Scrum Guide Refresh 2017

Scrum is defined in the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the originators of Scrum.

Around once per year, Ken & Jeff update the Scrum Guide. The changes are suggested by the global Scrum community.

The latest update was released on 7th November 2017. Here is a short summary and analysis of the changes.

  1. Scrum is for more than software – Scrum is useful for dealing with complexity in all its forms. The words “develop” and “development” in the Scrum Guide refer to complex work. Examples are now listed including software, government, marketing, managing the operation of organisations, as well almost everything we use in our daily lives, as individuals and societies.
  2. You can release products and enhancements as frequently as many times per day – This was always the case but has been clarified. This is reflective of the growing importance of DevOps, Continuous Delivery and releasing early and often.
  3. Clarification of the Scrum Master role – The Scrum Master is a servant-leader, responsible for the understanding of, and use of Scrum theory to cause change and maximise value. They ensure that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by the Scrum Team.
  4. Clarification of the Daily Scrum – The “3 Questions” are optional practices. Development Teams decide the best way to assess progress towards the Sprint Goal.
  5. The Sprint Backlog must include at least one improvement activity – To ensure continuous improvement, at least one high priority action identified in the previous Sprint Retrospective must be actioned in the next Sprint.
  6. Clarification of Time Boxes – The addition of the words “at most” to clarify that time boxes are a maximum amount of time to spend on an event.
  7. Clarification of Increment – An Increment is a body of inspectable, “Done” work. It supports empiricism at the end of the Sprint. The increment is a step toward a vision or goal.

That is it. No big changes, but lots of clarifications around Scrum and its rules to avoid some common confusion.

I welcome the emphasis on Scrum being widely applicable outside of software. I am also happy to see the de-emphasis on the “3 questions” at the Daily Scrum and the clarity around support for early and frequent releases.

You can read the full details of the changes here. So what do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Comments 1

  1. Hello Simon,

    Nice that you provide this information here.

    I think that the part of the three questions and time boxes will help people to easier pass the exams.

    In my current srum team it is indeed practice not to answer the three questions but have a sort of discussion if necessary.

    Also that scrum is not explicit for software is a nice addition.

    With kind regards,


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