The Scrum Master Learning Path

Essential Learning for Scrum Masters

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Understanding & Applying Scrum

Empiricism

The Agile Manifesto
Created by 17 visionaries in 2001, the Agile Manifesto was developed to look at the core principles and values for Agile software development.

The Three Pillars of Empiricism
This blog looks at the 3 pillars of empiricism (Inspection, Adaption, and Transparency) and how they are applied in Scrum.

Empiricism is an Essential Element of Scrum
This video describes empiricism, how it is used and why it is so critical when practising Scrum. by Mark Noneman 

Agile is Constant Change
This blog looks at how empiricism is a key foundation for helping your business become Agile, and the types of change you may encounter. by Simon Reindl

Scrum Values

Scrum Values Poster
This poster depicts the Scrum Values and their definitions according to the Scrum Guide. by Scrum.org

Updates to the Scrum Guide: The 5 Scrum values take center stage
This blog reviews the addition of the Scrum Values to the Scrum Guide and why it is so important. by Dave West

Intralinks Case Study: Scrum Reboot This Time With The Values
This paper looks at why Intralinks failed at their first attempt at “agility” and how they rebooted to success. by Richard Gratton & Dave West

5 Metaphors to Explore the Value of Scrum Values
This blog explores understanding how shared values can help a Scrum Team be more effective through 5 metaphors. by Nagesh Sharma

Scrum Roles

A Day in the Life of a Scrum Master
People new to Scrum often wonder what a Scrum Master is actually doing during the day. This article uses different sources to answer the question and describe a day in the life of a Scrum Master. by Barry Overeem

What a Product Owner Should Be
This video discusses what the role of a Product Owner looks like, traits that they should have and those that may get in the way. by Ralph Jocham

The Role of the Product Owner
This video raises the question, what is the role of a Product Owner and answers the question by looking at what set of skills should they have, what they should do vs. delegate and why they have the ultimate accountability. by Krystian Kaczor

Why a Scrum Master Should Not Have Other Roles
This video discusses why having a Scrum Master also hold other roles on the Scrum Team is not a good idea and how it can cause conflicts of interest resulting in negative team impact. by Evelien Roos

What does it mean to be a Professional Scrum Developer?
In this video, hear from some of the Professional Scrum Developer trainers and their thoughts on what it means to be a Professional Scrum Developer. by Scrum.org

The Truth About Job Titles In Scrum
In this talk Dave West, CEO and Product Owner of Scrum.org talks about the roles of Scrum and how the three roles relate to your existing job titles. He describes the future of work in the context of an agile delivery model and their implications. by Dave West

Myth 8: The Scrum Master is a Junior Agile Coach
This blog post bust the myth that “The Scrum Master is a junior Agile Coach” and why effective change is driven from “the inside-out”. by Barry Overeem

Scrum Events

A Typical Sprint, Play-By-Play
In this introductory-level article we look at the mechanics of a Sprint, and at how team members are expected to collaborate in order to produce a release-quality increment. by Ian Mitchell

The Daily Scrum is NOT a Status Meeting
This video explores the myth that a Daily Scrum is a status meeting. Through her discussion, she dives into several areas as to why the Daily Scrum is much more than a status meeting and how they differ. | by Stephanie Ockerman

Effective Sprint Planning
This video reviews how Sprint Planning sessions can focus on how the Development Team works with the Product Owner to understand what is in the Product Backlog and how they populate the Sprint Backlog. by Don McGreal

Planning in Scrum
This video demonstrates why planning in Scrum is important and does occur despite the myth that many have heard where agile does not use plans. The presenter discusses several events where planning takes place and how they play a part in Scrum. by Stephanie Ockerman

What is a Sprint Review?
This video describes the Sprint Review and tips for how to organize and run a Sprint Review, engage stakeholders and focus on inspection and adaption. by Dominik Maximini

