Purpose of The Simplified Scrum Guide

Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products. First developed and used in (software) product development, it has expanded into numerous other domains, not in the least because the world around us is growing more complex every day.

We have been applying principle-based scrum since the late 1990’s. We started with a two-pager on scrum which we accidentally found. Later we used the Scrum Guide by Schwaber and Sutherland.

In our experience we tended to focus on the core principles only and beyond that preferred having (some) freedom on the (best/good) practices and experimentation to apply within product development.

With the publication of the 2020 version of the Scrum Guide, we found that it could use a version that aligns more with our experience in the field. So with all due respect for the Scrum Guide, we have – in technical terms – “forked” from it with the aim of providing our view on a hands-on approach to applying scrum. We call our view Simplified Scrum.

Simplified Scrum is still Scrum, but – well – simplified. The bigger differences in perspective are:

We remove as much practices as possible in order to leave room for experimentation

– We re-introduce the Development Team concept and abandoning the Scrum Team concept, elevating Team to the central element within the framework.

We limit the focus towards product development context to avoid overcomplicating things.

– We have a slightly higher focus to customers rather than (other) stakeholders

We have tried to indicate the deviations from the Scrum Guide with italic text.

This guide contains a definition of Scrum, its values, the team, the events and the artefacts. We look at these all from the perspective of Simplified 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 ignoring the principles behind certain elements, from the Simplified Scrum perspective (a) covers up problems and (b) limits the agility of uncovering better ways within scrum, potentially rendering it useless.

As scrum is being applied, patterns, processes, and insights that fit the framework as described in the Scrum Guide or in this document, may be discovered, applied and devised. However, their description is beyond the purpose of this guide, exactly because they are context sensitive and differ widely between scrum uses. We chose to stick to the skeleton of the framework for the purposes of this guide. Experiences and experiments with the framework vary widely and are described elsewhere. We encourage sharing such experiences, especially within the field they were applied. And even beyond that they may prove to be interesting case studies and provide valuable insights.

We want to give a big shout out to Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for their great work on the original Scrum Guide (in its different versions) and bringing this magnificent framework to the world.

The Simplification Officers, November 2020

Use the menu on the left to navigate the Simplified Scrum Guidance or move to the next chapter.