Over the many years that I have been teaching Scrum (since 2005!), I have had a Scrum diagram 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.
Seventh Diagram (Sep. 2014)
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!
Eighth Diagram (2016-ish)
This new diagram represents many small changes including a much stronger focus on Scrum “by-the-book”. The most important and significant change is the addition of a bit of information about the definition of done. It also includes some other very minor layout and content changes, and updated branding (again) with the new BERTEIG logo. This one has been in use since some time in 2016, but I don’t remember the exact date.
Ninth Diagram (June 2019)
A re-branding of the diagram with color and iconography meant to be consistent with our other diagrams. The work on converting from the previous diagram to this one was done by my son, Justice Berteig.
Tenth Diagram (Sep 2019)
There were quite a few things that were missing from the previous diagram and a small number of things lingering that still were not compliant with the definition of Scrum from the Scrum Guide. I think this one has all the needed changes. Big additions include the “Development Team”, “Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation”, “Product Vision” and “Marketplace”.
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!!!
PS. Here is a Scrum diagram created by my colleague Travis Birch.
2 thoughts on “Evolution of a Scrum Diagram”
Hi there Mishkin
First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on a great post. How interesting to see how your thoughts on the scrum process has progressed over the years. I think it’s quite apt that over that time, not only have your diagrams become more detailed, but this is also reflected in the way that Scrum teams have also developed over this time.
I have a question that is not directly related to the evolution of the scrum process, but more about how you personally deal with Defects. In all of your versions listed above, you have “Defects” in a bold red and always at the top of the Product Backlog. I find this very interesting, and also very confusing. Please could let me know your reasoning behind this. Are you suggesting that all defects are placed in a higher priority order than any high business value story? Or are you suggesting that your bug count is fantastically low, and you are only dealing with a small number of bugs at any given time, therefore placing the “Defects” at the top of the Product Backlog ensures that your bug count is kept at a minimum.
Once again, insightful post.
Thanks for the comment and the question!
I wrote a very brief explanation of the defects question here: “Product Owner and Defects“. Let me know if that helps or if you would like more information / ideas.