Worldwide availability of the 2nd edition of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” (in various formats)

In 2013 I accidentally created a book, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” (subtitled: A Smart Travel Companion). Creating my book, accidentally or otherwise, had many unanticipated (mostly positive) consequences, for which I am very grateful.

In 2018 I deliberately evolved my Scrum travel companion into a second edition (available 2019). I am humbled to share that this second edition of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” is now available worldwide in all major formats via diverse channels:

For Belgian and Dutch readers:

  • Go to Managementboek.nl for a hard copy or e-Book.
  • Go to the webshop of the publishing house, Van Haren, for a hard copy, eBook or ePub.

And if no one of these work for you, check out Google.

Enjoy reading!

Gunther
independent Scrum Caretaker

Players and accountabilities in the game of Scrum (an audio excerpt from “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”, 2nd ed)

In 2013 I accidentally created a book, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”. In 2018 I deliberately evolved your Scrum travel companion into a second edition. The updated edition was published in February 2019.

Players And Accountabilities In The Game Of Scrum” is an audio excerpt from that second, updated edition. The excerpt covers chapter 2.5 (introduction) and chapter 2.5.1 (pages 49-52) and can be listened to at Soundcloud.

A PDF with the excerpt can be downloaded here: Players and accountabilities in the game of Scrum.

The deliberate evolution of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”

In 2013 I accidentally created a book, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”. In 2018 I deliberately evolved my Scrum travel companion into a second edition.

I am humbled over the many unanticipated consequences of the accidental creation of my pocket guide to Scrum. I equally enjoyed updating my book to a second edition 5 years later. This time around it was a deliberate evolution rather than an accidental creation. The first batch will be available 16 January 2019 and soon after in all major formats (hard copy, Kindle, PDF, eBook, ePub) via all main channels worldwide.

Who would have figured that there was room for a second edition of my pocket guide to Scrum? Certainly as my book remained in the best-seller list of my publisher all the time?

For this deliberate endeavor, I considered how I described the Scrum Values in the first edition. In July 2016 they were added to the Scrum Guide. How I described the traditional 3 questions as a good, but optional tactic for the Daily Scrum. That too is now in the Scrum Guide, since November 2017.

Obviously and fortunately, that does not mean there are no further evolutions to mind.

Not only have I found new ways to express Scrum, while working with teams and executives, facilitating various classes, and connecting with practitioners at events. We also adopted terminology that better expresses the intentions of Scrum.

Beyond these intrinsic drivers for change, I observe how the balance of society keeps rapidly shifting from industrial (often physical) labor to digital (often virtual) work. In many domains of society, the unpredictability of work increases, drastically and continually. The need for the Agile paradigm is bigger than ever, and thus the value of the tangible framework of Scrum to help people and organizations increase their agility while addressing complex challenges in complex circumstances.

More and different people look for guidance and insights on their journey of Scrum, increasingly in domains beyond software development. Organizations look for clear insights in the simple rules of Scrum as their current ways of working fail them in the Complex Novelty space.

As the third Scrum wave is rising, the second edition of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” remains the simple and straightforward compass for those that want to surf that wave. This second edition more than ever offers the foundational insights into Scrum for Complex Novelty players and their organizations to properly shape their Scrum.

Some of the updates in the second edition that stand out (a bit more than the other changes) within the preserved overall structure (of chapters and modules):

  • The definition of Agile is condensed to three key characteristics.
  • Observations are added on the post-chasm years of Agile.
  • The Scrum Game Board is slightly tweaked.
  • The forward-looking design of the Scrum events is expressed more clearly.
  • A Release Burn-down chart as a forecasting tactic is added.
  • The pictures, naming and descriptions of the included scaling tactics are improved.
  • The Scrum Glossary was updated.

I thank Blake McMillan (Soulofscrum.com) and Dominik Maximini for their much-appreciated review of this second edition. I thank all translators for their past and on-going efforts to spread my words in different languages. Stay tuned for more news about translations.

If I have done a proper job of re-imagining my book, the second edition won’t feel like a new book. A word-by-word comparison would prove otherwise.

