The Scrum Guide 2020 – What You Need To Know About The Changes

The Scrum Guide Update 2020

The Scrum Guide has been updated for the first time since 2017. It has reduced in size from 19 to 13 pages. On the surface, this is the biggest change to Scrum in 25 years. So what has changed and how significant is it? Here is a quick overview of the most interesting changes.

The size reduction is a result of Ken & Jeff removing many practices and much specific guidance to simplify Scrum. Fewer words mean less complexity. Scrum guides peoples relationships and interactions, without telling them the practices, processes and methods to use. The latest update makes Scrum even more truly a framework than ever before.

Examples of practices that have been removed include the “3 questions” at the Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective topics and specific attributes of Product Backlog items.

The language of the Scrum Guide has been simplified to support a wider audience. References to software have been removed to make Scrum more inclusive of people doing other forms of complex work.

The need for an Increment to be “potentially releasable” has been changed to state that “In order to provide value, the Increment must be usable”. This is to support the move away from a software focus as “releasable” may no longer make sense for many people using Scrum.

The concept of roles in Scrum has been replaced by accountabilities and what was the Development Team is now referred to as Developers.

The term self-organisation has been replaced with self-management. A self-managing Scrum Team, chooses who, how, and what to work on.

Each of the three artifacts in Scrum now contains a commitment to them. These commitments exist to bring transparency and focus toward the progress of each artifact:

– The Product Backlog has the Product Goal (a new addition to Scrum)
– The Sprint Backlog has the Sprint Goal
– The Increment has the Definition of Done (now without the quotes to reflect its new promoted status)

The Product Goal is the overarching objective for the Product. It is intended to bring many of the same benefits as a Sprint Goal over a longer period of time. It helps ensure the Scrum Team know what they are working towards and why!

So, the spirit of Scrum remains the same. The core elements remain largely unchanged. The impact on people using Scrum currently should be minimal. I think this goal has been successfully met. Ken Schwaber has described this as the best Scrum Guide so far. I think he is right. What do you think?

If you want to learn more about the changes to the Scrum Guide, check out our short video course and live virtual courses.

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