Scrum Rules

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Recently in my ScrumMaster Certification courses, I have been ending the course with a list of the rules of Scrum. This list of rules is based on my understanding and practice and may not be 100% the same as that found in the Scrum books or in other Scrum practitioners’ models. Nevertheless, I just recently checked it against some other online reference material and it seems like a reasonable list of rules. I am interested in any feedback or variations or disagreements…
[Updated: 20070922]

Without further ado, here they are, categorized into Required Rules, Basic Rules and Optional Rules, plus a downloadable PDF version.


Required Rules to Start – the “Agile Skeleton”:
– Full-Time ScrumMaster Identified and Team Members Available to Do Work
– Team Agrees to Demonstrate Working Software in No More Than 30 Days
– Stakeholders Invited to Demonstration

Basic Rules of Scrum to Implement As Soon As Possible:
– Full-Time Product Owner (with Expertise and Authority) Identified
– Product Owner Works With Team and All Other Stakeholders
– Product Backlog Created and Managed by Product Owner
– Daily Scrum Meeting with 3 Questions (Completed? Will Complete? Obstacles?)
– Daily Scrum Meeting Same Place and Time and Less Than 15 Minutes
– Regular Sprint Length (no more than 30 days)
– Sprint Planning Meeting to Create Sprint Backlog of Estimated Tasks
– Sprint Burndown Chart
– Team Room with All Needed Equipment and Supplies
– Retrospective Meeting for Process Improvements
– Definition of “Done”
– Commitment Velocity Calculated (from Sprint Backlog Estimates)
– Team Size 7 +/-2, Maximum of 12
– Cross-Functional Team Including ScrumMaster and Product Owner
– Team Self-Organization – Team Members Volunteer for Tasks
– ScrumMaster Tracking and Removing Obstacles
– Team Safety – No Interruptions to Team’s Work During Sprints
– No “Break” Between Sprints
– Sustainable Pace – Timebox Effort, Not Just Schedule
– Quality is Not Negotiable – Defects Go on Top of Product Backlog

Optional Rules of Scrum to Implement Depending on Context:
– Test Driven Work and Continuous Integration
– User Stories as Product Backlog Items (As a I can so that )
– Project Burndown Chart
– Release Burndown Chart
– Planning Velocity Calculated (from Product Backlog Estimates)
– Scrum of Scrums for Multiple Teams
– Canceling the Sprint Early
– Financial Modeling for Product Backlog
– Sprint Backlog Tasks on Big Visible Chart on Wall
– Backup Product Owner Identified
– Team of Volunteers – Self-Selecting
– Rotate the ScrumMaster Duties


And here is the downloadable version of the Scrum Rules Cheat Sheet [pdf].

Finally, you can purchase a poster-sized version of this from Cafe Press AgileAdvice Shop for $22.99.


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