The must-have practitioner's guide and manager's reference to Scrum, today's #1 agile process: fast-track knowledge for every decision-maker
- An ideal quick-start guide for technically savvy professionals and managers with no Scrum/Agile experience: serves a vital need and fills a major market void.
- Exceptionally accessible: designed to be read cover-to-cover on one cross-country flight.
- Two color format, packed with illustrations and margin notes that draw instant attention to key issues, techniques, pitfalls, and solutions.
This easy-to-read, easy-to-use book brings together all the non-technical information managers and practitioners need to evaluate and get started with Scrum, today's #1 Agile process. Filling a major gap in the marketplace, it demystifies Scrum and Agile with simple, fast-paced explanations, more than 100 easy-to-follow illustrations, and quick paragraph summaries that deliver instant insights on key issues, techniques, pitfalls, and solutions. Kenny Rubin draws on more than a decade of experience implementing Scrum and training more than 3,000 Scrum practitioners at all levels. He delivers fasttrack familiarity with all aspects for Scrum for every technically savvy practitioner and manager who hasn't worked with agile methods before.
- Why so many organizations are adopting Scrum, and how it has evolved.
- Essential Scrum/Agile concepts and roles.
- How to start a Scrum project or product.
- How to manage product backlogs.
- Sprints, sprint meetings, and Scrum 'by the numbers'
- Scaling and distributing Scrum.
- Using Scrum on diverse types of development projects.
- Choosing the right Scrum tools
The book also includes a detailed glossary that can help every new Scrum participant 'get on the same page' with Scrum's terminology, as well as an up to-date bibliography for further exploration.
"Agile coaches, you're gonna be happy with this book. Kenny Rubin has created an indispensable resource for us. Do you have a manager that just doesn't `get it'? Hand them this book and ask them to flip to Chapter 3 for a complete explanation of how Scrum is less risky than plan-driven management. It's written just for them-in management-speak. Want to help the team come to a common understanding of Scrum? The visual icon language used throughout this book will help you help them. These are just two ways this book can aid you to coach Scrum teams. Use it well."
-Lyssa Adkins, Coach of Agile Coaches, Agile Coaching Institute; author, Coaching Agile Teams
"One of the best, most comprehensive descriptions of the core Scrum framework out there! Essential Scrum is for anyone-new to or experienced with Scrum-who's interested in the most important aspects of the process. Kenny does an excellent job of distilling the key tenets of the Scrum framework into a simple format with compelling visuals. As a Scrum coach for many teams, I continually reference the material for new ways to help teams that are learning and practicing the framework. I've seen Scrum continually misinterpreted and poorly implemented by big companies and tool vendors for more than ten years. Reading this book will help you get back to the basics and focus on what's important."
-Joe Balistrieri, Process Development Manager, Rockwell Automation
"Corporate IT leadership, which has been slow to embrace agile methods, would benefit immensely from giving a copy of this book to all of their project and delivery managers. Kenny Rubin has laid out in this book all the pragmatic business case and process materials needed for any corporate IT shop to successfully implement Scrum."
-John F. Bauer III, veteran of technical solution delivery in large corporate IT shops
"Kenny's extensive experience as a consultant, trainer, and past managing director of the Scrum Alliance is evident in this book. Along with providing the basics and introduction to Scrum, this book addresses the questions of masses-what happens to project managers? Essential Scrum helps us understand the big picture and guides how organization leaders can support and be involved with their Scrum teams for successful agile transformations."
-Sameer S. Bendre CSM, PMP, Senior Consultant, 3i Infotech Inc.
"If you're new to agile development or to Scrum, this book will give you a flying start. The examples and descriptions are clear and vivid, and you'll often find yourself asking a question just before the book addresses that very topic."
-Johannes Brodwall, Principal Solution Architect, Steria Norway
"Kenny's well-structured explanations have a clarity to them that echoes the sensibilities of Smalltalk-the development environment with which he worked for years and from which both Scrum and Extreme Programming were born. This book pulls together a thorough set of agile management principles that really hit the mark and will no doubt guide you toward a more effective agile approach."
-Rowan Bunning, Founder, Scrum WithStyle
"There are lots of books on Scrum these days, but this book takes a new angle, a reality check for software practitioners. Kenny uses real-world examples and clear illustrations to show what makes a solid foundation for successful agile development. Readers will understand the value of building quality in, and the reality that we can't get everything right up front; we must work incrementally and learn as we go. It might have `Scrum' in the title, but the book leverages effective practices from the larger agile universe to help managers and their teams succeed."
