ScrumStudy's SBOK

Last post 04:23 pm June 19, 2022
by Eric Naiburg
21 replies
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04:40 am June 13, 2014

This is kinda the day i feared most , when some cretin would try and step in and act like the PMI , and shove a ScrumBOK onto the Agile world. The SBOK , all 340 pages of it ... is such fundemental slap in the face to the entire premise of what agile is supposed to be, not to mention that its not authored by ANYONE involved in the Agile manifesto or the thought leaders and industry experts on Scrum.

Even the first few pages are enough to make your skin crawl , it looks more like a skinned version of Prince 2 with Scrum terms thrown in to make it look all pretty and agile, when it completely moves away from empiricism. I still say there is NO such thing as best practice in agile, much like kaizen you have to accept that no process is ever complete or ever perfect ... thus no "SBOK" can contain the values of agile ...

the Scrum Guide is brief , leaving much to your understanding and mental flexibility to envision the most rapid path to value the team can attain ...

Scrum On ... not Scrum Gone.

04:41 am June 13, 2014
03:09 pm June 13, 2014

The SBOK is a joke, and incredibly uncredible. Look to the Scrum Guide instead.

12:31 pm June 23, 2014

I prefer Scrum Guide

01:55 am October 16, 2015
09:22 am October 30, 2015

Thanks all for providing valuable feedback (especially Chris who started this thread). This was definitely a helpful post that saved my time.

In short, i am preparing for PSM1 certification. I am now passing consistently by 96.7 to 100% on open test on scrum.org. My next step was to find out more tests and read other material. So, I downloaded the book "SBOK". First, I was impressed by the size. But, I always had a question, whether i should read that or not as it was extended to around 20 times in page length from the original scrum guide by Ken. By looking at all the replies above, It is clear that I would avoid reading SBOK. And look for some other useful resources which do not abuse scrum concept.

02:28 pm October 30, 2015

Hi Garin,

Yes -- this information isn't new and still floating about.

The Scrum Guide, authored by Schwaber and Sutherland is what I recommend to Scrum enthusiasts.

@Prashant -- the link to the article you sent appears to move away from the original thread and is a bit dated. The author hasn't kept up with the changes.

@Jigish -- Yes, if you're considering the PSM, I would absorb the Scrum Guide. Good luck in your journey.

10:33 pm June 1, 2018

I have been digging through the SBOK, and just read the Scrum Guide at the recommendation of others in this thread...

The Scrum Guide seems like a much better introduction, it's easy to read and focuses on the minimum practices you need to get started doing Scrum. However, it leaves out a lot of detail on  the specific steps needed to run the process.

SBOK is huge, and difficult to read, but it is a fully fleshed out and complete system. It tells you not just the minimum required for Scrum to function, but gives you stepping off points for learning how to do each step.

12:51 am June 5, 2018

Hello everyone, I will present the PSM I exam, download SCRUMstudy-SBOK-Guide-3rd-edition, with 400 pages, with this I can cover the concepts of the exam? or is there another material that you recommend me?

12:51 pm June 5, 2018

@Ana, no, do you use the SBOK if you are taking the exam as it is not correct Scrum, not accepted by the creators of Scrum and breaks many of the rules of Scrum.  Use the Scrum Guide and recommended reading material on the certification page.  

@Erik, the Scrum Guide leaving out ways to run the "process" is intentional.  Scrum is a framework on which you build your process and not a methodology itself. It is intentionally non-descriptive because the process that works for one team won't work exactly the same for another.  Scrum is empirical and your process evolves as you learn and adapt.  If you are looking for such description, you lose the essence of Scrum and ability to evolve.

04:53 pm June 5, 2018

I have been digging through the SBOK, and just read the Scrum Guide at the recommendation of others in this thread...

The Scrum Guide seems like a much better introduction, it's easy to read and focuses on the minimum practices you need to get started doing Scrum. However, it leaves out a lot of detail on  the specific steps needed to run the process.

SBOK is huge, and difficult to read, but it is a fully fleshed out and complete system. It tells you not just the minimum required for Scrum to function, but gives you stepping off points for learning how to do each step.

All due respect Erik, Scrumstudy took the Framework of Scrum and made it into a Process/Methodology. Scrum is intended to be a framework free of specific rules and procedures that should/must be followed. Scrum can take different shapes between different teams because of the fundamental aspect of being an empirical process. If you take the SBOK with a very small grain of salt as just a bunch of suggestions, that would be fine; but taking the info and applying it because the book says to do so is not the best idea. 

Hello everyone, I will present the PSM I exam, download SCRUMstudy-SBOK-Guide-3rd-edition, with 400 pages, with this I can cover the concepts of the exam? or is there another material that you recommend me?

The PSM and SBOK are not at all related except they both of "Scrum" as a term used. Do not use the SBOK for prep for the PSM, use the Scrum Guide and the resources made available on scrum.org. If you use any other resource, it may help your understanding of Scrum in different scenarios but do not count on the content to be of any help for the PSM exam.

