Scrum Guide 2020 vs 2017 Part 1: The Foundations (from a hardware perspective)
This will be a multiple part article. In this first post we will focus on how theory is explained in the updated guide. Coming articles will cover Empiricism, The Scrum Team, Events and Artifacts.
At MEQIFY we have long experience of applying Scrum and other agile frameworks outside of the pure software industry. We have developed specific expertise and good practices for usage of Scrum in Hardware. We are now co-authoring this series to give you our collective insights on the effect on manufacturing companies and Hardware design companies.
At the bottom of the page you will find links to the full comparison and related articles.
We are happy to see that Lean is now a cornerstone of good Scrum. This is not really news; Lean has always been core but not explicitly mentioned. The hardware industry has a lot to learn from software, but software has a lot to learn from modern manufacturing as well!
The importance of a Scrum Master to succeed is now stated very early on. We find that we often must argue the importance of this role (we will come back to the Scrum Master description in coming articles). We see so many missed opportunities to build high performing teams and so many lessons not learned when the Scrum Master is not seen as important or senior Agile coaching support is lacking.
Scrum has always been a framework, not a process, but often mistaken as one. Now when the practices are purposely omitted you need to start thinking more about Why. Good practices are heavily dependent on your own context and needs. We are looking forward to seeing what good practices will emerge from experimentation outside of the beaten software path.
Impact on Hardware companies doing Scrum
When people hear us talking about Scrum for Hardware, we often get the reaction “That sounds hard!”. Yes, it mean increased complexity, and that’s why Scrum is even MORE powerful in hardware than in software. We are happy that more and more companies realize this, and it is great to see that endorsement stated. All you out there that have succeeded with Scrum in Hardware. Contact us and let us together collect good practices to complement the new and less prescriptive guide.
Most manufacturing companies today are already using, or are inspired by Lean Product Development, and have developed a lot of great internal practices. The new guide makes it clear that you should not change what is already working in your specific environment! Since the new guide explains more about “Why Scrum works” (but we think it can be even further improved), it is easier to understand what to keep and what to remove. We have a lot of experience in how to do this in practice and a pattern we see is that useful stuff is usually around engineering practices and short checklist (the “How”) and the non working parts are around project-handling (governance, organization, flow and budget). Product-centric stuff works, but project related stuff slows you down!
Changes between 2020 and 2017 version
Noteworthy things added
Noteworthy things removed
Purpose of the scrum guide
We developed Scrum in the early 1990s. We wrote the first version of the Scrum Guide in 2010 to help people worldwide understand Scrum. We have evolved the Guide since then through small, functional updates. Together, we stand behind it.
The Scrum Guide contains the definition of Scrum. Each element of the framework serves a specific purpose that is essential to the overall value and results realized with Scrum. Changing the core design or ideas of Scrum, leaving out elements, or not following the rules of Scrum, covers up problems and limits the benefits of Scrum, potentially even rendering it useless.
We follow the growing use of Scrum within an ever-growing complex world. We are humbled to see Scrum being adopted in many domains holding essentially complex work, beyond software product development where Scrum has its roots. As Scrum’s use spreads, developers, researchers, analysts, scientists, and other specialists do the work. We use the word “developers” in Scrum not to exclude, but to simplify. If you get value from Scrum, consider yourself included.
As Scrum is being used, patterns, processes, and insights that fit the Scrum framework as described in this document, may be found, applied and devised. Their description is beyond the purpose of the Scrum Guide because they are context sensitive and differ widely between Scrum uses. Such tactics for using within the Scrum framework vary widely and are described elsewhere.
Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.
In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:
A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.
The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint.
The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.
Scrum is simple. Try it as is and determine if its philosophy, theory, and structure help to achieve goals and create value. The Scrum framework is purposefully incomplete, only defining the parts required to implement Scrum theory. Scrum is built upon by the collective intelligence of the people using it. Rather than provide people with detailed instructions, the rules of Scrum guide their relationships and interactions.
Various processes, techniques and methods can be employed within the framework. Scrum wraps around existing practices or renders them unnecessary. Scrum makes visible the relative efficacy of current management, environment, and work techniques, so that improvements can be made.
Scrum is founded on empiricism and lean thinking. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is observed. Lean thinking reduces waste and focuses on the essentials.
Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and to control risk. Scrum engages groups of people who collectively have all the skills and expertise to do the work and share or acquire such skills as needed.
Scrum combines four formal events for inspection and adaptation within a containing event, the Sprint. These events work because they implement the empirical Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.