Why You Need a Retrospective Every Sprint
This video uses a football analogy to help a Scrum Team understand the importance of a Sprint Retrospective and what it requires for teams to be professional. by Andrzej Zińczuk

Scrum Artefacts

The Importance of Product Backlog Transparency
This video describes the Product Backlog and the need to ensure that it is transparent to the entire Scrum Team. | by Rich Visotcky 

Myth 2: The Sprint Backlog can’t change during the Sprint
In this blog post, we describe the myth that the Sprint Backlog is fixed during the Sprint. We’ll bust this myth by offering the perspective from the Scrum Guide and describing the difference between forecast and commitment. by Barry Overeem

Scrum Myth: The Sprint Backlog is a Commitment
This blog looks at the Myth that has grown around the Sprint Backlog being a commitment of the work that will be delivered in the Sprint. by Alasdair Macleod

Sprint Goal

Scrum Master Studio Series: Frame# 2 – Sprint Goal
The Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint that can be met through the implementation of Product Backlog. It provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment. by Venkatesh Rajamani

Six Reasons Why You Need to Pay More Attention to the Sprint Goal
This article discusses the deep importance of the Sprint Goal. by Ilia Pavlichenko

Getting to Done: Creating Good Sprint Goals
This article addresses the fact that a lack of clear Sprint Goals is a common challenge creating a “Done” Increment and how to overcome these challenges. by Stephanie Ockerman

The 11 Advantages of Using a Sprint Goal
This article explains why using a Sprint Goal is important and how to create an effective Sprint Goal. by Barry Overeem

Done

Getting started with a Definition of Done (DoD)
When you don’t have a definition of what working means, how do you know what done is? So what do you do? by Martin Hinshelwood

Walking Through a Definition of Done
An understanding of what makes an increment truly releasable – and therefore genuinely “Done” – provides transparency over the work a Development Team plans to do, and the tasks it brings into progress. by Ian Mitchell

Definition of Done Should include a Definition of Undone
This article looks at why understanding what isn’t done is as important as a definition of what is done. by Dave West

Myth 3: In Scrum, releases are done only at the end of the Sprint
This blog debunks the myth that Scrum Teams can only release working software at the end of the Sprint, constraining teams that are capable of releasing faster. by Barry Overeem

Scaling Scrum

THE NEXUS™ GUIDE
The Nexus Framework for scaling Scrum was created by Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, and was released along with a body of knowledge, the Nexus Guide, in 2015 and updated in 2018. by Scrum.org

Nexus Framework Poster
This poster provides a high level overview of the roles, artifacts and events in Nexus. | by Scrum.org

An Introduction to the Nexus Framework
Nexus augments Scrum minimally with one new role and some expanded events and artefacts. It preserves Scrum. As Ken Schwaber describes it, “Nexus is the exoskeleton of Scrum.” | by Patricia Kong & Simon Bourk

How Net Health Scales Scrum with the Nexus Framework
Read why Net Health brought Nexus it to their organization and how they have fared so far. by NetHealth & Scrum.org

How Net Health Used Team Self-Selection to Reorganize Their Scaling Initiative
This webcast explores the challenges Net Health faced with scaling Scrum and how they were able to overcome them with Nexus. | by NetHealth & Scrum.org

The Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum
This Professional Scrum series book uses an extended case study to illustrate how Nexus helps teams solve common scaling challenges like reducing cross-team dependencies, preserving team self-organization and transparency, and ensuring accountability. by Kurt Bittner, Patricia Kong, & Dave West

Developing People & Teams

Facilitation

Agile Coach Toolkit #4: Effective Facilitation
This is the fourth part in the series of tools that have been found useful in the role as Agile Coach – Effective Facilitation. by Punit Doshi

Agile Coach Toolkit #6: Building Consensus
This is the sixth part in the series of tools that have been found useful in the role as Agile Coach – Building Consensus. by Punit Doshi

A powerful technique to improve your Scrum events
Improve your Scrum events with the Liberating Structure “1-2-4-All”. Unfold open conversations and sift ideas and solutions in rapid fashion. | by Barry Overeem