Enjoy reading!

Gunther
independent Scrum Caretaker

(Thank you, Higher View, for your professional expertise in video creations)

The accidental creation of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”

Contrary to a common assumption, the creation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” (2013) was anything but a long-lived hope, ambition or dream. As I shared with Joe (Jochen) Krebs on his Agile.FM podcast, it was an accidental and unplanned endeavor.

By the end of January 2013 I was not only entering my last period of work at a large consulting company, I was also asked by Dutch publishing house Van Haren to review a manuscript of a book about Scrum.

That turned out more difficult than expected. I gave it a few attempts but each time I ended up not finishing the manuscript completely or fluently. I found myself changing and updating the content way too much. And -most of all- I found myself not recognizing and not liking much of what I was reading. I felt bad about it. I felt even worse for being unable to turn my findings into positive, constructive feedback that would be helpful for both the (unknown) author and the publisher.

After a few weeks of mentally running around in circles I decided to skip a detailed reading, but go through the manuscript once more and list my biggest findings. At the bottom of the still impressive list, my most important remark to the editor was to not mention my name as a reviewer in case it was decided to move forward with the publication.

Soon I received news that the publication was cancelled. It turned out that most reviewers were not too impressed. The publisher shared that they still saw value in a book about Scrum and asked how I envisioned a possible involvement. A quick consultation round within my network, including Ken Schwaber, helped me set aside the doubts whether I could write a book myself and got me into grabbing the opportunity.

I was completely unsure of what I was getting myself into, but I felt somewhat comforted by the idea that I had 2 full months to work on it (April-May 2013), the time between ending my work at the consulting company and starting my partnership with Ken at Scrum.org.

I additionally found comfort in the fact that I had already published quite some articles and blog notes on Scrum. I assumed that I could easily assemble them into a book. How I was wrong! As soon as I had brought my previous publications together, the real work started, taking much, much more time than I ever could have anticipated. That time went into writing and rewriting, eliminating, simplifying, improving flow and cohesion, stepping back, waiting and getting back to it, aiming at barely enough descriptions to trigger the reader’s imagination. My first working title was “The path of Scrum (A comprehensive travel companion)“. That changed into „Scrum Pocket Guide (A smart travel companion)“ and ended up as “Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion)”.

At the heart of my book are the (mandatory) rules of Scrum, from a deep understanding of the purpose of the rules, the main principles underlying Scrum and the Scrum Values. The essential rules are clearly distinguished from (possible) tactics to apply the rules. Some historical perspective to the becoming of Scrum (and Agile) is added, while I end the book reflecting on the future state of Scrum, the challenges that lie ahead of us. I consider “discovery” and “journey” the ultimate key words in the way I wanted to present the Scrum framework. Scrum is the compass that guides people and organizations on their journey of discovery in the land of complex challenges. Adopting and employing Scrum is in itself however also a journey of discovery. Hence the subtitle of my pocket guide to Scrum, “A Smart Travel Companion,” and the picture on the initial cover.

When visiting the Scrum.org office in Burlington-Boston in June 2013 I shared my final manuscript with Ken, and Ken kindly agreed to write a foreword, which he delivered in August (find it below).

Finally, in November 2013 I was able to announce that my book was released to the world, and available in all major formats (hard copy, Kindle, PDF, eBook, ePub) and via all main channels worldwide. If you have trouble finding my book, ask Google.

And my personal amazing journey as an author continued, with many unanticipated consequences of the accidental creation of my pocket guide to Scrum:

  • In the spring of 2016 I created a Dutch translation of my book asScrum Wegwijzer“.
  • In the fall of 2016, at the occasion of the 4th reprint, the cover of the English version got updated and I recorded a 3-minutes introduction of Scrum.
  • In 2017 (spring) Peter Götz and Uwe Schirmer created a German translation as “Scrum Taschenbuch“.
  • All that time, my book remained in the best-seller list of my publisher, Van Haren (the Netherlands).
  • In 2018 I have created a second edition of my book. This time around it was a deliberate evolution rather than an accidental creation.
  • In 2018 several people approached me to create translations of my book. Stay tuned for more news.

