Scrum Guide

The Scrum Guide is the guideline for the Scrum method, developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, as well as Scrum itself, and is continuously improved. Scrum consists of a few rules that consist of five activities, three artifacts and three roles. The short version is summarized in the Agile Atlas, amd the Scrum Guide is the more detailed version of the guide.

General information

The scrum framework consists of the techniques and implementation of activities, artifacts and roles. There are clearly defined mechanisms regarding how actions should be carried out, but there is also a great deal of freedom available to the participants to enable individual design.

One problem is that many companies know the essential elements of the Scrum Guide, but they often deviate from this. This usually concerns the sprint process, the length of sprints, meetings, the size of the teams and requirements engineering. It is not uncommon for incorrect estimates to be made on aspects such as cost estimates and quality assurance.[1]

Scrum theory according to scrum guide

The Scrum theory is based on empirical process control, abbreviated to Empire. The intellectual basis is the assumption that knowledge is gained and increased through experience, whereby the respective decisions are made on the basis of what is already known. The Scrum Guide of 2013 states that Scrum adopts an iterative and incremental approach in order to create the certainty of forecasts, dates and results and to reduce the resulting risks to a minimum. Each Empire implementation is based on the three pillars of transparency, inspection and adaptation.

Transparency is particularly important for those involved in the area of responsibility. The necessary prerequisite for transparency is a common standard, which is defined beforehand and which everyone adheres to and follows. This concerns, for example, the process language and a common understanding of terms such as "Done".

Under the term “inspection” comes controlling the achievement of sprint targets, which serves to detect deviations that are not desired. Verification should be carried out by professionally qualified testers, and it shouldn’t interfere with the actual work.

The adaptation is the consequence of the results of the review. All aspects of the process that deviate from set limit values in an unacceptable form must be corrected and readjusted to the processes.

The Scrum Guide prescribes four formal events, which are described in more detail in the "Events" section of the guide. These are:

1. Sprint Planning

2. Daily Scrum

3. Sprint Review

4. Sprint Retrospective

The scrum team according to scrum guides

The Scrum team consists of the product owner, the development team and the Scrum Master. The Scrum Guide clearly states that Scrum teams are interdisciplinary and self-organizing, i. e. they decide for themselves how they do the work. The guide assumes that interdisciplinary teams bring with them all the skills they need to carry out their work properly. Persons outside the development team are not necessary.

According to Scrum Guide, the teamwork model was developed to increase productivity, flexibility and creativity. If the incremental delivery of (preliminary) finished products is completed, this will be documented with the above mentioned "Done". This ensures that there is always a functioning product, even if the processes have not yet been completed.

Update of scrum guide 2017

Although Scrum has been in use since 1995, the Scrum Guide was only released in 2010. In 2017 Schwaber and Sutherland released an update because they wanted to clear up a number of misunderstandings. They made it clear that Scrum can't be reduced to IT deployment and, and they explicitly write in one place (this hadn't been the case before) that Scrum isn't limited to the software industry.

With this update, Schwaber and Sutherland wanted to put the aspect of freedom at work in the focuss. They changed the original wording to the scrum review of "a four-hour meeting for a one-month sprint" to “usually a four-hour meeting for a one-month sprint".

Since the role of the Scrum Master had always been unclear since the beginning of Scrum, Schwaber and Sutherland formulatd e a more precise description of the Scrum Master's task: "The task of the Scrum Master is to promote and support Scrum as it is written in the Scrum Guide. The Scrum Master does this by helping everyone to understand Scrum theories, practices, rules and values.“

Significance for Development

The Scrum Guide sums up the meaning, distribution of tasks and implementation of the Scrum approach well and is in fact indispensable as a reading if you want to work with Scrum. Since Scrum is a complex system that leaves a lot of free space and room for manoeuvre, the help of the Scrum Guide is therefore highly recommended.


  1. Scrum Definition Accessed on January 25, 2018