Scrum Alliance Newsletter- February 2013

February 2013
In this Issue: Letter from Director | Agile Atlas Update | Call Out to User Group Leaders | FAQs

Letter from the Managing Director

In the January newsletter, Harvey Wheaton, chairman of the board, said that one of our top priorities was "to put Scrum at the heart of our operation." He continued, "We started with the creation of an organizational backlog and are engaging a Scrum coach to guide us through improved adoption of Scrum throughout the organization. We are determined to make Scrum Alliance a top-notch example of Scrum in action."

In December, a request for proposal was open to all Certified Scrum Coaches (CSCs). Interested coaches were invited to submit proposals by December 31, 2012. It is my pleasure to announce that Brad Swanson and David Sharrock, from Agile42, will be providing coaching services to Scrum Alliance starting later this month.

“We are excited for this opportunity to work with Scrum Alliance on their journey toward being a top-notch example of Scrum in action," said Brad Swanson, Senior Agile Coach at Agile42. “As coaches, we will help Scrum Alliance staff apply Scrum within their unique organizational context, leaning on the experience of Agile42’s many Certified Scrum Coaches and Trainers.”

As you read the rest of this newsletter, you might notice this month’s edition looks and feels a bit different. Your feedback on this communication is important to us, and we would like to know how we could make it better. You’ll see a link in this newsletter that takes you to a short three-question survey, where you can provide your feedback. As a bonus, everyone who completes the survey will be entered in a drawing to win a complimentary registration to the Global Scrum Gathering® in Las Vegas. So please take the time to read your new newsletter and share your thoughts.

Have a great February!

Carol McEwan
Managing Director
Scrum Alliance, Inc.

Agile Atlas Update

We're excited to announce that translations of the Atlas Core Scrum page are underway, with German and Danish versions already complete. The Core Scrum page's top banner contains links to the English PDF and its translations. We honor the many people who have volunteered to translate for us. If you haven’t seen the page yet, check it out.

Soon you'll also see a new front page that will reflect the site's three areas: Core Scrum, GASPs, and Commentaries. The top of the page already has links to those sections.

  • Core Scrum is a brief statement by Scrum Alliance on the essentials of Scrum. We believe that to be doing Scrum, a team must at least take the steps described here.
  • GASPs (Generally Accepted Scrum Practices) are approaches recognized as useful by Scrum experts. None are required, and some GASPs are more broadly applicable than others, but any Scrum practitioner should be aware of and consider using them wherever helpful. The first GASP, on user stories, is on the site now.
  • Commentaries are articles on Scrum, either as a whole or on specific practices. They offer suggestions, present complementary approaches, or propose different viewpoints. Commentaries may even address alternatives to Scrum, such as elements of the Lean or Kanban systems.
Several Commentaries appear already and serve a valuable purpose across two situations. First, teams and organizations often need to evolve beyond Scrum in significant ways. Second, people often enter the Agile world from somewhere else, then find that moving closer to Scrum is better for them. Commentaries help our Scrum family better understand what’s out there both within and outside of Scrum.

We need your help in all of these areas. We need more contributions in GASPs and Commentaries. We're interested in specialized practices, Agile and near-Agile topics, and controversy. Yes, controversy. Want to write about why something in Scrum doesn't work, or how it can be simplified or replaced? We welcome such articles, especially if you can pair with someone on the other side of the argument.

Whatever your topic, if you have important ideas to share, the Agile Atlas will be happy to consider your article. Please contact or

And are you planning to attend the Gathering in Las Vegas, May 6 - 8? Look for our Open Space session about the Atlas and how it can grow as a valuable Scrum and Agile resource. Come to the session, or just accost Chet or Ron as they roam through the conference.

Call Out to Scrum Alliance
User Group Leaders

If you’re a leader of a Scrum Alliance user group, we want to hear from you. We’ve added nearly 50 user groups in the last two years, and we want to ensure we’re helping you succeed. Let us know:

  • Why your user group is successful
  • What challenges you face in 2013
  • How Scrum Alliance can help you with these challenges
But don’t stop there. New user group leaders want to learn from you. Please share ideas that have – and haven’t – worked in your user group. And if you’d like to get more involved, volunteer to be a mentor to a new user group leader.

Send your responses to Jill Paul, Scrum Alliance Community Liaison, at

Thanks – and if you are a leader of a user group, please update your email address online so that we may reach out to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions at the Help Desk. Some come in more frequently than others. Every so often, we’ll publish some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers. Perhaps they’ll be useful to you right now, perhaps later, but review them and you’ll be sure to find good advice that will save you time and trouble.

Q: How do I print my certificate?
A: To create, download, and print your certificate, log into your account, go to your Dashboard page, and select the green button labeled "Print Certificate."

Q: I’ve tried to log in to my account multiple times and I cannot get logged in.
A: Click on this link. It will end all the browser sessions you’ve started with us. You should be able to log in after this. If you are still having issues and are using Internet Explorer 8, try another browser such as Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla.

Q: How can I change my email address?
A: When you log into your account, choose the Profile tab, scroll down to the Contact Information section, and enter your new email account in the main email field.

Win a Registration to the
Las Vegas Gathering!

What do you think of the new Scrum Alliance e-newsletter? We want to know. Give us your feedback. Everyone who responds to our short survey will be entered in a drawing to win a registration to the Global Scrum Gathering in Las Vegas. So tell us what you think! The survey closes February 28, 2013.

Global Scrum
Gathering News

Official Program Announced:
56 exciting sessions, 3 thought-provoking keynotes, Open Space, Coaches Clinic, and much more. View the full program details.

Early bird registration is open until April 8, 2013. "Up the Ante" on your Agile game!

Thank you to our Silver sponsor, SolutionsIQ, and Bronze sponsors, David Consulting Group, Agile Learning Labs, and Platinum Edge, for their sponsorship of the Las Vegas Gathering.

Upcoming Global
Scrum Gatherings

Las Vegas, NV 2013
6 - 8 May 2013
Las Vegas, USA
Paris 2013
23 - 25 Sept. 2013
Paris, France
New Orleans, LA 2014
5 - 7 May 2014
New Orleans, USA
Berlin 2014
22 - 24 Sept. 2014
Berlin, Germany

Sponsor an
Upcoming Gathering

Sponsor one, two, three, or all four Scrum Gatherings in 2013/2014 and showcase your company. For more information on sponsor opportunities, please download the sponsorship package or contact Yvonne at or (905) 281-0555, ext. 111.

Scrum Coaching
Retreat 2013

Mark your calendars. The 2013 Scrum Coaching Retreat has been set for December 6 - 8, 2013 in Chandler, Arizona. To keep up with important news and updates, subscribe to the mailing list. We hope to see you there!

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