The Beyond Scrum Guide

Purpose of the Beyond Scrum Guide

Culture that goes beyond Scrum as a Framework described in the Scrum Guide.  The Scrum Framework will help you get started with Agile, but if you have had the discipline of practice, and you have built up competence and confidence with Agile, then the Scrum Framework can become a constraint.  In addition, this guide is meant as inspiration for mature teams to never stop evolving their Agile and Lean practices.

The founders
A Team of Scrum practitioners and coaches worked together at a Scrum Coaching Retreat in Germany and committed to go beyond Scrum. Together, they stand behind the Beyond Scrum Guide.

The “Beyond Scrum Guide” has been established by:

  • Allan Rennebo Jepsen
  • Daniel Hommel
  • Mark Summers
  • Markus Wissekal
  • Sylvius Gerber

Definition of Beyond Scrum

Beyond Scrum: A culture based on a team working collaboratively in pursuit of its goals.

Beyond Scrum is based on:

  • Clear sense of purpose
  • Teams
  • Value or Learning Driven
  • Regular delivery
  • Continuous Improvement

Clear Sense of Purpose

The Team understands why it exists and what it is trying to achieve collaboratively.   This allows the team to be responsible for deciding what to work on next.  This allows the team complete ownership of the work.

The Team

The Team consists of people who do the work of continuously delivering increments of work that delights their customers.   At regular intervals the team is able to deliver something that is either valuable or allows them to learn more about their domain.

  • Teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their own work. The resulting synergy optimizes the Team’s overall efficiency and effectiveness. 
 Teams have the following characteristics:
  • They are self-organizing and self-managing. No one tells the Team how to complete increments of work;
  • They are self-directing. They are so in tune with the purpose of the organization that they are able to decide what to work on;
  • Teams are cross-functional, with all of the skills as a team necessary to create an Increment of work, and decide what to work on.  Cross-functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team; to take ownership of getting the work accomplished. In rare situations where the team is in need of skills they do not poses within the team, they will self-organize with others who can help.
  • Beyond Scrum recognizes no titles for Team members, regardless of the work being performed by the person; there are no exceptions to this rule;
  • Individual Team members may have specialized skills and areas of focus, but the whole team takes responsibility for all of the work, holding each other accountable to the commitments and decisions that it makes.

Value and Learning Driven

The Team is responsible for maximizing both value and learning. How this is done may vary widely across organizations and Teams.

Each increment of work delivered has some value to a customer or it delivers learning to the team. However, it is fundamental that the Team maintain both perspectives on a continuous basis.

The team defines a goal for the next increment of work, and then works collaboratively to achieve that goal.

Constant Delivery

The team model in Beyond Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity. Teams deliver value as fast and frequently as possible, maximizing opportunities for feedback.

A Review is held regularly from daily to monthly. During the Review, the Team seeks feedback from stakeholders on what has been delivered. Based on that attendees collaborate on the next things that could be done to optimize value.

The Review does not have a set formula to follow, is a setting where team members and stakeholders get to take an outside perspective on the product, and make collective decisions on how to proceed.

Reviews may be ad-hoc as needed and/or on a regular heartbeat.

Continuous Improvement

A Retrospective is an opportunity for the Team to inspect how it is working. 
By the end of the Retrospective, the Team should have identified improvements that it will implement.

Teams are urged to implement 2 levels of Continuous Improvement:

Kaizen
Due to the high level of collaboration, the team is expected to constantly reflect on their behavior and implement adjustments to optimize the process. This is very much in line with the focus of a “traditional” team retrospective.

Kaikaku
At regular intervals the team will conduct a holistic view on themselves and their surroundings. Here they will reflect at a higher level, and challenge their habits and previous learning.
To facilitate these retrospectives, the team may decide they need outside help.

The purpose of a Retrospective is to:

  • Inspect how it’s going with regards to people, relationships, process, and tools;
  • Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Team does its work.

Artifacts

Increment

The Increment is the sum of all work in completion of a small goal.  Increments tend to be small to ensure a steady flow of value or learning. It is essential that the product increment is in useable condition regardless of whether the increment will be consumed by customers.

Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments, the team must ensure that all Increments work together.

Please note that a Product Increment can happen as frequently as makes sense to do so (with a preference to the shortest possible timeframe).

Definition of “Done”

For Beyond Scrum Teams, the definition of Done should be that there is no more work left in delivering value to the customers. In cases where this definition of Done is not applicable, it is essential that everyone have the same understanding of what it means to be “Done”.