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The use of Scrum is standard operating procedure among the technical experts at First Line Software. As such, we are constantly monitoring the latest developments and uses of Scrum.

Similar to how Scrum functions in terms of frequent reviews and adaption, the Scum Guide itself is reviewed often to determine what updates can be made to make the Guide even more useful and valuable. 

We paid close attention when the most recent Scrum Guide Refresh was announced during a webinar on November 7th, 2017. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber provided a rare opportunity to listen in as they talked about the history of Scrum and covering the reasons for the latest update.

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In this post we will take a closer look at the five key Scrum Guide updates they covered during the webinar:

  1. Uses of Scrum – New Section
  2. Role of the Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner – Refined
  3. The Purpose of the Daily Scrum – Clarified
  4. Time-boxes require a maximum length – Further Defined
  5. Sprint Backlog includes feedback from the Sprint Retrospective - New

Uses of Scrum

The Guide was updated with addition of a significant new section titled: Uses of Scrum. It reflects how Scrum addresses certain modern demands.  The section in its entirety is presented here:

Scrum was initially developed for managing and developing products. Starting in the early 1990s, Scrum has been used extensively, worldwide, to:

  1. Research and identify viable markets, technologies, and product capabilities;
  2. Develop products and enhancements;
  3. Release products and enhancements, as frequently as many times per day;
  4. Develop and sustain Cloud (online, secure, on-demand) and other operational environments for product use; and,
  5. Sustain and renew products.

Scrum has been used to develop software, hardware, embedded software, networks of interacting function, autonomous vehicles, schools, government, marketing, managing the operation of organizations and almost everything we use in our daily lives, as individuals and societies.

As technology, market, and environmental complexities and their interactions have rapidly increased, Scrum’s utility in dealing with complexity is proven daily. Scrum proved especially effective in iterative and incremental knowledge transfer. Scrum is now widely used for products, services, and the management of the parent organization. The essence of Scrum is a small team of people. The individual team is highly flexible and adaptive. These strengths continue operating in single, several, many, and networks of teams that develop, release, operate and sustain the work and work products of thousands of people. They collaborate and interoperate through sophisticated development architectures and target release environments.

When the words “develop” and “development” are used in the Scrum Guide, they refer to complex work, such as those types identified above.

The Role of the Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner – Refined

The description of this section was expanded to include a statement specifying that the Scrum Master is responsible to ensure that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team.

The Purpose of the Daily Scrum was expanded to include this statement: The purpose of the Daily Scrum is for inspection and adaption to ensure progress toward the Sprint Goal. In addition, the first paragraph of the Daily Scrum section was updated and clarity was specified around the goals of the Daily Scrum.

Time-boxes only require a maximum length – Further Defined

Clarity around time-boxes was added by using the words “at most” to remove any questions that Events have to be of a certain length. Time-boxes are the maximum times allotted. The update established boundaries with this text: Time-boxing refers to the act of putting strict time boundaries around an action or activity. Once a Sprint begins, its duration is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened.

Sprint Backlog includes feedback from the Sprint Retrospective - New

It is interesting to note that this update draws more attention to the results of Sprint Retrospective with the addition of this statement: Now at least one high priority item identified in the previous Retrospective should be included into the Sprint Backlog.

You can view more details about the latest revisions of the Scrum Guide here.

If you are curious to learn more about how First Line Software technical experts optimize the quality and speed of completion of customer projects with the use of Scrum techniques, please contact us today for a no-obligation conversation.

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