-Lisa Crispin, coauthor, Agile Testing
"Kenny Rubin managed to write the book that I want everyone associated with Scrum development to read! He covers everything you'll need to know about Scrum and more!"
-Martine Devos, European Scrum Pioneer and Certified Scrum Trainer
"I've reviewed a number of agile books in the past few years, so the question of `Do we really need another one?' always comes to my mind. In the case of Kenny's book, I very much believe the answer is `yes.' Getting the benefit of different, experienced perspectives on commonly encountered and needed material is valuable. Kenny has one of those valuable perspectives. One unique aspect of the book is an interesting `iconography'-a new icon language for Scrum and agile that Kenny has created. I believe you'll find value-added material in this book to expand your ideas for how Scrum can be applied."
-Scott Duncan, Agile/Scrum coach and trainer
"Anyone who has had Scrum training or has been part of a Scrum team will find Essential Scrum to be a great follow-up read. It dives into the details of how to become more agile through implementing Scrum processes, and it explains exactly how to break down complex projects into manageable initiatives (or `sprints'). Kenny Rubin provides a wealth of relevant case studies on what worked-or what didn't-in a variety of organizations. The simple layout and businesslike graphics make it easy to scan quickly and find specific topics. Any organization that is seeking to evolve from a traditional waterfall approach toward a more agile methodology will find Essential Scrum a definitive guidebook for the journey."
-Julia Frazier, product manager
"Developing software is hard. Adopting a new way of working while in a project is even harder. This book offers a bypass of many of the pitfalls and will accelerate a team's ability to produce business value and become successful with Scrum. I wish I had this kind of book when I started using Scrum."
-Geir Hedemark, Development Manager, Basefarm AS
"I am convinced that Essential Scrum will become the foundation reference for the next generation of Scrum practitioners. Not only is it the most comprehensive introduction to Scrum in publication today, but it is also extremely well written and easy on the eye with its fantastic new visual Scrum language. If that isn't enough, Kenny shares a range of his valuable personal insights and experiences that we can all certainly learn from."
-Ilan Goldstein, Agile Solutions Manager, Reed Elsevier
"Scrum is elegantly simple, yet deceptively complex. In Essential Scrum, Kenny Rubin provides us with a step-by-step guide to those complexities while retaining the essential simplicity. Real-world experiences coupled with enlightening illustrations make Scrum come to life. For senior managers and team members alike, this is a must-read book if you are starting or considering whether to implement Scrum in your organization. This will certainly be a book recommended to my students."
-John Hebley, Hebley & Associates
"Kenny unpacks a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in Essential Scrum, providing valuable and comprehensive insights to the practical application of agile/Scrum. Whether you're new to agile or are looking to reach a greater maturity of continuous improvement in your organization, this is a definitive handbook for your toolbox."
-David Luzquinos, Head of Agile Enablement, Agile Coach, Betfair
"Kenny Rubin continues to provide clarity and insight into adopting agile in a pragmatic way. In one hand he holds the formal or ideal Scrum definition and in the other, the pragmatic application of it. He brings the wisdom of his workshops and years of experience to the table, and now for you to read in his latest book. If you are about to start out on your agile adoption journey or are seeking guidance midcourse, grab a copy."
-Cuan Mulligan, freelance coactive Agile coach
"A decade after publication of the first Scrum books, it is time to combine the essential aspects of the Scrum framework with the practical experiences and approaches of the last ten years. Kenny Rubin does so in a satisfying and nondogmatic way. The reader gets a pragmatic look at Scrum and learns when and how to best apply Scrum to achieve business benefits."
-Yves Stalgies, PhD, Director IT, www.etracker.com
"Adoption of Scrum is most successful when everyone involved-even peripherally-with product development has a good understanding of the fundamentals. Essential Scrum provides an ideal overview of both the big picture and the details in an accessible style. It is sure to become a standard reference."
