From Bad Scrum to True Scrum book

From Bad Scrum
to True Scrum eBook

If you are practicing Scrum but not seeing desired results, this book is for you.

This book provides crucial True Scrum knowledge that yields immediate results!

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True Scrum
is Good Scrum

True Scrum is the original Scrum invented by Dr. Jeff Sutherland in 1993 to deliver real business value. There are three essentials in Scrum that have contributed to the effectiveness of the entire framework.

Dr Jeff Sutherland, inventor of Scrum


With Lean, your team can work on things that matter and produce high-quality products that customers love, in less time.


Research shows that happier people are more productive. True Scrum uses hyper-productive patterns to build truly effective Scrum teams.

Linear Scalability

Achieve linear scalability without losing productivity per team and introducing extra overheads and wastes into the system.

Level up your Agile Transformation.

Beautifully written with an all-new perspective. New narration to the original knowledge by the inventor of Scrum.

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Improve Projects

Tips to prevent project delays and cost overruns.

Improve Teams

Tips to align difficult managers with Scrum.

Improve Products

Tips to deliver products that customers want.
Scrum team meeting
Discover True Scrum

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Better Scrum system. Greater results.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

Focus on Process Over Outcomes
Teams often become too focused on following Scrum processes and rituals (such as daily stand-ups and sprint reviews) without understanding their purpose. This can lead to performing these activities mechanically without driving towards tangible business outcomes​.
Modification Without Understanding
Practitioners frequently modify Scrum practices without fully understanding them. This can dilute the effectiveness of Scrum. As Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, notes, modifying Scrum is acceptable only if it leads to better results, not worse.
Lack of Lean Principles
True Scrum integrates Lean principles to minimize waste and focus on delivering value. Many teams neglect this aspect, leading to inefficiencies and lower productivity​.
Poor Team Collaboration
Effective Scrum requires strong collaboration and communication within the team. When team members work in silos or fail to engage in meaningful dialogue, the benefits of Scrum are undermined.
Ignoring Hyper-Productivity
True Scrum aims to create hyper-productive teams. This involves optimizing work processes and focusing on continuous improvement. Teams that do not strive for hyper-productivity often fail to achieve the significant performance gains that Scrum can offer.
Misalignment with Business Goals
Teams that do not align their work with the broader business goals tend to deliver outputs that do not contribute significantly to the company's success. True Scrum requires a clear understanding of how team efforts impact overall business objectives​.

Adherence to Core Scrum Principles
True Scrum rigorously follows the foundational principles and roles defined by the original Scrum framework developed by Dr. Jeff Sutherland. This includes proper implementation of Scrum roles (Scrum Master, Product Owner, Development Team), events (Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective), and artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Increment).
Focus on Business Value
True Scrum emphasizes delivering real business value with each iteration. This involves prioritizing features and work that have the highest impact on business objectives and customer satisfaction, ensuring that the Scrum team is always working on the most valuable tasks.
Lean Practices and Hyper-Productivity
True Scrum incorporates lean practices to eliminate waste and maximize productivity. This means focusing on high-efficiency workflows and fostering a hyper-productive environment where teams can deliver high-quality products quickly. Research indicates that happier teams are more productive, and True Scrum leverages this by creating supportive and motivating work environments.
Transparency and Continuous Improvement
True Scrum maintains high levels of transparency, ensuring that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the project's progress and challenges. This transparency supports continuous inspection and adaptation, allowing teams to make informed decisions and continuously improve their processes and products.
Scalability without Compromise
True Scrum can scale effectively without losing productivity. This involves maintaining the core principles of Scrum while scaling to larger teams or multiple teams working on the same product. The emphasis is on achieving linear scalability, where the addition of teams does not lead to diminished returns or increased complexity.

Improved Team Collaboration
Teams quickly notice better communication and collaboration due to regular meetings and clear roles.
Faster Delivery of Value
By focusing on delivering small, incremental pieces of functionality, teams can release valuable features more quickly.
Enhanced Transparency
Daily stand-ups and sprint reviews increase visibility into the project’s progress, helping stakeholders and team members stay aligned.
Quick Feedback Cycles
Regular sprint reviews and retrospectives allow teams to get and incorporate feedback swiftly, leading to continuous improvement.
Increased Team Morale
Empowering teams to self-organize and make decisions boosts morale and job satisfaction.

