Top Takeaways From the Book "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in half the Time"

Top takeaways from the book

How to implement Scrum

  • Pick a product Owner
  • Pick a team
  • Pick a scrum master 
  • Create and prioritize a product backlog
  • Refine and estimate the product Backlog 
  • Sprint planning
  • Make work visible
  • Daily standup or daily scrum
  • Sprint review or sprint demo
  • Sprint retrospective
  • Immediately start the next sprint cycle , taking the team's experinece with impediments and process improvemnt into account.


Planning is useful. Blindly following plans is Stupid. its just so tempting to draw up endless charts .All the work needed to be done on a massive project are usually laid out for everyone to see -but when detailed plans meets reality , they fall apart . Build into your working method the assumption of change , discovery and new ideas

Inspect and adopt . Every little while ,stop doing what what you're doing , review what you've done and see if it's still what you should be doing and if you can do it better

Change or die. Clinging to the old way of doing things, of command and control and rigid predictability will bring only failure. In the meantime , the competition that is willing to change will leave you in the dust.

Fail fast so that you can fix Early. Corporate culture often puts more weight on forms , procedures and meetings than on visible value creation that can be inspected at short intervals by users. Work that does not produce real value is madness. Working product in short cycles allows early user feedback and you can immediately eliminate what is obviously wasteful effort.

Hesitation is death. Observe ,Orient, Decide, Act. Know where you are, assess your options , make a decision  and act!

Look Outwards for answers. Complex adaptive systems follow a few simple rules, which they learn from their enviroment

What is the definition of Great teams. They are cross-functional , autonomous and empowered with a transcendent purpose 

Don't guess. Plan, Do, Check, Act. Plan what you're going to do , Do it. Check whether it did what you wanted . Act on that and change how you're doing things. Repeat in regular cycles and by doing so , achieve continuous improvement

Shu Ha Ri. First, learn the rules and the forms and once you've mastered them, make innovations. Finally , in a heightened state of mastery , discard the forms and just be- with all the learning internalized and decisions made almost unconsciously.

Pull the right lever. Change team performance . This has much more impact - by several orders of magnitude - than individual performance

Transcendence. Great teams have a purpose that is greater than the individual

Autonomy . Give teams the freedom to make decisions on how to take action- to be respected as mastered of their craft. The ability to improvise will make all the difference ,whether the unit is reporting on a revolution in the middle east or making a sale

Teams should be Cross-Functional. The team must have every skill needed to complete a project, whether the mission is to deliver software or capture terrorists in iraq

Small Wins. Small teams get work done faster than big teams. The rule of thumb is seven team members- plus or minus two. Err on the small size

Blame is stupid. Don't look for bad people : look for bad systems - ones that incentivize bad behaviour and reward poor performance

Time is finite . Treat it that way. Break down your work into what can be accomplished in a regular , set short period - optimally one to four weeks . and if you've caught the Scrum fever, call it a sprint

Demo or Die. At the end of each sprint , have something that's done- something that can be used (to fly, drive , whatever)

Throw away you business cards . Titles are specialized status markers .Be known for what you do,not how you're referred to

Everyone knows Everything. Communication saturates accelerates work

One meeting a day. When it comes to team check ins , once a day is enough . get together for fifteen minutes at the daily stand-up, see what can be done to increase speed , and do it.

Waste is a crime

Multitasking makes you stupid. Doing more than one thing at a time makes you slower and worse at both tasks. Don't do it. If you think this doesnt apply to you , you're wrong - it does

Half done is not done.A half built car simply ties up resources that could be used to create value or save money. Anything that's " in process"costs money and energy without delivering anything.

Do it right the first time. When you make a mistake , fix it right away .Stop everything else and address it. fixing it later can take you more than twenty times longer than if you fix it now

Working hard only makes more work. Working long hours doesn't get more done; its gets less done. It gets less done. Working too much results in fatigue, which leads to errors, which leads to having to fix the thing you just finished . Rather than work late or on the weekend, work weekdays only at sustainable pace and take a vacation

Don't be unreasonable. Goals that are challenging are motivators: goals that are impossible are just depressing.

No heroics. If you need a hero to get things done, you have a problem. Heroic effort should be viewed as a failure of planning

Enough with the stupid policies. Any policy that seems ridiculous is likely is. Stupid forms, stupid meeting, stupid approval, stupid standard are just that- stupid. if your office seems like a Dilbert cartoon, fix it

No Assholes. Don't be one, and don't allow the behaviour . Anyone who causes emotional chaos , inspires fear or dread or demeans or diminishes people need to be stopped cold

Strive for flow. Choose the smoothest , most trouble- free way to get things done . Scrum is about enabling the most flow possible

The Map is not the terrain. Don't fall in love with your plan . Its almost certainly wrong

Only Plan what you need to. Don't try to project everything out years in advance . Just plan enough to keep your teams busy

What kind of Dog is it?Don't estimate in absolute terms like hours- its been proven that humans are terrible at that. Size things relatively ,by what breed of dog the problem is, or T- shirt size(S,M,L,XL,XXL), or, more commonly , the Fibonacci sequence

Ask the Oracle.Use a blind technique, like the Delphi method , to avoid anchoring biases such as the halo effect or bandwagon effect  or just plain stupid groupthink

Plan with poker. Use planning poker to quickly estimate work that needs to be done

Work the Story. Think first about who'll be getting value from from something, then about what it is , and then why they need it . Humans think in narratives , so give them one.

Know your Velocity. Every team should know exactly how much work they can get done in each sprint . and they should know how much they can improve that velocity by working smarter and removing barrier that are slowing them down.

Velocity x Time = Delivery. Once you know how fast you're going , you'll know how soon you'll get there

Set Audacious goals . With Scrum , it is not hard to double production or cut delivery time in half. if you do it in the right way , your revenue and stock price should double as well

Its the journey, Not the destination. True happiness is found in the process, not the result. Often we only reward results but what we really want to reward is people striving toward greatness.

Happy is the New Black. It helps you make smarter decisions. plus when you're happy , you're more creative ,less likely to leave your job and more likely to accomplish far more than you ever anticipated

Quantify Happiness. Its not enough just to feel good ;you need to measure that feeling and compare it to actual performance. Other metrics look backwards. Happiness is a future-looking metric

Get better everyday- and measure it . At the end of each sprint , the team should pick one small improvement or kaizen , that will make them happier. and that should become the most important thing they'll accomplish in the next sprint

Secrecy is poison. Nothing should be secret. Everyone should know everything and that includes salaries and financials . Obfuscation only serves people who serve themselves.

Make Work Visible. Have a board that shows all the work that needs to be done , what is being worked on, and what is actually done. Everyone should see it  and everyone should update it every day.

Happiness is autonomy, mastery and purpose. Everyone wants to control their own destiny , get better at what they do , and serve a purpose greater than themselves.

Pop the happy bubble. Don't get so happy that you start believing your own bullshit. Make sure happiness is measured against performance and if there is a disconnect, be prepared to act.Complacency is the enemy of success

Make a list . check it twice. Create a list of everything that could possibly be done on a project . then prioritize it. Put the items with the highest value and lowest risk at the top of that backlog, then the next and the the next

The product Owner. He or she translate vision into backlog. He or she needs to understand the business case, the market and the customer. He or she has knowledge  of the domain and the power to make final decision. He or she is available to answer questions and is accountable for delivering value.

A leader isn't a boss. A product owner sets out what needs to be done and why. how the team accomplishes it and who accomplishes it is up to the team

Observe , Orient, Decide, Act (OODA). See the whole strategic picture , but act tactically and quickly.

Fear, Uncertainty, and doubt .It is better to give than to receive. Get inside your competition's OODA loop and wrap them up in their own confusion

Get your money for nothing and you change fro free. Create new things only as long as those new things deliver value. Be willing to swap them out for things that require equal effort. What in the beginning you thought you needed is never what is actually needed

Scrum Accelerates all human endeavours. The type of project or problem doesn't matter- scrum can be used in any endeavour to improve performance and results.

Scrum for schools. In the Netherlands, a growing numbers of teachers are using scrum to teach high school. They see an almost immediate improvement in test scores of more than 10 % . And they're engaging all sort of students from vocational to gifted

Scrum for Poverty. In Uganda, the Grameen Foundation is using scrum to deliver agriculture and market data to poor rural farmers . The results: double the yield and double the revenue for some of the poorest people on the planet.

Rip up your Business Cards. Get rid of all titles ,all managers, all structures. give people the freedom to do what they think best and the responsibility to be accountable for it . You'll be suprised at the result




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