It is quite amazing and humbling that the result of my accidental work in 2013, after 5+ years, is more alive than ever, and that demand is big enough for a deliberate evolution into a second edition of the book. I hope you open up my book again now in a while, to find information that is most valuable to where you are on your journey at that time.

THANK YOU!

Gunther
independent Scrum Caretaker

(Thank you, Higher View, for your professional expertise in video creations)

The foreword to “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” by Ken Schwaber, Scrum co-creator:

An outstanding accomplishment that simmers with intelligence.

Scrum – A Pocket Guide is an extraordinarily competent book. Gunther has described everything about Scrum in well-formed, clearly written descriptions that flow with insight, understanding, and perception. Yet, you are never struck by these attributes. You simply benefit from them, later thinking, “That was really, really helpful. I found what I needed to know, readily understood what I wanted, and wasn’t bothered by irrelevancies.”

I have struggled to write this foreword. I feel the foreword should be as well-written as the book it describes. In this case, that is hard. Read Gunther’s book. Read it in part, or read it in whole. You will be satisfied.

Scrum is simple, but complete and competent in addressing complex problems. Gunther’s pocket guide is complete and competent in addressing understanding a simple framework for addressing complex problems, Scrum.

Scrum Vocabulary (updated)

Driven by the prospect of an Italian translation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” I decided to revise it slightly; minor tweaks of words and terms, although a lot of them.

As part of my revision, I also updated the Scrum Vocabulary of my book:

  • Burn-down Chart: a chart showing the decrease of remaining work against time.
  • Burn-up Chart: a chart showing the increase of a parameter, e.g. value, against time.
  • Daily Scrum: a daily event, time-boxed to 15 minutes or less, to re-plan the development work during a Sprint. The event serves for the Development Team to share the daily progress, plan the work for the next 24 hours and update Sprint Backlog accordingly.
  • Definition of Done: a set of expectations and qualities that a product must exhibit to make it fit for a release in production.
  • Development standards: the set of standards and practices that a Development Team identifies as needed to create releasable Increments of product no later than by the end of a Sprint.
  • Development Team: the group of people accountable for all incremental development work needed to create a releasable Increment no later than by the end of a Sprint.
  • Emergence: the process of the coming into existence or prominence of unforeseen facts or knowledge of a fact, a previously unknown fact, or knowledge of a fact becoming visible unexpectedly.
  • Empiricism: the process control type in which decisions are based on observed results, experience and experimentation. Empiricism implements regular inspections and adaptations requiring and creating transparency. Also referred to as ’empirical process control’.
  • Forecast: the anticipation of a future trend based on observations of the past, like the selection of Product Backlog people believe they can deliver in a Sprint or in future Sprints for future Product Backlog.
  • Increment: a candidate of releasable work that adds to previously created Increments, and – as a whole – forms a product.
  • Product Backlog: an ordered, evolving list of all work deemed necessary by the Product Owner to create, maintain and sustain a product.
  • Product Backlog refinement: the activity in a Sprint through which the Product Owner and the Development Team add granularity to future Product Backlog.
  • Product Owner: the person accountable for optimising the value a product delivers by incrementally managing and expressing all product expectations and ideas in a Product Backlog; the single representative of all stakeholders.
  • Scrum (n): a simple framework for complex product delivery (1); a simple framework for complex problem management (2).
  • Scrum Master: the person accountable for fostering an environment of Scrum by guiding, coaching, teaching and facilitating one or more Scrum Teams and their environment in understanding and employing Scrum.
  • Scrum Team: the combined roles of Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master.
  • Scrum Values: a set of 5 fundamental values and qualities underpinning the Scrum framework; commitment, focus, openness, respect and courage.
  • Sprint: an event that serves as a container for the other Scrum events, time-boxed to 4 weeks or less. The event serves getting a sufficient amount of work done, while ensuring timely inspection, reflection and adaptation at a product and strategic level. The other Scrum events are Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
  • Sprint Backlog: an evolving overview of the development deemed necessary to realize a Sprint’s goal.
  • Sprint Goal: a concise statement expressing the overarching purpose of a Sprint.
  • Sprint Planning: an event marking the start of a Sprint, time-boxed to 8 hours or less. The event serves for the Scrum Team to inspect the Product Backlog considered most valuable and design that forecast into an initial Sprint backlog against an overarching Sprint Goal.
  • Sprint Retrospective: an event marking the closing of a Sprint, time-boxed to 3 hours or less. The event serves for the Scrum Team to inspect the past Sprint and establish the way of working for the next Sprint.
  • Sprint Review: an event marking the closing of the development of a Sprint, time-boxed to 4 hours or less. The event serves for the Scrum Team and the stakeholders to inspect the Increment, the overall progress and strategic changes in order to allow the Product Owner to update the Product Backlog.
  • Stakeholder: a person external to the Scrum Team with a specific interest in or knowledge of a product that is required for the further incremental evolution of the product.
  • Time-box: a container in time of a maximum duration, potentially a fixed duration. In Scrum all events have a maximum duration only, except for the Sprint itself which has a fixed duration.
  • Velocity: popular indication of the average amount of Product Backlog turned into an Increment of releasable product during a Sprint by a specific (composition of a) Scrum Team. Serves as an aid for the Development Team of the Scrum Team to forecast future Sprints.