Lean Principles and Tangible Outcomes
True Scrum emphasizes building a Lean system that focuses on delivering tangible results and achieving infinite scalability. This approach helps teams to optimize their work processes, reduce waste, and enhance productivity​.
Incremental and Iterative Work Cycles
Scrum advocates breaking down projects into smaller, manageable segments with short-term goals. This incremental approach allows for constant assessment and adaptation, leading to improvements in both speed and quality of work.
Role and Team Dynamics
Understanding the specific roles within a Scrum team, such as the Scrum Master and Product Owner, is crucial. True Scrum teams are designed to be hyper-productive by clearly defining responsibilities and fostering collaboration​.
Outcome-Driven Framework
True Scrum is described as an outcome-driven work management system that prioritizes work based on customer feedback and develops features incrementally. This ensures that teams remain flexible and can adapt quickly to changing business needs​.
Scalability with Scrum@Scale
For organizations looking to scale their Scrum practices, the book covers the Scrum@Scale framework. This helps in simplifying work structures, reducing bureaucracy, and enhancing decision-making processes at an enterprise level​.
Continuous Improvement
True Scrum integrates Lean theory and continuous improvement practices through regular Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives. This ongoing refinement process helps teams to enhance their workflow and productivity constantly​.

Understand the Principles of True Scrum
True Scrum emphasizes a Lean system focused on delivering tangible outcomes and achieving hyper-productivity. It requires teams to optimize their processes continually and eliminate inefficiencies to generate real results​.
Focus on Outcomes, Not Just Processes
One major shift is moving from a process-oriented approach to a results-oriented approach. True Scrum teams are driven by business outcomes and customer satisfaction, ensuring that every sprint delivers measurable value​.
Adopt Lean Practices
Integrate Lean principles into your Scrum practices. This means reducing waste, simplifying workflows, and focusing on value-adding activities. Lean practices help streamline operations and enhance team productivity.
Build Hyper-Productive Teams
True Scrum aims for hyper-productivity, where teams deliver significantly more value in less time. This involves continuous improvement, rigorous prioritization, and effective collaboration. Teams should aim to solve four main issues: adopting the agile mindset, creating effective teams, managing requirements efficiently, and running efficient production​.
Embrace Scrum@Scale if Needed
For larger organizations, consider adopting Scrum@Scale. This framework helps scale Scrum practices across the enterprise, maintaining alignment and efficiency while growing the implementation from a single team to multiple teams​.
Education and Training
Invest in training and resources to ensure all team members fully understand and can implement True Scrum principles. Resources like the "True Scrum Discovery Kit" and other courses on building and leading hyper-productive Scrum teams can be valuable​.
Continuous Improvement
Implement a culture of continuous improvement. Regularly review and adjust practices to ensure they are aligned with the core principles of True Scrum. Use retrospectives to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments.

Yes, "From Bad Scrum to True Scrum" does contain case studies that illustrate successful Scrum transformations. One notable example is the case of a division within a company that was experiencing significant delays in project delivery. Jeff Sutherland, one of the co-creators of Scrum, took charge of this division and implemented Scrum practices. He reported progress monthly, leading to a successful transformation and significant improvements in performance​.

Another example is the transformation at John Deere, where the implementation of Agile at scale through the Scrum@Scale framework led to substantial improvements in productivity and project outcomes. This case study highlights the practical application and benefits of scaling Agile practices effectively in a large organization​.

These case studies demonstrate the practical application of Scrum principles and the impact of effective Agile transformations in real-world settings.

According to the book, the indicators that a team is practicing Bad Scrum versus True Scrum revolve around adherence to core Scrum principles, effectiveness in delivering value, and team dynamics.