11:58 pm June 5, 2018

These BOK things do seem to be prescriptive, and have an underlying assumption that there is "one best way" of doing things, which your brain will be reconfigured to understand.

Since a fundamental aspect of Scrum is a gradual transformation from tacit to explicit knowledge (during Sprints and in developing the Product Backlog), throwing 300 pages of words at the scrum practitioner seems to be an ungood idea, since this kills the naturalness of the scrum approach upfront.

11:45 am June 6, 2018

I am not a huge fan of ScrumStudy. I have recently started trolling them a bit on LinkedIn. They have a dozen people who all share articles written by someone at ScrumStudy and they contain things that are just flat out wrong and have no place being defined by them or Scrum. So I started listing in response all the things that are wrong with it. 

01:04 pm September 5, 2018

Yep, ScrumStudy is a bogus organization. One of their representatives approached me yesterday and offered me to provide all the answers of the certification for 250 dollars (and a special discount of 50% for me, L.O.L)

11:35 am August 12, 2019

Hi. I had the opportunity to study and get the certification with ScrumStudy. I also had talks and introductions by coaches and people who had trainings from different providers. I also studied from the scrum guide and I had training. Honestly I see the two guides on different levels. SBOK looks like prescriptive at first sight however the criticism about it is simply unfair. The scrum guide is the essence of Scrum but SBOK is more, much more detailed. Iit is absolutely wrong that transforms the Scrum into a prescriptive or more prescriptive framework. in my opinion it means that who criticizes the SBOK doesn't know much about that book. I did 3 certifications study on that book and he explicitly states that only the Scrum principles are mandatory, aspects and processes can be used as needed. I would know where are the additional prescriptions. Another point, someone said that  SBOK makes Scrum prescriptive: actually Scrum is lightweight but has prescriptions. If you compare it to Kanban it is prescriptive, so what are we talking about?

I'm not paid by them, not at all but I would avoid political discussions about who is or not a better organization, it is non-sense. I love Scrum and also love Kanban and whatever is improvement.

Discuss, please, about content once you know the content otherwise is just political junk.

Respectfully,

Claudio.

 

08:39 pm August 12, 2019

Claudio,

There is nothing "lightweight" about a 340-page SBOK.   Especially when compared to the 19-page Scrum Guide (which includes introduction and acknowledgment sections!).

In my opinion, the SBOK is a process-heavy methodology that attempts to convert Scrum into something that can be memorized and adhered to very prescriptively.

Perhaps you should read this thread and follow/understand the discussions, instead of alleging that those who have posted here are simply unfamiliar with ScrumStudy's SBOK?

09:16 pm August 12, 2019

Hi Tymothy. 

Straight question : did you read the SBOK? I can personally talk about both books/guides. Personally I do not change the opinion cause I studied deeply the SBOK and the Scrum Guide. I really appreciate the effort pushed in SBOK creation. I can tell you that I found him redundant and maybe overdetailed. However I do not think that this is a problem. I do not think I misunderstood the thread, maybe you did not pay attention or maybe I could not explain properly the point. In my opinion most of the posts here express pure missing of knowledge of the product, that's it and is explicitly stated and clear. The SBOK does not prescribe and simply describes many aspects and or points that 19 pages cannot cover. Topics like the "needs level" or the understanding of prioritization techniques or approaches useful in conflict management. So, we can argue about how it is written but the content does not contradict scrum guide or Scrum principles. Did you read the comments? I do not blame scrum.org or Scrum alleance, I will follow the PO course in my area from scrum.org. So I'm free and I can choose what I want with no restrictions. If than you want argue about the SBOK do it, otherwise if the arguments are only "the book sucks and you do not understand/follow the thread"  looks like that there not much to say.

Respectfully. 

Claudio. 

11:07 pm August 12, 2019

I've started to read the SBOK on a few occasions. I'm active in a few communities around software engineering, project management, and agile software development and I don't see many references to it. I don't believe it's widely know by practitioners. Most practitioners rely on other sources for information. Since it's not widely known, it may be confusing to people to equate the contents of SBOK with any common reference for what is considered Scrum.

For the fun of it, I grabbed the latest version - it's up to 403 pages now. I skimmed over the introductory content. In the first page section of content, 1.1 Overview of Scrum, I see a number of factually wrong statements. I'm certain that if someone used this to prepare for Scrum.org's PSM exams, they would get questions wrong. I would suspect that you wouldn't fare well on a CSM exam, either, since my understanding is that it's also based very heavily on the Scrum Guide. Just skimming through a few more sections only yields more errors.

Now, I'm not going to flat out say that SBOK is bad - I haven't read enough of it to do so. Some of the suggestions may be good, or at least worth considering for some organizations. However, they go beyond the definition of Scrum - the definition of Scrum is based exclusively on the Scrum Guide. In some cases, the statements in SBOK contradict Scrum. Again, I'm not going to say that it's bad. However, I will say that it is not Scrum and this document won't help anyone prepare for a PSM or CSM course (or PSPO or CSPO or other certifications).