I look forward to the Italian version seeing the light of day in 2018. I translated my book (2013) to Dutch in 2016 as “Scrum Wegwijzer“. It was published in German as “Scrum Taschenbuch” (translated by Peter Goetz and Uwe Schirmer) in 2017.

You can still find the Scrum Glossary of those editions on my blog.

Verschijning van mijn boek “Scrum Wegwijzer”

Scrum Wegwijzer6 April 2016. Mijn boek “Scrum Wegwijzer” is net verschenen.

Dit is de Nederlandse vertaling van “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” dat in november 2013 verscheen. Ik wilde bij het thema blijven dat Scrum een ontdekkingsreis is, een avontuur. Ik vertaalde daarom de originele subtitel “A Smart Travel Companion” naar “Een Kompas voor de Bewuste Reiziger”. Dat mijn schrijfsels de lezer, die bewuste reiziger, mogen leiden op zijn avontuurlijke reis.

Bestel je exemplaar alvast op Managementboek.nl.

Mijn “Scrum Wegwijzer” werd opnieuw uitgegeven door Van Haren (Zaltbommel, Nederland), met mijn dank aan het team van Van Haren voor het vertrouwen en het geleverde werk. Mijn gewaardeerde collega-trainer Paul Kuijten (‘piraat met een peperkoeken hart‘) was zo vriendelijk de ruwe vertaling voor me na te lezen. Josien Moerman heeft het boek geredigeerd op vraag van de uitgeverij. Ik ben beiden zeer dankbaar. Ze hebben mee gezorgd voor een verhoogde leesbaarheid, een wonderbaarlijk esthetisch resultaat en een gepaste bijsturing richting Noord-Nederlands, in plaats van het door mij overduidelijk gebezigde Belgisch-Nederlands.

Het heeft mij alvast verbaasd hoeveel tijd en werk deze vertaling mij kostte. Nochtans, zou je denken, was het origineel ook van mijn hand. Enfin, ik ben uiteindelijk vooral erg blij dat de vertaling er (bijna) is. Ik hoop er een breed publiek van Scrum-liefhebbers mee te bereiken in de Lage Landen, en zeker in wat mijn Scrum thuisland werd, Nederland. Ik hoop een klein steentje te kunnen bijdragen aan een beter begrip van Scrum, aan meer werkplezier voor een aantal mensen in de wondere wereld van softwareontwikkeling en aan de creatie van betere producten voor tevredener gebruikers.

Ik wens je veel leesplezier, inspiratie en nieuwe ideetjes bij het lezen van mijn Scrum Wegwijzer, mijn kompas voor jou, bewuste reiziger.

Groetjes
Gunther

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