Leadership Style

Leading High Performing Teams
Learn some of the striking consistencies across a wide range of different industries of high-performing teams, and how leaders help shape them. by Edwin Dando

The 28 Characteristics of a Great Scrum Master
The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. Learn about them when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. by Barry Overeem

What is Servant Leadership
Here are a few simple guidelines when teaching about Scrum Master as servant-leader and ones that Scrum Masters can use themselves. by Joshua Partogi

In Search of a Servant Leader
A simple example of a servant-leader. by Steve Trapps

5 Agile Leadership Tips for Creating Mature Scrum Teams 
This blog provides insight to the leadership role as it pertains to Scrum and more specifically, to enabling Scrum Teams to mature. by Ron Eringa

Agile Coach Toolkit #7: Straight Feedback
This is the seventh part in the series of tools that have been found useful in the role as Agile Coach – Straight Feedback. by Punit Doshi

 
Coaching & Mentoring

Agile Coach Toolkit #5: Active Listening
This is the fifth part in the series of tools that have been found useful in the role as Agile Coach – Active Listening. by Punit Doshi

How to Build Trust to Enable Agility
This blog dives deep into how you can use BRAVING and the Scrum Values to build and enable trust in your environment. by Stephanie Ockerman

Do you know any coaching patterns?
Understand the Socratic Method of asking a lot of questions and to stimulate critical thinking. by Chuck Suscheck

Managing Products with Agility

Forecasting & Release Planning

Myth 9: Story Points are Required in Scrum
This article busts the myth that Scrum requires work to be estimated in Story Points. by Barry Overeem

Tips for Agile product roadmaps & product roadmap examples
Get guidance from product roadmap experience and examples of what to do and what to avoid. by Robbin Schuurman

Release planning and predictable delivery
This blog talks about why the incompatibility between predictable delivery and agility is fictitious and how focusing on continuous quality affects predictability. | by Martin Hinshelwood

Small batch delivery & big batch finance how to speak the language of forecasting
Learn examples on how to discuss forecasting with people outside of the Scrum Team. by Robert Pieper

Scrum Myths: There is No Planning in Scrum
This blog explores the myth that there is no planning in Scrum, and details where planning does take place throughout the Scrum Events. by Stephanie Ockerman

Faking It: Estimates and Metrics in Scrum
This blog explores the misuse of estimates as a proxy for value and the weak correlation between hypothesis and data (likened metaphorically to phrenology). by Ian Mitchell

Product Vision

The Professional Product Owner and the Three Vs
The three Vs of Product Ownership is an example of thoughts down on paper and is a major theme of the Professional Scrum Product Owner book. by Don McGreal

The Importance of Product Backlog Transparency
This video describes the Product Backlog and the need to ensure that it is transparent to the entire Scrum Team. by Rich Visotcky

Why – How – What: From Product Vision to Task
It is a good idea for Scrum Teams also to start with why for their product development. by Peter Götz

10 Tips for Product Owners on the Product Vision
This blog provides several tips and recommendations for Product Owners to make the most of their Product Vision. by Robbin Schuurman

Product Value

Calling All Industries: Your Process is Failing You
Understand how incorporating the Scrum framework can help curb failure and deliver greater value. by Donis Marshall

How being yelled at by users changes your perspective on customer value
Listen in to learn how being yelled at by users can totally change your perspective on what is value, and make you want to change the product development process. by Lucas Smith

A Scrum Adoption Story – How we delivered value in 7 days
This video gives viewers insight into a Scrum Team at a bank from their beginning from why Scrum was adopted, how they built out their vision and honed in on value. by Rich Visotcky

Plan Driven vs. Value Driven Development
This video discusses the difference between having your entire schedule created at the beginning of a project vs defining the plans on a Sprint by Sprint basis. by Punit Doshi

