I was reading rumors from time to time about the new Scrum Guide. Rumors are over, the new 2020 Guide is finally out! And guess what; it is 16 pages shorter compared to the previous version! Minimal, shrinked and lightweight.

I am going to be honest. My impressions are mixed, primarily excited but also a bit skeptical.

Let’s start with the points that made me enthusiastic!

  1. The 3 questions raised during the daily stand-up are gone; vote for like! The daily scrum is for reporting. Team pops in everyday to express impediments, concerns, mainly for shouting ‘help’! A team is composed of trustworthy persons who are accountable to perform their tasks; this is not an invitation for interrogation of “what I did yesterday’ and “I am going to do today”.

  2. I so much enjoyed how the Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and Definition of Done (DoD) are now tied. Each of those elements contains ‘commitments’ to them: for the Product Backlog it is the Product Goal, the Sprint Backlog has the Sprint Goal, and the Increment has the Definition of Done (now without the quotes!)

  3. Scrum Master is the leader who serves! It was about time (yet I have a concern that you can read as you scroll down)

  4. Sprint Planning includes one more topic: it is not only ‘what’ and ‘how’, it adds emphasis on ‘why’ (referring to the Sprint Goal)

  5. No hierarchies between Devs, POs, and Scrum Masters! We are ONE team! Period! ?


And now my concerns:

  1. The Scrum Master is seen as a leader who serves. OK, but what does this imply? Is s/he also a coach? Do they have a role that reaches organizational level? What happens if a Scrum Master is not experienced enough?

  2. As mentioned before the Scrum Guide has become shorter. But how can a team start ‘scrumming’? Teams need guidance and crystal-clear instructions especially when they are requested to change the way of working. You cannot leave new teams and inexperienced people without boundaries, because the experiment will not work. The fact the Scrum Guide 2020 is less prescriptive may lead to having teams working in a ‘free-style’ mode and the ‘focus’ could be lost.


Other than that, I got excited with the new edition. Changes are always welcome! If anyone wants to discuss more, I can’t wait! ?


Author: Rania Alexiou