It appears that this document is a foundation for a series of training programs and certificates. I have yet to see a job description call out the ScrumStudy certification. I've seen the PSM / PSPO and CSM / CSPO certifications identified most often on job descriptions, plus requirements or desires for certifications around scaled frameworks (the biggest being SAFe). I am unconvinced of the value of these certifications as a method of enhancing a resume or CV. Since it's closely tied to this line of certifications and it's lack of alignment with the major Scrum certifications, I'm not sure how useful it is.

    At some point in time, I would like to dig deeper and dive into the issues with SBOK. They do say that they welcome corrections and comments - maybe some day, I'll annotate the PDF and send it back to them. If I do that, I'd probably end up posting a summary somewhere. But given the length of the document, it's probably not a "soon" thing.

    05:31 am August 13, 2019

    Hi Thomas, thank you for your post. Nice answer. 

    04:19 am November 7, 2019

    I just recently took the ScrumStudy exam. I did not like the SBOK so I studied the Scrum Guide and watched numerous training videos as reminders. The exam was fairly in-depth with most questions scenario based. I did find a few discrepancies between SBOK videos and The Guide, but for the most part I felt they were fairly consistent. Since I concentrated on The Guide and videos, I don’t feel I would have done as good as I did had there been that much discrepancy between the 2 organizations. Guess I need to take the Scrum.org exam and see what the difference is.  I only took this exam because it was a requirement for a position which ended up being a hoax to obtain personal information after going through fake interviews, pretending to represent a large corporation, and falsely using corporate employees names to interview. People do your homework and always ask for the company name and corporate representative that you can contact to verify the open position. Fake recruiters are using false phone numbers etc just to say, “ you got the job now fill out the employment papers.!”  

    05:20 am June 19, 2022

    Hi Everyone, I'm a Agile Consultant who has been practicing agility for almost 8 years now, and i'm bias once i'm a authorized trainer for ScrumStudy, but I would like to add a new perspective to this discussion. 

    In my opinion Scrum Guide and SBOK shouldn't even be compared, because they are different things, the guide focus on providing the bases of the framework, and it's incomplete on purpose. The SBOK ( Book of Knowledge ) focus on providing most of the knowledge you will need when practicing scrum, for those who have never seen or are looking for reference it's indeed a great start point. 

    The SBOK doesn't focus on a "preditive" approach whatsoever, the phases and the process are there just to help understand how the project lifecycle goes, the processes shouldn't be seen as "dependencies" but yet as a group of activities that you will perfom when working with scrum. Scrum was first defined as a "Software Development Process" so we shouldn't be so scare if any other organization try to explain scrum by it's processes. 

    Also there's a difference in societies such as the latin (mine) and Anglo-saxon (english/germans), the first ones are used to "code law" where everything should be written and defined, while the second one is more based on "common law" where the codes are made upon precedents and relation with historic decisions, so for the first type of societies a guide with such detail is really worth, mostly when doing the transition between predictive and agile. 

    Many companies here and in Asia (such as TATA or Reuters) were asking for the Scrum Master Certification of Scrum Study, and was one of the reasons I wanted to follow such path. On my opinion just the fact that Scrum Study is more accessible than PSM or CSM for countries in the BRICS, is already a great deal of value for the community. 

    I honestly believe that the discussion about the "number of pages" is totally unnecessary once you can't just read the Scrum Guide and go on applying scrum, you need help of the community and the extra material in order to do so, or at least do it right. There are differences from SBOK and materials from Scrum.org or Scrum.inc, but I don't see it as bad, for me it's nice to see different approaches and perspective on the framework, this just make the framework richer and more popular. 

    As I said, I'm bias but It really upsets me this kind of discussion, mostly because I trully believe that agility relies on collaboration, individuas and interactions, and all the time we start criticising others practicing agility we are a bit far of the state of management we want to build. State of agility report is build mostly from the communities from Scrum.ord and Scrum.study, and yet it shows that scrum is not practice as it should be in most of the organizations, we should learn from that and understand that different approachs are important for us to test different perspectives and learn from its outcome. 

    04:23 pm June 19, 2022

    @Raphael I don't agree for two major reasons.

    1. The SBOK ignores the main importance of Scrum, Empiricism.  It ignores the need to get feedback at least every 30 days and how important that is to being an empirical process.  As a matter of fact it discusses why longer cycles are ok which breaks everything that Ken and Jeff wrote about in their creation of Scrum and the Scrum Guide.
    2. Scrum is a process framework and not a methodology.  As such, the Team figures our what is best for them, not some book that describes step by step details.  That again breaks the empirical process. The Scrum Team needs just enough to get started and everything else are practices that work for the team, not prescriptive methodology.