enough. And we also learned a lot and had many insights while working on this topic in such an advanced way, translating content and language into German.

We collaborated tightly with Gunther and discussed passages from the book and their meaning with him. Our reviewers Thomas Barber, Jean Pierre Berchez, Dominik Maximini and Anke Scheuber also did great work and gave us very valuable feedback. So did our professional editor Monika Dauer, who was able to improve the end result’s quality a lot. Thank you very much for your hard work and support. Without you we would not have been able to achieve such quality.

We hope that we can help spread and strengthen Scrum in projects and people’s heads. On that note (stolen from Gunther): (Start or) Keep Scrumming.

Wat, vertelt Primo Levi, is de mens

levi-primo-is-dit-een-mensZeventig jaar nadat Primo Levi de periode die hij doorbracht in het Monowitz vernietigingskamp, onderdeel van Auschwitz, verwerkte in een eerste boek (1947), lees ik eindelijk het (vertaalde) resultaat, „Is dit een mens“.

Tweehonderd pagina’s lang lees ik een ingetogen relaas dat mij de ene na de andere mokerslag bezorgt. De gortdroge stijl geeft de totale ontmenselijking weer die heerste in het kamp, de gevoelloosheid, de ijselijkheid, winter en zomer. Ingetogen en verbaasd neem ik de woorden in me op, de mensen die geschetst worden, de verhalen beschreven. Tot de laatste paragraaf. Dan komen tranen. Ontreddering. En meer tranen.

Het kamp is een onwezenlijk voorportaal van de dood, een wereld waar een broodrantsoen de eenheid is waarin gerekend wordt, egoïsme slecht noch goed is, maar een quasi-evidente expressie van gedachteloosheid, van hoop noch wanhoop. Niemand is er nog mens, maar iedereen een nummer, en de gevangenen een lijntje op een lijst. De tijd verdwijnt er met de richting nul procent reikende overlevingskansen. Alhoewel het kamp een van de vele onderdelen was van de oorlogsindustrie oversteeg het belang van vernietiging er vele malen het belang van productieve opbrengst.

Levi schreef een buitenaards werk, in meerdere opzichten. Het is geen politiek, maar een humanistisch werk, geen simplistische beschuldiging of veroordeling, maar een complex onderzoek naar wat het betekent mens te zijn, mens onder de mensen, mens voor de mensen. Levi stelt de vraag hoe we nog van ‚Voorzienigheid‘ kunnen spreken. Want het ondenkbare gebeurde. Het ondenkbare werd denkbaar.

Maar het ondenkbare is niet waar het begint. Het ondenkbare is het gruwelijke eindpunt van een lange weg. De weg begint daar waar grote groepen mensen, bevolkingsgroepen, op basis van afkomst, etniciteit, huidskleur, religie, geslacht, overtuigingen, mechanistisch worden afgeschilderd als minderwaardig of vijandig. Het begint als wetten blind boven de waardigheid van de mens worden gesteld, als de reële diversiteit en individuele eigenheid binnen een geviseerde groep bewust worden genegeerd ten voordele van veralgemenende, negatieve stereotypes. Demagogen beogen ons geleidelijk, bijna onmerkbaar, steeds verder en verder deze lange weg van suprematie op te drijven door machinaal herhaalde retoriek, systematisch en doelgericht. Op een fundament van collectieve angst zal een demagoog zich uiteindelijk als de nieuwe grote Leider presenteren, de bevrijder. De kracht van de verzuring.

Een maatschappij heeft reflexen of mechanismes nodig om dergelijk sluipend gif een halt toe te roepen; debat, media, onafhankelijke denkers, individuele burgers, representatieve parlementen, democratische partijen. Het gif werkt enkel als het zich ongecontroleerd en ongecontesteerd een weg mag banen naar de massa’s.

De les van Levi. Het ondenkbare werd denkbaar. Het kan opnieuw gebeuren. Elke mens heeft het recht beoordeeld te worden naar wat hij is, meer dan tot welke groep hij -al dan niet toevallig- behoort.

