Over the many years that I have been teaching Scrum (since 2005!), I have had a diagram of Scrum as part of my slides and/or handouts. The diagram has gone through several major and minor changes throughout that time. Here is the progression from oldest to newest:
This diagram was used in some of my earliest slides when I first started delivering Scrum training. It is bad. It is woefully incomplete. But, here it is:
I knew the first one was bad so after not too long, I created this next diagram as a supplement that was meant to show the whole Scrum process all in one page. Similar to other Scrum “cheat sheet” style diagrams. I used this diagram until about 2008 when I got some very good feedback from a great trainer, Jim Heidema.
The changes I made were small, but to me, significant. Changing from a “mathematical” language of “Sprint N”, “Sprint N+1” to a more general language of “Current”, “Future” was a big deal. I really struggled with that. Probably because I was still relatively new to being non-technical.
This fourth diagram made some minor formatting changes, but most importantly added “Backlog Grooming”. It’s funny how long I talked about grooming in my classes before realizing that it was missing from the diagram. I used the previous diagram and this diagram for a couple years each before making a rather major change to create the next one.
A couple years ago I realized that I wasn’t really talking about the Scrum values in my classes. I started to introduce them in some of my other handouts and discussions, but it still took a while for me to reflect those values in my diagram. I had also received a lot of feedback that having two Product Backlogs in the diagram was confusing. Finally, I realized that I was missing an opportunity to use colour more systematically. So, a major reformatting, systematic colour coding and the addition of the Scrum values was my next change.
Branded Diagram (ug.)
In a rush, I added some logos to the diagram. Just made it gross, but it’s badness, combined with feedback about said badness, actually inspired a major change for the next version.
Literally just a week ago, I was showing my brand-new branded diagram to a bunch of people who really care about design and UX. The very first comment when I handed out the diagram was: “wow, you can really tell this wasn’t done by a designer!” Well, that got me thinking deeply about the diagram (again). So, here is my newest, latest and greatest (still not done by a designer) version of my Scrum diagram!
I would absolutely love constructive feedback about this latest diagram. Of course, if you like it, please let me know that too! The thing I like about this is that it is a way of looking back at almost 9 years of my teaching history. Continuous improvement is so important, so I welcome your comments! If you have your own diagrams, please link to them in the comments – I would love to see those too! In fact, it would be really cool if a bunch of people could make little “Evolution of a Scrum Diagram” posts – let me know if you do!!!