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Adjust variables for your Scrum

July 30, 2018

Dear friends, I want to share an unusual view of Scrum with you. Perhaps you've never thought about such a point of view before. I hope it will be useful.

Rules of the "Scrum Guide" can not be changed

Scrum Guide is the only source of knowledge on Scrum. A few years ago, Scrum Alliance and released a joined statement which confirmed this fact. Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland are the co-creators of Scrum.

Let's repeat the key points of Scrum Guide:

  1. Scrum (n) A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

  2. Scrum is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques.

  3. Each component within the framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to Scrum’s success and usage.

  4. Scrum’s roles, events, artifacts, and rules are immutable and although implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum.

Scrum can not be changed, all the elements are compulsory. Within Scrum, you can use a variety of processes and techniques.

You can still customize Scrum

Currently, several million teams around the world use Scrum. Each Team works in its own context. Scrum is very flexible, it contains variables that you can adjust for yourself in order to extract the maximum value from the framework.

I will use a metaphor to show the flexible variables of Scrum. Imagine that you are a sound producer. You come to the studio for work and see a new equipment named "Scrum". The technical staff warn you "Do not break it. This thing is very powerful, just use the proper settings". Indeed there are a lot of buttons, equalizers and sliders, you  look at them.

The first slider is "Uses of Scrum":

Next is "The number of Scrum Teams":

You can set up the size of Development Team:

And choose the type of the Development Team:


Specify the physical location of the Scrum Team:


Determine the Scrum Master mode:

You can set up the way the Product Owner manages Product Backlog(PBL):

You can also adjust the Sprint length:

We can choose the tool for inspecting a progress towards the goal:

If you look at the "Sprint Goal" tumbler, you notice two modes:

The last slider is called "Daily Scrum questions". Here are the options you can choose from:

Scrum is a framework with variables you can configure for your own context

For instance, I have recently been working with a product group for which I’ve set up Scrum in the following way:

  • Software Development

  • Five Development Teams

  • Feature Teams

  • Co-located teams

  • Two week Sprints

  • PBI ordering is up to the Product Owner. Clarification is up to the Development Teams

  • Using Kanban Boards for inspecting progress towards the Sprint Goal

  • Custom questions for the Daily Scrum (in Kanban style from right to left)

I hope this metaphor was useful for you. How do you set up Scrum for your context? Can you share some of your settings?


Scrum ON!


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