 

A simple framework for complex product delivery (in 100 pages)

From March to June 2013 I created the book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)” for Van Haren Publishing (Netherlands). Although I had already written much about Scrum, it was really, really hard work. I wanted the book to be about its subject, not its writer. I wanted the book to be concise, yet complete. I wanted the book to reflect the simplicity of Scrum, in its appearance, tone, language, expressions, sentences.

Since its initial publication (November 2013) my pocket guide to Scrum was re-printed 3 times (January 2014, June 2014, November 2015). In April 2016 my Dutch translation was published as “Scrum Wegwijzer (Een kompas voor de bewuste reiziger)”. And two friends of Scrum are currently going through the really, really hard work of creating a German version, which will probably be named “Scrum Taschenbuch” and be available in 2017. And somewhere along the road I experimented with setting up a Facebook page for my book.

This is beyond any expectation I might have had handing in the first manuscript half way through 2013. I am totally humbled, and sometimes overwhelmed, by the continual appreciation of the book’s buyers and readers.

verheyen-gunther-scrum-a-pocket-guide-2016I want to share that a 5th print of the English version is on its way (end November 2016), holding a NEW COVER. The content of the book hasn’t changed. I was fortunate to have described the Scrum Values already in my book. The only change was the update to my personal history, as is also reflected on my website.

Thank you, readers. Thank you, publisher. Thank you, fellow Scrum Caretakers!

To support the update of my book, my publisher asked me to do a 3-minutes introduction to Scrum, a simple framework for complex product delivery. The time constraint helped me to keep it simple, just like Scrum.

2016. More or less.

There is much we can leave behind. There is much we need more of, by needing less. Artefacts in my home office remind me of essential ingredients.

Wisdom. Health (also: sanity). Poetry (broadly: words, music, writings). Love.
And coffee.

IMG_2689

Over time I have come to realise that the main inner purpose driving me is to make a difference. To people (not minding orgs and structures). Aspiring to inspire with integrity and dignity (not minding careers and demigods). Scrum.

It’s been my path so far. The human trail I left behind is my testimony. And Scrum, seriously. The journey into the unknown futures will continually define who I am, some identity. A path to be discovered.

Nothing of this would be possible without my family; without the love of my life (Atelier Ullizee) and our kids.

What is most essential in your life? What is your ‘why’? Remind yourself what is important to you. Live by it. Live toward it.

My Pocket Guide to Scrum

Scrum - A Pocket Guide (front)People learn about Scrum in various ways. Some read books. Some read my book:

Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)

  • Read a PDF excerpt from my book. It holds the foreword by Ken Schwaber, a short note by the early reviewers, the content table and the first chapter (‘To shift or not to shift’). A taste.
  • Get the full version at Amazon, Amazon UK, Van Haren’s webshop (the publisher), Bol.com. Or use good old Google.

My book serves to help the reader make better use of the tool that Scrum is.

My book introduces the rules and roles of Scrum while emphasizing their purpose. People can more effectively employ Scrum from an understanding of the purpose, rather than from mechanically following the ‘process’.

People are more capable of using Scrum to their advantage when understanding that Scrum is a framework laying out the boundaries within which people can deal with complex problems. My book distinguishes the rules of Scrum from tactics to apply the rules. My book has some examples on tactics, and where tactical decisions within the Scrum framework are required.

My book presents no universal truths, gives no universally applicable answers on generic questions, although I get asked such questions over and over again.

How long should Sprint Planning be? And the other meetings? How much time does the Product Owner role take? Is the Scrum Master role a full-time occupation? Should a team be available full-time? How must we organize when the team is distributed? How much time of a Sprint should a team spend on testing? What should be in the definition of Done? How many business analysts are needed in the team? What if… ?

I am extremely wary of being an ‘expert’ providing certainty where there isn’t. My book is a book for people on a journey to discover what Scrum can do for them. Hence its subtitle. My book does not map out your route. Your route is unique and distinct.

My book adds some historical perspective to Scrum, describes the roots of Scrum, how Scrum fits the Agile movement and what some future challenges of Scrum are.

My book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” is not an expert book. It is not a book for experts. It is not a book by an expert. My book is a book by an eternal novice seeking mastery. I hope you like it. I hope it helps you seek mastery too.

Meanwhile I am in the process of creating a follow-up book. I will still not provide false precision. I might tell some stories about what worked for me, given context and time.

Gunther