Practice what you preach - How Scrum is continuously evolving

What does the new Scrum Guide say about the future of Scrum?

Scrum is probably the most prominent framework in the agile context. Scrum is used in a wide variety of ways, and is practised in many different ways. The common foundation is the Scrum Guide, which was published in the 1990s by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. An agile foundation, mind you, because in line with the principle of "inspect and adapt", the Scrum Guide is also constantly being adapted on the basis of new experiences - most recently a few weeks ago. Where is Scrum heading?

A look back at the last ten years of Scrum

3rd edition (2013): Goal-orientation in meetings

At its core, Scrum is about results and progress. In the early years of Scrum, however, it became apparent that meetings - especially the daily meeting - were increasingly being used for status reports. The guiding questions of the daily Scrum meeting were promptly changed in the second adaptation of the Scrum Guide. The focus is shifted more towards achieving the common sprint goal.

4th edition (2016): Agile as a mindset

In the emerging discussion about "doing agile" vs. "being agile", the founders make it clear that they do not see Scrum as a pure method. The values of commitment, focus, courage, openness and respect, which are still fundamental today, are introduced and linked to the pillars of Scrum. Scrum can only really work if the Scrum team lives and shares these values. In our perception, many companies nevertheless continue to regard Scrum as "doing agile", which is then supplemented by further initiatives to "being agile".

6th edition (2020): Away from "How does it work?", towards "What is it about?"

At first glance, it is noticeable that the Scrum Guide is now even less prescriptive. Among other things, the key questions of the Daily Scrum mentioned above have been removed. This brings Scrum one step closer to its own claim of being a lightweight framework, away from a comprehensive set of rules. The aim is to only specify what is absolutely necessary for Scrum to work. This includes, for example, the (newly added) Product Goal, which is intended to serve as a long-term goal for the Scrum team. Here, Scrum creates compatibility with the increasingly widespread Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a clear fixed star that serves as orientation and is worked towards. Another exciting change is that the role of the Scrum Master has been emphasised. While they were previously referred to as the servant leader of the Scrum team and in many places were seen more as primus inter pares, the Scrum Guide now refers to them as the true leaderand gives them real accountability for the team's performance. This is particularly exciting for organisations that are undergoing major agile transformations and are looking for a suitable framework for scaling Scrum. Suddenly, a structure appears conceivable in which the Scrum Master de facto (and later perhaps also in the organisation chart) takes over the disciplinary leadership of the team members. This would mean that, in addition to her:him and the:product owner (for content management), there would not necessarily be a need for another person focussing exclusively on disciplinary management. We are curious to see where this will lead.

What does this mean for the application?

Scrum wouldn't be agile if it wasn't constantly evolving. The changes make it even more accessible and easier to adapt. However, when transferring Scrum to industries far removed from software, the spirit of the method must continue to be translated correctly and must not fall victim to a hasty adaptation of roles or meetings to the familiar day-to-day business.

We are happy to support you!

We hope that our perspective on Scrum development has given you some interesting ideas for your challenges. We would be happy to support you in successfully introducing Scrum in your company or improving its application. Please contact our expert Lucas Brosi. We look forward to working with you to develop a solution for your specific concerns.

Lucas Brosi
Lucas Brosi
Associate Principal

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