Indicators of Bad Scrum
  1. Lack of Defined Roles and Responsibilities: In Bad Scrum, the roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developers are often unclear or improperly executed, leading to confusion and inefficiencies.
  2. Incomplete or Poorly Defined Product Backlog: A backlog that is not refined or actionable diminishes the team's ability to plan and execute sprints effectively.
  3. Ignoring Scrum Events: Skipping or improperly conducting events like Daily Scrums, Sprint Planning, Sprint Reviews, and Retrospectives indicates a failure to adhere to the Scrum framework.
  4. Inadequate Definition of Done (DoD): A lack of clear criteria for what constitutes "done" can lead to incomplete or low-quality deliverables.
  5. Command and Control Leadership: Instead of facilitating self-management and team autonomy, the Scrum Master or management may adopt a directive approach, undermining team empowerment.
  6. Focus on Velocity over Value: Measuring success primarily by velocity (number of story points completed) rather than the actual value delivered to customers can lead to a misguided focus on quantity over quality.
  7. Lack of Adaptability: Teams that do not inspect and adapt based on feedback and retrospectives fail to improve and adjust their processes.
Indicators of True Scrum
  1. Clear Roles and Responsibilities: True Scrum teams have well-defined roles with the Product Owner focusing on maximizing product value, the Scrum Master facilitating the process, and Developers building the product.
  2. Maintained Product Backlog: The Product Backlog is regularly refined and prioritized to ensure that it is actionable and aligns with business goals.
  3. Effective Scrum Events: All Scrum events are conducted regularly and effectively, fostering communication, transparency, and continuous improvement.
  4. Comprehensive Definition of Done (DoD): The DoD is clearly defined and consistently applied, ensuring that all deliverables meet quality standards.
  5. Servant Leadership: The Scrum Master practices servant leadership, supporting the team in self-management and continuous learning.
  6. Focus on Value Delivery: Success is measured by the value delivered to customers, not just by velocity. Metrics such as sprint goal success, customer satisfaction, and ROI are prioritized.
  7. Continuous Improvement: The team actively inspects and adapts their processes through retrospectives and feedback, continually striving for better efficiency and effectiveness.

Education and Training
Scrum Masters need to educate their teams about the principles and values of True Scrum, emphasizing the importance of delivering real business value. They are responsible for ensuring that team members understand the framework deeply, not just at a superficial level​.
Facilitating Change
They act as change agents within the organization, helping to shift mindsets from "doing Scrum" mechanically to "being Scrum" by embodying its principles. This involves addressing and removing impediments that prevent the team from performing at its best and aligning with the True Scrum philosophy of continuous improvement and lean thinking​.
Promoting Collaboration and Communication
Effective Scrum Masters foster a culture of open communication and collaboration. They encourage team members to share their ideas and concerns, ensuring that everyone is working towards common goals. This collaborative environment is essential for achieving the hyper-productivity that True Scrum aims for​.
Ensuring Adherence to Scrum Practices
Scrum Masters must ensure that the team adheres to the core practices of Scrum, such as maintaining a consistent cadence of sprints, holding effective retrospectives, and ensuring transparency in progress. By doing so, they help the team avoid common pitfalls of Bad Scrum, such as lack of focus or improper implementation of Scrum ceremonies​.
Coaching and Mentoring
They provide ongoing coaching and mentoring to team members, helping them to develop their skills and understanding of Scrum. This support is crucial for enabling team members to take ownership of their processes and continuously improve​.

In "From Bad Scrum to True Scrum," the effectiveness of Scrum practices is measured through a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics that align with Scrum principles. The focus is on continuous improvement and meaningful metrics that foster team development and goal achievement. Here are some key methods and metrics:

  1. Sprint Velocity and Burndown Charts: These track the amount of work completed in each sprint and help in forecasting future performance and planning.
  2. Defect Density: This quality metric measures the number of defects per unit of work, providing insights into the quality of deliverables and helping teams to identify areas for improvement.
  3. Customer Satisfaction: Regular feedback from customers helps gauge how well the deliverables meet user needs and expectations, ensuring the product is on the right track.
  4. Team Happiness Index: This qualitative measure assesses the overall morale and satisfaction of the team members, which is crucial for maintaining a productive and collaborative working environment​.
  5. Cycle Time and Lead Time: These metrics evaluate the efficiency of the workflow by measuring the time taken from the start of a task to its completion and delivery​ .
  6. Retrospectives and Continuous Improvement: Regular retrospective meetings are vital for reflecting on what went well and what could be improved, promoting a culture of continuous learning and adaptation​.

By using these metrics, Scrum teams can effectively measure their performance, identify areas for improvement, and ensure they are aligned with the core principles of Scrum, thereby moving from "Bad Scrum" to "True Scrum."