Ken Schwaber and Dr. Jeff Sutherland Update the Scrum Guide on the 25th Anniversary of the Scrum Framework
New updates include simplified language, less prescriptive and emphasis on the Scrum Team and its need to be self-managing
Boston – November 18, 2020 – Scrum.org, the Home of Scrum, and Scrum Inc., the world’s premier Scrum training and consulting provider, today announced that Scrum co-creators Ken Schwaber and Dr. Jeff Sutherland have released the latest iteration of the Scrum Guide, the definitive guide to the Scrum Framework, as we celebrate Scrum’s 25th anniversary. These changes were made with input from the community of Scrum users around the globe. Having started in the software development industry, Scrum is now being widely used across many domains, industries and organizations. This updated version helps bring Scrum to all industries and organizations. The 2020 Scrum Guide also includes updates to several major elements of the Scrum framework.
Scrum is inspired by the work of Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in “The New New Product Development Game” from 1986 and was later adapted 25 years ago via a presentation at the OOPSLA ‘95 conference. A paper written by Schwaber and Sutherland titled, The Scrum Development Process was then released based on this presentation. Scrum has been updated over the years starting with the first Scrum Guide release in 2009, but its foundation on empirical process and Lean principles has remained the same.
“Over the years, the Scrum Guide started getting a bit more prescriptive, yet our goal has always been to retain it as a framework and not a methodology. The 2020 version aims to bring Scrum back to its roots, being a minimally sufficient framework,” said Schwaber. “We have also placed an emphasis on eliminating redundant and complex language and focusing on the Team which is required to build trust and uphold the Scrum Values.”
“While this version has significant changes, it’s important to remember that Scrum is still Scrum and there is only one Scrum,” said Sutherland. “It is exciting to have witnessed the evolution of how Scrum has been used over the past 25 years. Although the usage of Scrum has grown well beyond software, the key pillars of Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation remain.”
The 2020 version brings together everyone as one team - the Scrum Team. This change eliminates the concept of a separate team within a team. Previous versions had the Development Team within the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team is focused on the same objective, with three different sets of accountabilities: Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers.
“Previous Scrum Guide versions referred to Development Teams as self-organizing, choosing who and how to do work,” said JJ Sutherland, CEO, Scrum Inc. “With more of a focus on the Scrum Team as a whole, the 2020 version emphasizes a self-managing Scrum Team, choosing who, how, and what to work on sharing responsibilities across the entire Scrum Team.”
Other updates include the introduction of the concept of a Product Goal to provide focus for the Scrum Team toward a larger valuable objective. Each Sprint should bring the product closer to the overall Product Goal and likely will evolve as the Scrum Team(s) learn over time.
“The Scrum Team can continue their short-term focus with the Sprint Goal and now also maintain a vision on the overall end state with the Product Goal,” said Dave West, CEO Scrum.org. “Each of the artifacts now contain ‘commitments’ to them. For the Product Backlog, it is the Product Goal, the Sprint Backlog has the Sprint Goal, and the Increment has the Definition of Done. They exist to bring transparency, alignment and focus.”
Updates to the Scrum Guide are made at the discretion of Schwaber and Sutherland. They do so based on their experiences and feedback from the broad community of Scrum users who are implementing these practices every day.
There is a special event being held today celebrating the launch of the 2020 Scrum Guide along with the 25th anniversary of Schwaber and Sutherland’s first presentation of Scrum at OOPSLA ‘95. It is featuring talks about the changes and time to reminisce over the history of Scrum. The event includes appearances by Schwaber and Sutherland as well as others to help provide insights into the changes that have come in this release. This event will be recorded and made available to the public via the Scrum.org and Scrum Inc. websites and social media channels.
Based on the principles of Scrum, Scrum.org, the Home of Scrum, provides comprehensive training, resources, assessments and certifications to help people and teams solve complex problems. Throughout the world, our solutions and community of more than 340 Professional Scrum Trainers teach the same content empowering people and organizations to achieve agility through Scrum. Ken Schwaber, the co-creator of Scrum, founded Scrum.org in 2009 as a global organization, dedicating himself to improving professionalism.
About Scrum Inc.
Scrum Inc. is the global authority on Scrum, the most widely used Agile framework. We were founded by Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, creator of Scrum@Scale, and co-signer of the Agile Manifesto. From Fortune 100 companies to non-profits and start-ups, Scrum Inc. successfully partners with organizations to drive results, deliver value, and improve the way work gets done.
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