Art of Product Backlog Refinement
This blog provides a practical guideline for how to address Product Backlog Refinement empirically using the Goldilocks Principle. by Stephanie Ockerman

Myth 14: Refinement is a required meeting for the entire Scrum Team
Bust a myth that Product Backlog refinement should be done as one or more required ‘meetings’ that must be attended by everyone in the team. by Barry Overeem

Limiting Work in Progress (WIP) in Scrum with Kanban – What / When / Who / How
Understand why limiting Work in Progress aims to reduce and stabilize Work in Progress. by Yuval Yeret

If your backlog is not refined then you are doing it wrong
This blog addresses the potential repercussions of an un-refined Product Backlog and what it means to be ‘ready’. | by Martin Hinshelwood

What is Backlog Refinement?
This video describes Backlog Refinement, providing tips for how to hold and improve refinement sessions. by Ralph Jocham

Developing & Delivering Products Professionally

Emergent Software Development

Getting to Done: Balancing Emergence and Delivery
Understand how to respond to change and allow emergence while still delivering something of value that works. by Stephanie Ockerman

Dispelling the Myth that Scrum Teams Don’t Think About Architecture
This webcast provides real-world experience and advice for building an architecture which evolves over time with purpose from a group of Scrum.org licensed Professional Scrum Trainers (PSTs). by Scrum.org

The Importance of Vertically Slicing Architecture
This video discusses vertically slicing architecture with an analogy on human anatomy. by Chuck Suscheck

Managing Technical Risk

Slaying Technical Debt
This video explores the concept of technical debt and ideas for how to remove it for the long-term viability of a product. by Todd Miller

Technical Debt vs. Not “Done” Work
In this video, Professional Scrum Trainer Steve Porter looks at the impact that undone work has on technical debt and discusses some techniques to use when dealing with such issues.

Managing risk
This blog breaks down the different types of risk and how to control them using Scrum and the Scrum Values. | by Jasper Alblas

Optimising Flow

KANBAN GUIDE FOR SCRUM TEAMS
This guide details the elements and theory of Kanban for Professional Scrum Teams. The flow-based perspective of Kanban can enhance and complement the Scrum framework and its implementation. by Scrum.org

Understanding the Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams
This blog article answers some of the questions that frequently come up about using Scrum with Kanban and the Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams. by Yuval Yeret

Limiting Work in Progress (WIP) in Scrum with Kanban – What / When / Who / How
This blog addresses and provides advice on the different elements a Scrum Team will have to deal with when actively limiting their Work in Progress (WIP). | by Yuval Yeret

Steve Porter on Scrum with Kanban
In this podcast, Steve Porter explains the program and why there is a difference between “Scrum with Kanban” and what people commonly refer to as Scrumban. by Steve Porter

Evolving the Agile Organisation

Organisational Design & Culture

Culture Change An important ingredient for organizational Agility
This blog explores organizational culture shifts and the importance of top-down support, constant learning, and bottom-up intelligence. by Hiren Doshi

20 Unagile Things to Avoid Saying and Some Better Alternatives
Here are twenty small things which you might be tempted to say or to silently agree with, and which are perhaps rather better to avoid. by Ian Mitchell

Forget building trust, focus on psychological safety
This blog and video highlight the distinction between trust and psychological safety in teams. It also explores the potential impacts to be had by teams who don’t have psychological safety. by Stephan van Rooden

Scaling Scrum @ Thales with Emergent Innovation
Learn how Thales scaled Scrum across teams to work better together and deliver more value to their customers. by Cesario Ramos & Sandra Roijakkers

Evidence Based Management

Evidence-Based Management Guide
This guide details how to continuously improve business results by measuring business value and using empirical management. by Scrum.org

Empirical Management Explored
This white paper explores how Scrum thrives best in an environment where well-considered experimental discovery is combined with fact-based decisions. by Gunther Verheyen

You can also view the Scrum Master Learning Path at Scrum.org, as well as the learning paths for other roles.