Have You Read the Scrum Guide?

(I originally posted this article at work for my colleagues.)

Many of us are now working on Scrum teams, some starting recently and some for many months and more. Some of us have joined already existing, well-functioning Scrum teams. Some of us are founding members of teams that are trying to figure it out as we go along. For some of us it’s been a welcome opportunity. For others it’s been a mandated affair that’s been a bit of a bumpy ride.

So, I ask the question: Have you read the Scrum Guide?

Let me be honest about my own experience. I’m betting I am not alone in this. I have been part of a highly functioning Scrum team for 18 months. However, if you would have asked me not long ago whether I had read the Scrum Guide, I would have responded, “What Scrum Guide?” (I’ve been surveying some of my colleagues. “What Scrum Guide?” is the top response so far.)

I am talking about “The Scrum Guide: The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game” by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, the creators of Scrum. The guide is available here: This guide contains the basics. It’s bare bones and straight forward. It lays out topics such as “Scrum Theory” and “Scrum Values.” It defines the members of a Scrum team, Scrum events, and Scrum artifacts.

If you are on a Scrum team, you will probably agree with this from the Guide:

Scrum is:

• Lightweight
• Simple to understand
• Difficult to master

I find that last point to be especially true. The concepts are simple to understand. They sound good and get me motivated. But when it comes time to apply the theory to real-life work during a two-week sprint, things sometimes get rough.

There are plenty of books on Scrum that are helpful for real-life applications. There is a wealth of information online. There are many podcasts. One will not want for material on Scrum to fill all one’s free time. But it’s good to get back to the basics with the Scrum Guide, or, for many of us, to read the basics for the first time.

Please tell me, have you read the Scrum Guide? I would love to hear about the Scrum experience of others. Drop me a line.

2 thoughts on “Have You Read the Scrum Guide?”

  1. Sam. I have been working in Agile and Scrum for a few years. I am currently the Scrum Master/Squad leaf for two teams. Let me know if you want to talk about it.

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