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.
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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.
During the fall of 2019, I got totally consumed (and sometimes drained and overwhelmed) by an exciting new Scrum book project. Having finalized the manuscript I finally feel comfortable sharing more information about it.
O’Reilly Media envisioned adding a book about Scrum to their “97 Things” series and got in touch with me (through Dave West of Scrum.org). By the end of August 2019, we decided to get started. I had the honor of curating the initiative. We agreed on calling our new book “97 Things every Scrum practitioner should know.” The goal was to compose a book consisting of 97 essays with diverse angles and perspectives on the Scrum framework from contributors globally.
I had no idea what I was getting into, or how much 97 actually is (a lot, I discovered), or where it would take me. But I liked the challenge. Once into it, I liked it so much that I decided to make it my main focus, holding off most other work request and re-ordering my existing plans. It turned out an exciting and insightful experience. I had the pleasure of collecting, editing and ordering essays about Scrum from seasoned Scrum practitioners across the planet on behalf of the many seeking Scrum practitioners out there.
In a few incremental waves, we ended up inviting 129 people to contribute, not minded by their title, organization or position. We invited potential contributors for their insights, past or on-going, and the potential value of sharing them with fellow practitioners. In the end, 69 authors accepted our invitation and delivered one or more articles (indeed, an average of 1.406 articles per author). I cannot thank them enough for going through the effort of writing down their thoughts, perspectives and experience, and their willingness to make them available for Scrum practitioners worldwide.
In the current version of the manuscript, the 97 essays are grouped and ordered* along following themes:
“Start, Adopt, Repeat.” holds 11 Things.
“Products Deliver Value.” holds 11 Things.
“Collaboration Is Key.” holds 10 Things.
“Development Is Multi-faceted Work.” holds 12 Things.
“Events, Not Meetings.” holds 10 Things.
“Mastery Does Matter.” holds 12 Things.
“People, All Too Human.” holds 8 Things.
“Values Drive Behavior.” holds 6 Things.
“Organizational Design.” holds 9 Things.
“Scrum Off Script.” holds 8 Things.
I also owe a huge thank you to O’Reilly Media for the trust and the collaborative partnership, specifically to Chris Guzikowski and Ryan Shaw for initiating this endeavor and to Corbin Collins for sustaining it. More than being a king of punctuation, Corbin has impressively improved the language and clarity of quite some, if not all, of the 97 Things.
I look forward to keeping you updated on the publication date, which we will derive from our actual progress. It is not expected to be later than July 2020, and will probably be sooner. As we speak, O’Reilly and I are working really hard to turn my manuscript into a book available for you, dear reader.
I believe we will be able to connect the world of seasoned practitioners to the world of seekers through “97 Things every Scrum practitioner should know.”
Warm regards Gunther Verheyen independent Scrum Caretaker
(updated February 2020)