The book 97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know edited by Gunther Verheyen contains the wisdom of 69 practitioners around the world and helps you to improve your understanding of Scrum (nb. Who are we missing on the cover of the book?).
Gunther organized these 97 essays around ten themes. These themes cover all aspects of Scrum and beyond. The events, the different roles, their behavior, the skills, collaboration and the artifacts. The book ends with a simple Scrum glossary. To summarize, some topics that are discussed in the ten themes:
- Start, adopt, repeat. This first theme gives you insights what it means when you start using Scrum. Use it, as it is or adapt? Why using Scrum? Are multiple Scrum teams the same as Multi-team Scrum? And many more.
- Products deliver value. What are your products? How is this reflected in your backlog? What do we mean by value? Who’s value? And what does this mean for the product owner?
- Collaboration is key. Collaboration, communication and interaction between whom? With the customer, within the team? Are you just following your job description or not? Are tools considered harmful?
- Development is multifaceted work. What are you developing? What’s on your product and sprint backlog? How to size your PBI’s? What do we mean with backlog items, user stories, abuser stories, bugs?
- Events, not meetings. Here we get several ideas how to make the events work and effective. The impact of sprint goals, who plays which role during the events and what are these events not.
- Mastery does matter. Here we get the spotlights on the Scrum master. The Scrum master as servant leader, court jester, (technical) coach, or is he just an impediment hunter?
- People, all too human. Teams are more than collections of technical skills. Are people impediments? Can Scrum masters replace team members?
- Values drive behavior. Scrum is more about behavior than it is about process. What is self-organization? How to be a more humane Scrum master and an essay on the sixth Scrum value.
- Organizational design. It’s all about agile leadership, culture, improving the organization, the importance of networks, respect and a save environment.
- Scrum off script. Probably you think you know the origins of Scrum, but it might not be what you think they are. Here we also get some examples of Scrum outside software development, e.g. at the police, in the classroom, in education.
Conclusion. This book is definitely food for thought for Scrum practitioners. Sometimes you get different views or opinions e.g. on backlog items and user stories but that’s also the beauty. It’s not carved in stone. When using Scrum, you have to think, rethink, discover and adapt. And don’t forget it’s all about people! A must read!
Throughout the book you get many references to articles, et cetera on the web. It would help the reader if small QR codes were added to the text (I often make mistakes by reading/typing a I, i, L or l).
In the book there is a reference to the Flow framework. In a next blog I will dive into this framework to see where it fits in my Bird’s eye view on the agile forest.
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Youtube: Gunther Verheyen answers questions about “97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know”