June 15

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What you could learn from ‘Scrum A pocket guide’ by Gunther Verheyen (2013, 99 pages)

The book starts by attempting to explain Agile and then linking Lean and Agile together.   Many of the principles espoused of Lean and Agile (see table below) do not match what I have read and experienced elsewhere.

Lean Agile
Respect for people Self-organising teams
Kaizen Inspect & adapt, short feedback cycles
Prevent and eliminate waste No un-used spec of architecture
Pull inventory Estimates reflect team capacity
Visual management Information radiators
Built-in-quality Definition of done, engineering standards
Customer value Active business collaboration
Optimizing the while Whole team together
Deliver fast Timeboxed iteration
The manager-teacher The facilitating servant-leader

Figure 1.6 (p35)

Explaining that there is a difference between the Agile approach (the manifesto and principles) and Agile practices (for example, Scrum, XP and Kanban) would have helped to reduce confusion.

Chapter 2, the book provides a reasonable history of Scrum and a more detailed account of Scrum.   Suggesting that Scrum is a framework and not a methodology is helpful, as it will reduce the likelihood that people will be dogmatic in the application of Scrum.

The roles and responsibility of the Scrum teams outlined in a straightforward war and are paraphrased below.

  • Product owner – responsible for the business perspective and represents all stakeholders, creating the backlog
  • Development team – self-organises to turn the back-log into done work
  • Scrum master – facilitates, guides and removes obstacles from the team

The book cleverly articulates how the Scrum rituals tie into the Scrum artefacts and result in inspection and adaption in a very useful table (see below).

Event Inspection Adaption
Sprint planning Product Backlog Sprint Goal

Sprint Backlog

Forecast

Daily Scrum Sprint progress (towards the Sprint Goal) Sprint Backlog

Daily plan

Sprint Review Product Increment

Product Backlog

Product Backlog
Sprint Retrospective Team & collaboration

Technology & engineering

Definition of Done

Actionable improvements

The book correctly lists the Scrum values (p71) as:

  • Commitment
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect
  • Courage

 

Despite being well researched and referenced, this book is confusing.  While there are some good points raised, I would not recommend this book.

If you really want to, you can buy Scrum A Pocket Guide here on Amazon UK.