14 Highlights of Scrum in Project Management from the 2020 Guide

14 Highlights of the 2020 Scrum Guide Update. Learn to use Scrum in project management.

On November 18, 2020, an updated version of the Scrum Guide was released. The occasion? To celebrate Scrum’s 25th birthday. The use of scrum in project management has enabled small teams to change the world of software development for a quarter of a century. Following are highlights of the 3 hour webinar.

Scrum is not the goal

Don McGreal: The goal is not to adopt scrum but to deliver value. 

Less prescriptive

Jeff Sutherland: The Scrum guide is now more concise. It’s less prescriptive and less software oriented. This is because Scrum is used in contexts beyond software development.

The Scrum guide is purposefully incomplete.

Scrum is built upon by the collective intelligence of the team.

The most challenging part of Scrum in project management

What’s most challenging is when you first start and have to interact with parts of the company that’s not using Scrum.

Executives need to prioritize

If executives have 5 top priorities then the person deciding on the strategy is the junior employee who decides what they will work on first.

Choose what not to do

What’s most important is removing other priorities so that there is only one priority during a sprint.

Deliver quality and value with the least amount of effort

Dave West shared this anecdote: Someone came up to me and said, “Do you know how hard I worked at NPR?”. My response, was, “How much does the client care?” They don’t. Clients don’t care how hard you work; they care about how much value you deliver. So you should focus on delivering the same quality and value with the least amount of effort.

Give the team the goal and tell them why

Otherwise the team will focus on maximizing velocity and delivering story points. This may end up deviating from the goal and not delivering value.

Inspect and adapt

Avi Schneier: Scrum is about continuously improving. To inspect and adapt. 

From servant leaders to leaders who serve

Scrum masters are now accountable to deliver value. This is to emphasize that they are leaders who serve. The word servant leadership was the biggest problem in scrum. Scrum masters lead by creating inspiration and taking hits for the team. This is so that teams can rise above the impossible. Scrum masters are also supposed to lead the organization, to be catalysts for organizational change. They have to deal with upper management as well as lead the team.

Changes to the daily scrum in project management

The 3 standup questions were made optional in 2017. Instead it could be replaced by, “Why isn’t the first story done?” and a follow-up, “How can we get most people working on it?” These types of questions enables swarming. Being less prescriptive gives the scrum master the ability to provide leadership and creativity at the daily scrum.

Commit to the sprint goal, not to velocity

We need the team to commit to the sprint goal instead of velocity. And the sprint goals need to align with the product goal.

Scrum and LEAN

For the first time, lean is mentioned in the Scrum guide. This is because back in 1968, scrum emerged out of lean hardware companies.

The Birth of Scrum in Project Management

People were working close together in tight groups like a rugby scrum. That was where the term scrum came from. Recently Toyota, a lean company, wanted to bring scrum training back. So in a sense scrum is returning to its roots in lean thinking.

Watch the whole webinar below: