Scrum Alliance Newsletter - June 2012


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 Scrum Alliance: A Vision for the Future

By Mike Cohn, Chairman, Scrum Alliance Board of Directors

 As part of the recent Scrum Gathering in Atlanta, the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors held an all-day, in-person meeting. I want to share with you the outcome of one of the key topics on our agenda, which was reviewing the current vision for the organization and considering any changes to it. Coming into that meeting, the vision was to provide meaningful certification, offer valuable memberships, expand Scrum's presence, and do so with operational excellence. These four keys to the direction of the organization had been established at a similar board meeting in September 2010.

As part of the recent meeting, we decided to alter this slightly. The revised vision for the organization is to provide Education, Community, and Advocacy to anyone interested in Scrum. Operational excellence will remain an underpinning of pursuing those three goals. The great thing about these three words is that I think each can stand alone in conveying what the Scrum Alliance exists to do. However, as we first introduce these words as our vision, each can benefit from some explanation.

By Education, we mean that the Scrum Alliance will strive to continue its reputation for being the best place to learn about Scrum, and indeed all things that help Scrum teams. That of course includes our certification programs, but education goes far beyond certification and includes web content, Gatherings, and programs like the Agile Atlas. We have always understood that certification is not a guarantee of success, and we are taking further, bigger steps toward providing education in a variety of forms that will help Scrum community members succeed much more frequently.

By Community, we mean that the Scrum Alliance will nurture and enrich the community of all those interested in Scrum. This extends into both the physical and virtual worlds. Our Scrum Gatherings will continue to be the primary place to meet in person to share with, learn from, and educate each other. If you've never been to a Gathering, get to one and I assure you that you will leave invigorated with an increased passion for doing what we do. Our online and virtual presences will expand in ways to help members reach and help each other.

By Advocacy, we mean the Scrum Alliance exists to advocate for the use of Scrum, for the value of education through the Scrum Alliance, and on behalf of our members or anyone using Scrum. We want to offer a job board where those who want to use Scrum can find opportunities to do so. We want to provide resources our members can use to become advocates for Scrum within their organizations.

The three words that embody this vision -- Education, Community, and Advocacy -- came to us from brainstorming sessions between Scrum Alliance staff and consultants , and we owe them for the phrasing's elegant simplicity. Although we weren't looking for an acronym, board member Harvey Wheaton pointed out that, when considered in reverse, these three words form the acronym ACE, which has certainly been helpful to me in remembering this vision -- even though I prefer the words in the opposite sequence.

I hope you'll join me, the rest of the Scrum Alliance board, our Managing Director Carol McEwan, the wonderful Scrum Alliance team, and the more than 100,000 people in our Scrum community to help achieve this vision.

Letter from the Managing Director


By Carol McEwan

Wow, I can’t believe that June is upon us already and Scrum Gathering Atlanta 2012 ended almost a month ago! I want to thank everyone who took part in the Gathering -- attendees, volunteers, speakers, coordinators, -- your enthusiasm was contagious! I have been to several conferences in my lifetime, but I have never been to an event where people were so passionate about helping others succeed. I'm not kidding, people were engaged from sunup to sundown! It was truly inspiring!

One of the biggest things I took away from the Gathering was that we have a great community willing to share their ideas and successes with others in the hope that they will benefit, too. My favorite message from the feedback we received was, “I had a great time. Networked with different people and took away some valuable things, thoughts, and ideas to use back at work.” That's what our Gatherings are all about.

If you weren't able to attend the Gathering in Atlanta, registration is now open for Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012. The event will be held at the beautiful Fira-Palace, October 1st through the 3rd. The sponsorship packet is now available and Call for Papers is open until June 29th.

Scrum Alliance also sponsors regional Gatherings worldwide. Please check our website if you'd like to know more about these events or learn more about sponsorship opportunities for your group event.

For those of you I had the pleasure to speak with in Atlanta, thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to meeting more of the community in Barcelona.

