The Scrum Guide - 2016 Update

August 04, 2016 02:40 PM | COMMENTS (0) | CATEGORIES: Agile, Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, Scrum, Scrum Guide,

The Scrum Guide is the official document defining Scrum as per its’ creators, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. It’s been translated to 28 languages and no matter where you are working, if you are doing Scrum (or trying to do Scrum), it is the official explanation of what it is and how it is supposed to work.

This summer, Ken and Jeff updated the document for the first time since 2013. In the new (2016) version, they’ve made one significant change. They added an explanation of the Scrum Values. The intention is to provide more clarity on the intention behind these practices.

“If they embrace those values, if they cherish those values, it would create a culture that would help people work together in small Scrum teams and even larger groups … I think it’s important that people understand that with them, Scrum is a place you want to live, without them, it’s a place you wouldn’t want to be.”
~Ken Schwaber

If you’d like to see a video where Ken and Jeff, along with JJ Sutherland, explore the history of the document and the changes they’ve included, you can find it here:

Part of the drive for these changes has been driven through feedback provided by the user community. For the creators, it’s not a change so much as an explanation intended to provide greater clarity behind Scrum and what it takes to make it work well within an organization by providing a great place to work.

The Scrum Values are:

  • Commitment
  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect 

One of the most important aspects of this change is that it speaks to one of the stumbling blocks many organizations experience when trying to adopt Scrum. They pick up some (or all) of the practices and go through the motions. But without spending the time needed to help the Scrum Team, and the larger organization, understand the intent behind this way of working, Scrum may bang up against the wall of legacy culture. The practices are important, but if you can’t shift the approach people bring to doing this stuff, it can be a huge struggle to achieve the promise that Scrum offers. 

One personal note about the Scrum Guide… I consider myself to be deeply familiar with this document because of the fact that I make my living teaching Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes. I look at it frequently while I am teaching and preparing for classes. What I’ve learned over time is that this is not a document you can read once and feel like you “get it”. It is important to go back to it and review it from time to time, trying to approach it with fresh eyes. Every time I do, I find something new in there that I thought I understood, but which catches me by surprise.

If you’d like to find the updated version of the Scrum Guide you can download it here: 

You can also download an audio version (compliments of Mike Vizdos) here: