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Essential Scrum


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Table of Contents

List of Figures xxv Foreword by Mike Cohn xxxi Foreword by Ron Jeffries xxxiii Preface xxxv Acknowledgments xxxix About the Author xliii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 What Is Scrum? 1 Scrum Origins 3 Why Scrum? 4 Genomica Results 4 Can Scrum Help You? 5 Closing 10 Part I: Core Concepts 11 Chapter 2: Scrum Framework 13 Overview 13 Scrum Roles 14 Scrum Activities and Artifacts 16 Closing 28 Chapter 3: Agile Principles 29 Overview 29 Variability and Uncertainty 32 Prediction and Adaptation 37 Just-in-Time Work 43 Validated Learning 44 Work in Process (WIP) 48 Progress 54 Performance 56 Closing 58 Chapter 4: Sprints 61 Overview 61 Timeboxed 62 Short Duration 64 Consistent Duration 67 No Goal-Altering Changes 69 Definition of Done 74 Closing 78 Chapter 5: Requirements and User Stories 79 Overview 79 Using Conversations 81 Progressive Refinement 82 What Are User Stories? 83 Level of Detail 86 INVEST in Good Stories 88 Nonfunctional Requirements 93 Knowledge-Acquisition Stories 93 Gathering Stories 95 Closing 98 Chapter 6: Product Backlog 99 Overview 99 Product Backlog Items 100 Good Product Backlog Characteristics 101 Grooming 104 Definition of Ready 108 Flow Management 110 Which and How Many Product Backlogs? 112 Closing 118 Chapter 7: Estimation and Velocity 119 Overview 119 What and When We Estimate 120 PBI Estimation Concepts 123 PBI Estimation Units 128 Planning Poker 129 What Is Velocity? 133 Calculate a Velocity Range 134 Forecasting Velocity 135 Affecting Velocity 135 Misusing Velocity 137 Closing 138 Chapter 8: Technical Debt 139 Overview 139 Consequences of Technical Debt 141 Causes of Technical Debt 144 Technical Debt Must Be Managed 148 Managing the Accrual of Technical Debt 149 Making Technical Debt Visible 153 Servicing the Technical Debt 155 Closing 162 Part II: Roles 163 Chapter 9: Product Owner 165 Overview 165 Principal Responsibilities 166 Characteristics/Skills 171 A Day in the Life 174 Who Should Be a Product Owner? 176 Product Owner Combined with Other Roles 181 Product Owner Team 182 Closing 184 Chapter 10: ScrumMaster 185 Overview 185 Principal Responsibilities 185 Characteristics/Skills 188 A Day in the Life 190 Fulfilling the Role 191 Closing 193 Chapter 11: Development Team 195 Overview 195 Role-Specific Teams 195 Principal Responsibilities 196 Characteristics/Skills 198 Closing 211 Chapter 12: Scrum Team Structures 213 Overview 213 Feature Teams versus Component Teams 213 Multiple-Team Coordination 218 Closing 223 Chapter 13: Managers 225 Overview 225 Fashioning Teams 227 Nurturing Teams 231 Aligning and Adapting the Environment 233 Managing Value-Creation Flow 235 Project Managers 237 Closing 243 Part III: Planning 245 Chapter 14: Scrum Planning Principles 247 Overview 247 Don't Assume We Can Get the Plans Right Up Front 248 Up-Front Planning Should Be Helpful without Being Excessive 248 Keep Planning Options Open Until the Last Responsible Moment 249 Focus More on Adapting and Replanning Than on Conforming to a Plan 249 Correctly Manage the Planning Inventory 251 Favor Smaller and More Frequent Releases 252 Plan to Learn Fast and Pivot When Necessary 254 Closing 255 Chapter 15: Multilevel Planning 257 Overview 257 Portfolio Planning 259 Product Planning (Envisioning) 259 Release Planning 261 Sprint Planning 264 Daily Planning 264 Closing 265 Chapter 16: Portfolio Planning 267 Overview 267 Scheduling Strategies 270 Inflow Strategies 275 Outflow Strategies 280 In-Process Strategies 283 Closing 285 Chapter 17: Envisioning (Product Planning) 287 Overview 287 SR4U Example 290 Visioning 291 High-Level Product Backlog Creation 294 Product Roadmap Definition 295 Other Activities 298 Economically Sensible Envisioning 299 Closing 306 Chapter 18: Release Planning (Longer-Term Planning) 307 Overview 307 Release Constraints 311 Grooming the Product Backlog 315 Refine Minimum Releasable Features (MRFs) 316 Sprint Mapping (PBI Slotting) 316 Fixed-Date Release Planning 318 Fixed-Scope Release Planning 323 Calculating Cost 325 Communicating 326 Closing 330 Part IV: Sprinting 333 Chapter 19: Sprint Planning 335 Overview 335 Approaches to Sprint Planning 338 Determining Capacity 340 Selecting Product Backlog Items 343 Acquiring Confidence 344 Refine the Sprint Goal 346 Finalize the Commitment 346 Closing 346 Chapter 20: Sprint Execution 347 Overview 347 Sprint Execution Planning 349 Flow Management 349 Daily Scrum 354 Task Performance-Technical Practices 355 Communicating 356 Closing 360 Chapter 21: Sprint Review 363 Overview 363 Participants 364 Prework 365 Approach 368 Sprint Review Issues 372 Closing 373 Chapter 22: Sprint Retrospective 375 Overview 375 Participants 377 Prework 378 Approach 380 Follow Through 391 Sprint Retrospective Issues 392 Closing 393 Chapter 23: The Path Forward 395 There Is No End State 395 Discover Your Own Path 396 Sharing Best Practices 396 Using Scrum to Discover the Path Forward 397 Get Going! 398 Glossary 401 References 423 Index 427

About the Author

Kenneth S. Rubin provides Scrum and Agile training and coaching to help companies develop products more effectively and economically. A Certified Scrum Trainer, he has trained more than eighteen thousand people on Agile and Scrum, Smalltalk development, managing object-oriented projects, and transition management. He has coached hundreds of companies, ranging from startups to the Fortune 10. Rubin was the first Managing Director of the worldwide Scrum Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on successful Scrum adoption. His diverse development roles have included successful stints as Scrum product owner, ScrumMaster, and developer. Rubin's executive management roles have included CEO, COO, VP of Engineering, VP of Product Management, and VP of Professional Services. He is the author of Succeeding with Objects (Addison-Wesley, 1995).


"Agile coaches, you're gonna be happy with this book. Kenny Rubin has created an indispensable resource for us. Do you have a manager that just doesn't `get it'? Hand them this book and ask them to flip to Chapter 3 for a complete explanation of how Scrum is less risky than plan-driven management. It's written just for them-in management-speak. Want to help the team come to a common understanding of Scrum? The visual icon language used throughout this book will help you help them. These are just two ways this book can aid you to coach Scrum teams. Use it well."
-Lyssa Adkins, Coach of Agile Coaches, Agile Coaching Institute; author, Coaching Agile Teams "One of the best, most comprehensive descriptions of the core Scrum framework out there! Essential Scrum is for anyone-new to or experienced with Scrum-who's interested in the most important aspects of the process. Kenny does an excellent job of distilling the key tenets of the Scrum framework into a simple format with compelling visuals. As a Scrum coach for many teams, I continually reference the material for new ways to help teams that are learning and practicing the framework. I've seen Scrum continually misinterpreted and poorly implemented by big companies and tool vendors for more than ten years. Reading this book will help you get back to the basics and focus on what's important."
-Joe Balistrieri, Process Development Manager, Rockwell Automation "Corporate IT leadership, which has been slow to embrace agile methods, would benefit immensely from giving a copy of this book to all of their project and delivery managers. Kenny Rubin has laid out in this book all the pragmatic business case and process materials needed for any corporate IT shop to successfully implement Scrum."
-John F. Bauer III, veteran of technical solution delivery in large corporate IT shops "Kenny's extensive experience as a consultant, trainer, and past managing director of the Scrum Alliance is evident in this book. Along with providing the basics and introduction to Scrum, this book addresses the questions of masses-what happens to project managers? Essential Scrum helps us understand the big picture and guides how organization leaders can support and be involved with their Scrum teams for successful agile transformations."
-Sameer S. Bendre CSM, PMP, Senior Consultant, 3i Infotech Inc. "If you're new to agile development or to Scrum, this book will give you a flying start. The examples and descriptions are clear and vivid, and you'll often find yourself asking a question just before the book addresses that very topic."
-Johannes Brodwall, Principal Solution Architect, Steria Norway "Kenny's well-structured explanations have a clarity to them that echoes the sensibilities of Smalltalk-the development environment with which he worked for years and from which both Scrum and Extreme Programming were born. This book pulls together a thorough set of agile management principles that really hit the mark and will no doubt guide you toward a more effective agile approach."
-Rowan Bunning, Founder, Scrum WithStyle "There are lots of books on Scrum these days, but this book takes a new angle, a reality check for software practitioners. Kenny uses real-world examples and clear illustrations to show what makes a solid foundation for successful agile development. Readers will understand the value of building quality in, and the reality that we can't get everything right up front; we must work incrementally and learn as we go. It might have `Scrum' in the title, but the book leverages effective practices from the larger agile universe to help managers and their teams succeed."
-Lisa Crispin, coauthor, Agile Testing "Kenny Rubin managed to write the book that I want everyone associated with Scrum development to read! He covers everything you'll need to know about Scrum and more!"
-Martine Devos, European Scrum Pioneer and Certified Scrum Trainer "I've reviewed a number of agile books in the past few years, so the question of `Do we really need another one?' always comes to my mind. In the case of Kenny's book, I very much believe the answer is `yes.' Getting the benefit of different, experienced perspectives on commonly encountered and needed material is valuable. Kenny has one of those valuable perspectives. One unique aspect of the book is an interesting `iconography'-a new icon language for Scrum and agile that Kenny has created. I believe you'll find value-added material in this book to expand your ideas for how Scrum can be applied."
-Scott Duncan, Agile/Scrum coach and trainer "Anyone who has had Scrum training or has been part of a Scrum team will find Essential Scrum to be a great follow-up read. It dives into the details of how to become more agile through implementing Scrum processes, and it explains exactly how to break down complex projects into manageable initiatives (or `sprints'). Kenny Rubin provides a wealth of relevant case studies on what worked-or what didn't-in a variety of organizations. The simple layout and businesslike graphics make it easy to scan quickly and find specific topics. Any organization that is seeking to evolve from a traditional waterfall approach toward a more agile methodology will find Essential Scrum a definitive guidebook for the journey."
-Julia Frazier, product manager "Developing software is hard. Adopting a new way of working while in a project is even harder. This book offers a bypass of many of the pitfalls and will accelerate a team's ability to produce business value and become successful with Scrum. I wish I had this kind of book when I started using Scrum."
-Geir Hedemark, Development Manager, Basefarm AS "I am convinced that Essential Scrum will become the foundation reference for the next generation of Scrum practitioners. Not only is it the most comprehensive introduction to Scrum in publication today, but it is also extremely well written and easy on the eye with its fantastic new visual Scrum language. If that isn't enough, Kenny shares a range of his valuable personal insights and experiences that we can all certainly learn from."
-Ilan Goldstein, Agile Solutions Manager, Reed Elsevier "Scrum is elegantly simple, yet deceptively complex. In Essential Scrum, Kenny Rubin provides us with a step-by-step guide to those complexities while retaining the essential simplicity. Real-world experiences coupled with enlightening illustrations make Scrum come to life. For senior managers and team members alike, this is a must-read book if you are starting or considering whether to implement Scrum in your organization. This will certainly be a book recommended to my students."
-John Hebley, Hebley & Associates "Kenny unpacks a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in Essential Scrum, providing valuable and comprehensive insights to the practical application of agile/Scrum. Whether you're new to agile or are looking to reach a greater maturity of continuous improvement in your organization, this is a definitive handbook for your toolbox."
-David Luzquinos, Head of Agile Enablement, Agile Coach, Betfair "Kenny Rubin continues to provide clarity and insight into adopting agile in a pragmatic way. In one hand he holds the formal or ideal Scrum definition and in the other, the pragmatic application of it. He brings the wisdom of his workshops and years of experience to the table, and now for you to read in his latest book. If you are about to start out on your agile adoption journey or are seeking guidance midcourse, grab a copy."
-Cuan Mulligan, freelance coactive Agile coach "A decade after publication of the first Scrum books, it is time to combine the essential aspects of the Scrum framework with the practical experiences and approaches of the last ten years. Kenny Rubin does so in a satisfying and nondogmatic way. The reader gets a pragmatic look at Scrum and learns when and how to best apply Scrum to achieve business benefits."
-Yves Stalgies, PhD, Director IT, "Adoption of Scrum is most successful when everyone involved-even peripherally-with product development has a good understanding of the fundamentals. Essential Scrum provides an ideal overview of both the big picture and the details in an accessible style. It is sure to become a standard reference."
-Kevin Tureski, Principal, Kevin Tureski Consulting

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