-Kevin Tureski, Principal, Kevin Tureski Consulting
List of Figures xxv
Foreword by Mike Cohn xxxi
Foreword by Ron Jeffries xxxiii
About the Author xliii
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
What Is Scrum? 1
Scrum Origins 3
Why Scrum? 4
Genomica Results 4
Can Scrum Help You? 5
Part I: Core Concepts 11
Chapter 2: Scrum Framework 13
Scrum Roles 14
Scrum Activities and Artifacts 16
Chapter 3: Agile Principles 29
Variability and Uncertainty 32
Prediction and Adaptation 37
Just-in-Time Work 43
Validated Learning 44
Work in Process (WIP) 48
Chapter 4: Sprints 61
Short Duration 64
Consistent Duration 67
No Goal-Altering Changes 69
Definition of Done 74
Chapter 5: Requirements and User Stories 79
Using Conversations 81
Progressive Refinement 82
What Are User Stories? 83
Level of Detail 86
INVEST in Good Stories 88
Nonfunctional Requirements 93
Knowledge-Acquisition Stories 93
Gathering Stories 95
Chapter 6: Product Backlog 99
Product Backlog Items 100
Good Product Backlog Characteristics 101
Definition of Ready 108
Flow Management 110
Which and How Many Product Backlogs? 112
Chapter 7: Estimation and Velocity 119
What and When We Estimate 120
PBI Estimation Concepts 123
PBI Estimation Units 128
Planning Poker 129
What Is Velocity? 133
Calculate a Velocity Range 134
Forecasting Velocity 135
Affecting Velocity 135
Misusing Velocity 137
Chapter 8: Technical Debt 139
Consequences of Technical Debt 141
Causes of Technical Debt 144
Technical Debt Must Be Managed 148
Managing the Accrual of Technical Debt 149
Making Technical Debt Visible 153
Servicing the Technical Debt 155
Part II: Roles 163
Chapter 9: Product Owner 165
Principal Responsibilities 166
A Day in the Life 174
Who Should Be a Product Owner? 176
Product Owner Combined with Other Roles 181
Product Owner Team 182
Chapter 10: ScrumMaster 185
Principal Responsibilities 185
A Day in the Life 190
Fulfilling the Role 191
Chapter 11: Development Team 195
Role-Specific Teams 195
Principal Responsibilities 196
Chapter 12: Scrum Team Structures 213
Feature Teams versus Component Teams 213
Multiple-Team Coordination 218
Chapter 13: Managers 225
Fashioning Teams 227
Nurturing Teams 231
Aligning and Adapting the Environment 233
Managing Value-Creation Flow 235
Project Managers 237
Part III: Planning 245
Chapter 14: Scrum Planning Principles 247
Don’t Assume We Can Get the Plans Right Up Front 248
Up-Front Planning Should Be Helpful without Being Excessive 248
Keep Planning Options Open Until the Last Responsible Moment 249
Focus More on Adapting and Replanning Than on Conforming to a Plan 249
Correctly Manage the Planning Inventory 251
Favor Smaller and More Frequent Releases 252
Plan to Learn Fast and Pivot When Necessary 254
Chapter 15: Multilevel Planning 257
Portfolio Planning 259
Product Planning (Envisioning) 259
Release Planning 261
Sprint Planning 264
Daily Planning 264
Chapter 16: Portfolio Planning 267
Scheduling Strategies 270
Inflow Strategies 275
Outflow Strategies 280
In-Process Strategies 283
Chapter 17: Envisioning (Product Planning) 287
SR4U Example 290
High-Level Product Backlog Creation 294
Product Roadmap Definition 295
Other Activities 298
Economically Sensible Envisioning 299
Chapter 18: Release Planning (Longer-Term Planning) 307
Release Constraints 311
Grooming the Product Backlog 315
Refine Minimum Releasable Features (MRFs) 316
Sprint Mapping (PBI Slotting) 316
Fixed-Date Release Planning 318
Fixed-Scope Release Planning 323
Calculating Cost 325
Part IV: Sprinting 333
Chapter 19: Sprint Planning 335
Approaches to Sprint Planning 338
Determining Capacity 340
Selecting Product Backlog Items 343
Acquiring Confidence 344
Refine the Sprint Goal 346
Finalize the Commitment 346
Chapter 20: Sprint Execution 347
Sprint Execution Planning 349
Flow Management 349
Daily Scrum 354
Task Performance—Technical Practices 355
Chapter 21: Sprint Review 363
Sprint Review Issues 372
Chapter 22: Sprint Retrospective 375
Follow Through 391
Sprint Retrospective Issues 392
Chapter 23: The Path Forward 395
There Is No End State 395
Discover Your Own Path 396
Sharing Best Practices 396
Using Scrum to Discover the Path Forward 397
Get Going! 398