Scrum Process and Resource Guide

It seems more organizations these days are ditching the “old” way of doing things and shifting to agile development practices. For many, this means one thing: Scrum.

But being convinced that agile is the way to go is one thing. Successfully implementing Scrum in an organization is another matter altogether.

This guide provides resources that break down the fundamentals of the Scrum process, the challenges of implementation and best practices for success.

What is Scrum?

Case Study: The Scrum Methodology

Check out these real-world examples of how Scrum has helped companies increase productivity, focus, and clarity in this exclusive case study.

The origins of Scrum
The first step to knowing what Scrum is involves understanding where it came from. In this video, Scrum cofounder Dr. Jeff Sutherland explains why and how the Scrum revolution first began back in the early 1990s.

What makes Scrum so different?
As certified Scrum guru Scott Downey once wrote, Scrum changes everything. But what truly sets Scrum apart? This post breaks down some of the basic differences between Scrum and traditional development methods.

What Scrum means for software development
While use of the Scrum process is not exclusive to software developers, they easily make up the majority of practitioners. In this article, Scrum evangelist Boris Gloger highlights some of the key benefits Scrum brings to software development teams.

The fundamentals of Scrum

A quick overview of the Scrum process
Short on time? This video with software developer Hamid Shojaee presents the bare essentials of Scrum in less than 10 minutes.

Understanding the role of the Scrum Master
The first thing a Scrum team needs is someone to lead the way, known specifically as the Scrum Master. Boris Gloger identifies the core competencies of the Scrum Master and the role he or she plays in the overall Scrum process.

The role of the backlog in sprint planning
Before a Scrum team can begin to improve its performance, the members need actual tasks to perform. Enter the backlog, the project ideas that get the whole process started, as Jeff Sutherland explains in this video.

Sprint planning lessons learned
Once the backlog is in place, Scrum team members can start planning out there sprints to begin their work. Consultant Joseph Flahiff discusses some best practices for sprint planning in this short video.

The importance of the Scrum daily meeting
To ensure a successful sprint, most Scrum teams practice daily meetings to keep everyone on the same page and avoid impediments. Jeff Sutherland explains why these meetings are so critical to the Scrum process and details the three questions every team member should ask.

The Burndown Chart and its history
In Scrum, the Burndown Chart is a means of ensuring that the team is heading in the right direction throughout the sprint. This video presents the origin of the Burn Down Chart with examples of how it works.

The genesis of the sprint review process
Inspired by the “Demo or Die” motto of the folks at MIT, the sprint review is one of the cornerstones of Scrum. Jeff Sutherlands sheds light on the purpose behind sprints and how they eventually led to the development of retrospectives.

More on practicing retrospectives

Get Better Faster: The Ultimate Guide to the Practice of RetrospectivesThis free eBook from OpenView Labs offers expert insight on the practice of retrospectives, with best practices and tips for improvement from the pros who have been there before.

Understanding the value of retrospectives
What are retrospectives? Put simply, they are a way for teams to reflect on past experiences so that they can improve in the future. A core component of Scrum, this post offers a more detailed definition of the retrospective process.

The 9 questions of the Nokia Test
How well are we doing, and how do we get better? At the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants to know. This short video breaks down how the Nokia Test can lead you to answers.

Making the move to Scrum

The truth about Scrum every team needs to know
The most important thing to understand about a Scrum implementation is that it’s not for everyone. In this post, Scott Downey, owner of, lists six hard truths that every potential Scrum enthusiast should come to grips with before taking the plunge.

Selling Scrum to the people upstairs
Convinced that Scrum is the right move for your team? That’s only half the battle. Getting everyone else to buy in can be an even bigger challenge, starting with middle management. Certified Scrum Trainer Joe Little offers some tips for getting everyone on board from the top down.

Initial steps for getting started with Scrum
You’ve finally convinced your team of the value of Scrum; now the real work begins. Where do you start? Scott Downey outlines the eight steps that are critical to a successful Scrum transition.

Advanced tactics for a Scrum implementation
Once you have the basic elements of Scrum in place, the next step is to smooth out the bugs that are guaranteed to hinder the process. This video provides tips to help you prepare for the common problems most teams endure when moving to Scrum.

Pacing a Scrum transition to suit your team
Not all Scrum implementations are created equal. Scott Downey explains the nuances involved with finding the right speed for putting a Scrum program in place.

What not to do when transitioning to Scrum
Plenty of things that can trip you up during a Scrum implementation, but knowing what they are ahead of time is the best way to keep from shooting yourself in the foot. This post details some of the key mistakes to avoid.

Scrum best practices and additional resources

Why story points are better than hours
Jeff Sutherland writes that when it comes to measuring the velocity of a Scrum team, there’s really only one way to go.

10 ways to make your Scrum team uber-productive
When done right, Scrum can have a drastic effect on team productivity. Of course, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for improvement. Boris Gloger lists 10 ways to take a Scrum team from good to great in this post.

Essential steps to Scrum success
The sad truth is, many Scrum transitions end in failure. Esther Derby shines a light on where most teams go wrong, with tips for getting out in front of common issues before they start.

Going one step further with the Scrum of Scrums
Many experts will tell you that when it comes to Scrum, smaller teams work best. But what if you’re a large company with massive projects to tackle? That’s where developing a Scrum of Scrums can be a boon, says Jeff Sutherland in this video.

Additional Scrum resources:

  • Scrum Alliance – a non-profit site devoted to helping others get the most out of Scrum
  • RapidScrum – an organization that introduces development teams to the Scrum process
  • Scrum Methodology – articles and training resources devoted to all-things Scrum
  • VersionOne — an agile management software company with blogs on Scrum and agile-based practices
  • Scruminc — an organization that helps companies create highly motivated and productive Scrum teams

Scrum tools and utilities for developers

  • VersionOne  – Agile and sprint management software
  • ScrumDo – Scrum planning and resource tool
  • Scrumy – Project management tool based “loosely” on Scrum
  • Banana Scrum – Simple Scrum tool for tracking team productivity
  • Agilo for Scrum – Streamlines functionalities for Scrum team management
  • Scrumpy – Free backlog/story management tool for product owners

Cool people to follow in the Scrum and agile space:

You can find even more information on Scrum and agile development by following the OpenView team on Twitter @OpenView_Labs. For more on the retrospective process, download our free eBook, Get Better Faster: The Ultimate Guide to the Practice of Retrospectives.

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