Carol McEwan 
Managing Director
Scrum Alliance, Inc.

Progress Update on the Agile Atlas Project

By Ron Jeffries

Chet and I were traveling all last month so there isn't as much new news as usual. The website has a new look and feel, we have improved direction from the Scrum Alliance, and we're renewing our request for your help.

Look and Feel

We have begun to roll out a new, cleaner look. We'll retain a bit of the atlas look, but not try quite so hard to make the world look like Scrum. Keep an eye on the site and give us your thoughts. We have added a couple more articles to the core section, but are well behind on getting contributed material in place. If you have experience with Expression Engine administration and would like to help a bit, please get in touch.

At the suggestion of board member Steve Fram, we'll be looking at moving to MediaWiki and perhaps finding some folks with Wikipedia editorial experience to help us with the social side of things.

Clarified Direction

Clearly the Scrum Alliance needs its own written material upon which to base the CSM and similar tests, and we have been instructed to get the Atlas's base articles in shape to do that job. We hope that we have it well into the 90-95% agreement range now, but we need to make sure of that. In addition, the CSM exam and learning objectives do go beyond simple Scrum in some areas, so we need to provide more content. That will be a big priority during June and you can help ...

Request for Assistance

We have been asked to set up an editorial support group and are calling for a few people who would like to contribute to that effort. We need constructive reviews of what's written and some articles to be part of the base section. In addition, we are always interested in other Scrum and Agile articles but those have lower priority until the base is solid.

We'll be inviting a few people and, of course, welcome additional volunteers. We don't mind a bit of controversy, however we will be focusing on individuals with similar editorial positions to our own -- in particular people who desire to express Scrum consistently with all our common understanding, but using words that work even better than the Scrum Guide, that reflect the Scrum Alliance approach to Scrum, and that are sensitive to what we are all learning as time passes.

Want to help? Please get in touch. Please also keep an eye on the site and give us your constructive feedback. Thanks!


Seven Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started out as a ScrumMaster

By Utpal Vaishnav

Typically, when an organization starts using Scrum, the person chosen to play the role of ScrumMaster comes from some sort of managerial background. The organization expects that the manager, the so-called "Master," will get the Scrum project delivered because she has managerial expertise — and will handle it along with two other projects she's managing at the same time.

That expectation itself is the first impediment to deal with. Otherwise it's almost certain that the organization won't get the benefits it should out of the Scrum project. Remember, there are no right ways to fulfill the wrong expectations.

I wish I'd known that fact when... Read more


Mark your calendar for the Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012 – October 1 – 3, 2012 at the Fira-Palace, Barcelona, Spain.

Call for Papers OPEN for Scrum Gathering Barcelona 2012! Make your mark in the Scrum community and have your ideas heard! Submit NOW! Deadline to submit is June 29, 2012.

Scrum Gathering Las Vegas 2012 – Call for Chair OPEN! Want to get involved in a Scrum Gathering? Here’s your opportunity! Click here to download the Call for Program Chair information. Deadline to submit is July 5, 2012.

Sponsor a Scrum Gathering! When you sponsor a Scrum Gathering, your company’s message is exactly where it should be -- in front of your target audience. For more information on how to sponsor a Gathering, please download the sponsorship package or contact Yvonne at or (905) 281-0555, ext 111.


Scrum Regional Gathering Shanghai 2012 -- Shanghai, China. June 7-9, 2012

Agile-Scrum International Summit -- Bangalore, India. December 7-9, 2012

Congratulations New Certified Scrum Trainers!

Please join us in welcoming our newest group of CSTs!

  • Alexey Krivitsky - Ukraine
  • Bent Myllerup - Aarhus, Denmark
  • Lonnie Weaver-Johnson - Minneapolis MN
  • Adam Weisbart - San Francisco, CA

Congratulations on completing your coursework! We look forward to seeing you around the community.


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Indianapolis, IN 46420 |