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The new 2020 Scrum guide - Are Scrum events actually mandatory, I'm thinking not.

Last post 05:25 pm July 15, 2022 by Simon Pittaway
5 replies
09:04 am July 15, 2022

According to the new Scrum guide: 

Scrum Events

The Sprint is a container for all other events. Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts. These events are specifically designed to enable the transparency required. Failure to operate any events as prescribed results in lost opportunities to inspect and adapt. Events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum.

Optimally, all events are held at the same time and place to reduce complexity.

After reading the guide fully I did a word search on the word "mandatory" and it doesnt show up once.

I think that the authors are making it really clear in the above statement that every event is super important for the inspection and adapt opportunity, and you would be foolish if you missed any events out because you are losing that opportunity, but what does "formal" mean and what are Jeff and Ken really saying here? formal = mandatory? Please help.

The reason I asked is that I have been assisting a friend who wants to be a Scrum Master, and today we looked at the Open assessment and feedback from each question.

A score of 100% was gained but the feedback on point 1 from question 3 got my interest.

09:07 am July 15, 2022

The point said that each event is mandatory and each event has a specific purpose.

03:11 pm July 15, 2022

This is the End Note in the Scrum Guide.

Scrum is free and offered in this Guide. The Scrum framework, as outlined herein, is immutable. While implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum. Scrum exists only in its entirety and functions well as a container for other techniques, methodologies, and practices.

You do not have to use the events described in the Guide but the result will not be Scrum.  That is because you will be missing out on the opportunities for inspection and adaptation that is described. 

The question you are referring to is correct. The events are mandatory if you want to follow the Scrum framework and each event has a specific purpose. Just as having a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers is mandatory.  Just as having a Product Backlog, Product Goal, Sprint Backlog, Sprint Goal, Definition of Done, etc is mandatory.  But using User Stories, Story Points, Burndown Charts are not mandatory.

04:03 pm July 15, 2022

what does "formal" mean

Each Scrum Event is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something, meaning it is not necessarily the only opportunity. Anything can be inspected and adapted at any time. Bear in mind that the best way to inspect and adapt in lean and agile practice is as closely as possible to the time and place of work being carried out.

04:26 pm July 15, 2022

The Scrum Guide certainly does say that Scrum is 'immutable'.

The framework must be done in it's entirety, or else what you're doing isn't scrum.

Avoid Scrumbut

When you do Scrum, but you skip the events, it's often jokingly referred to as Scrumbut. 

Avoid Scrumbut at all costs.


avoid scrumbut

05:25 pm July 15, 2022

Thanks all for your replies.

So Im going with all the events are actually mandatory for it to be called Scrum.

I think it would be more helpful if that line was added to the next amendment so it's easier for people to understand and there is no ambiguity.

Im sure if more people were sure themselves, there would be a lot more replies on this post.

I find it interesting that Scrum lite is allowed to have Scrum in the name when they don't actually take every opportunity to inspect and adapt.

I suppose that's a different post altogether.


Thanks again all.



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