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Mastering Professional Scrum: Coaches' Notes for Busting Myths, Solving Challenges, and Growing Agility, First Edition

Book Description

For Scrum Teams and Agile Leaders who want to enable greater business agility, this book is a practical guide to overcoming challenges and maximizing the benefits of Scrum, unlike books that are focused on basic understanding of the framework, or are too heavy on theory.


Mastering Professional Scrum is based on years of training, coaching, and working with Scrum to deliver products across many industry sectors, from startups to multinationals all around the world. The book begins with an overview of why business agility matters and why Scrum works. Then the authors cover the situations that cause organizations to have to change the way they do things, and the challenges of a rapidly evolving marketplace. Adopting an approach that is based on high quality and fast feedback helps to manage risk and provide the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements and situations. The importance of professionalism in the industry is introduced.


Many Scrum implementations have drifted from the framework and/or are going through the motions without the true spirit of professionalism and transformation. This common pitfall will be examined using a case study to be referenced throughout the book. The case study will be representative of where many existing Scrum Teams and organizations may find themselves – a team has been doing Scrum and has seen some benefits, but there are still many challenges that arise from both within the team and from pressures in the organization and the market.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Foreword by Ken Schwaber
  6. Foreword by Dave West
  7. Introduction
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. About the Authors
  10. 1. Continuously Improving Your Scrum Practice
    1. Focus on Seven Key Areas to Improve Your Scrum Practice
    2. Growing Scrum Also Requires a Team to Improve Other Capabilities
    3. A Process for Continuous Improvement
    4. Summary
    5. Call to Action
  11. 2. Creating a Strong Team Foundation
    1. Forming a Team Identity
    2. What Makes a Good Team Member?
    3. Who Should Be on a Scrum Team?
    4. How Do Scrum Teams Form Working Agreements?
    5. What Does Self-Organization Look Like?
    6. How Do Scrum Teams Collaborate?
    7. How Teams Progress
    8. Summary
    9. Call to Action
  12. 3. Delivering “Done” Product Increments
    1. What Is a Definition of “Done” (DoD)?
    2. Using Sprint Goals to Get to “Done”
    3. Getting PBIs to “Done” Earlier in the Sprint
    4. Limiting Work Items in Progress (WIP)
    5. Building-In Quality from the Beginning
    6. Quality Metrics
    7. Tackling Technical Debt
    8. Summary
    9. Call to Action
  13. 4. Improving Value Delivered
    1. What Is Value?
    2. Delivering Faster Is a Good Start, But Not Enough
    3. Product Value and the Scrum Team
    4. Using the Product Vision to Enliven Team Purpose, Focus, and Identity
    5. Measuring Value
    6. Inspecting and Adapting Based on Feedback
    7. Summary
    8. Call to Action
  14. 5. Improving Planning
    1. Planning with a Product Mindset
    2. Creating Alignment
    3. Product Backlog Refinement
    4. Planning a Sprint
    5. How Many Sprints Ahead Should You Refine to “Ready”?
    6. How Do You Plan Releases?
    7. Summary
    8. Call to Action
  15. 6. Helping Scrum Teams Develop and Improve
    1. Using the Sprint Retrospective to Uncover Areas for Improvement
    2. Identifying and Removing Impediments
    3. Growing Individual and Team Capabilities
    4. Being an Accountable Scrum Master
    5. Summary
    6. Call to Action
  16. 7. Leveraging the Organization to Improve
    1. Organizations Need to Evolve to Succeed
    2. Developing People and Teams
    3. Getting Comfortable with Transparency
    4. A Culture of Accountability, Not a Culture of Blame
    5. Letting Go of (The Illusion of) Control
    6. The Real Power of the Iron Triangle
    7. Funding Initiatives
    8. “Being Agile” Is Not the Goal
    9. Nail It Before You Scale It
    10. Summary
    11. Call to Action
  17. 8. Conclusion and What’s Next
    1. Business Agility Requires Emergent Solutions
    2. Call to Action
  18. Appendix A. A Self-Assessment for Understanding Where You Are
    1. Business Agility
    2. Effective Empiricism with Scrum
    3. Effective Teamwork with Scrum
    4. Analysis of Assessment Answers
  19. Appendix B. Common Misconceptions About Scrum
    1. Misconceptions
    2. Experiment with Different Approaches
    3. Success or Failure
    4. Summary
    5. Call to Action