Scrum Alliance Newsletter- March 2013

March 2013
In This Issue: Letter from the Director | Scrum Values | Agile Atlas Update | Survey Results | 'State of Scrum' Study

Letter from the Managing Director

It is with great pleasure that I introduce the newest member of the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors. Late last month, Stephen Denning accepted an appointed three-year term, effective now through December 31, 2016.

Stephen Denning
Stephen is well known for his work in leadership, innovation, organizational storytelling, and radical management. He's the author of several best-selling books, including The Leader's Guide to Radical Management. Stephen is in high demand as a keynote speaker and is one of the world's most recognized knowledge leaders. He has a passion to inspire executive and management levels to embrace Scrum. Learn more about Stephen here.

Upon accepting his new role, Stephen said, "Thank you for the trust shown in electing me to the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors. My personal goals in joining the board are, first, to learn more about the Alliance, its history, its board, its members, and the way it operates; second, to help the Scrum Alliance more fully embody the principles and values of Scrum vis-à-vis its members; and third, to help win more recognition for the principles and values of Scrum in the world of general management."

Stephen will be an asset to the Scrum Alliance board as a result of his expertise in strategic thought, executive interactions, and leadership transformation.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Scrum Alliance membership, I want to welcome Stephen to his new role. I look forward to an exciting exchange of ideas and leadership as we transform the world of work.

Have a great March!

Carol McEwan
Managing Director
Scrum Alliance, Inc.

Back to Basics - Scrum Values
Three steps for making Scrum values work for
your team

Back to basics. We hear the phrase in nearly any environment: the classroom, sports, music, cooking, and more. Back to basics is about getting down to the simple foundations of a skill, knowledge, or practice. So we're going back to basics in our Scrum environment by revisiting the Scrum values. You can easily remember the values with the mnemonic C-FORC:

  1. Commitment
  2. Focus
  3. Openness
  4. Respect
  5. Courage
At first glance, each may seem self-explanatory, but look again. What seem like simple words can be interpreted in different ways by different people. We each carry our own knowledge, baggage, and experiences, which affect our definition of nearly any word, value, or situation.

If your team lacks shared definitions of the Scrum values, there's a disconnect. For example, what one person defines as "commitment" may be "minimal effort" to another. What then: whose definition is right? How do you align expectations or behavior at that point? It's difficult and the team is at risk to perform as well or efficiently as it could.

Build the right values foundation for your Scrum team with three steps:

  • As a team, talk about what the values mean to you and agree on how you will define them. Since each person will likely have a different view of the values at first, this may take a couple of conversations.
  • Reinforce your value definitions. One way to do this is by publicizing them. Write your values and the team's definitions of them on a community whiteboard, make cards for team members' workstations, turn them into tangible working agreements, or reinforce them in another way. How you do it is your choice, but getting grounded in the basics will help you in the long run.
  • Hold each other accountable. If a team member's actions don't reflect the values, remind him or her of that. Likewise, don't be surprised if your colleague reminds you to align your actions with the values. Because the team's values are defined, reminders should be quick, easy, and inoffensive.
Get back to basics: Define your values, reinforce them, hold each other accountable, and see what you can accomplish.

Agile Atlas Update
Translations and publication flow progressing quickly

As expected, activity on the Core page has remained low. We'll be forming an update team for this page shortly, consisting of approximately a half-dozen volunteers from the community. They will work out both minor and major updates to the Core page content.

Meanwhile, we're making progress on translations. We now have five translations of the Core page, in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, and Norwegian. Thanks to all of our translators, who are listed on the Translations page.

There are many practices that fit well with Scrum, including technical, information display, and communication practices. Do you have a favorite application for Scrum? Get in touch with us by emailing or, and we'll be happy to help you publish your ideas. For example, we currently have three GASP (Generally Accepted Scrum Practices) articles in process, on the subjects of user stories, Sprint Zero, and Release Sprints. The words are in good shape; now we're just working on the formatting.

Speaking of formatting, much of our work lately has been to improve the publication flow. The Atlas, like any content-based site, has its own appearance and style. Our authors are responsible for the words, while the site controls the layout. To accommodate this separation, we're putting together submission guidelines, including examples of a few different file types and formatting styles. We need to balance the convenience for the authors with the necessary limitations of a common look and feel for the site, and our guidelines should make this balance easier for everyone to achieve. Watch the Meta pages of the Atlas for information on this.

This is your site. We're working hard to move your articles along and make them look good, so keep those cards and letters coming!

Newsletter Survey Says...
A recap of the February newsletter survey results

Thanks to all of you who provided feedback on our refreshed newsletter in February. Your input will help us improve the newsletter and make it an increasingly valuable member resource.

Congratulations to Cristobal Rodriguez, whose name was randomly selected from all survey participants to win the complimentary registration to the Global Scrum Gathering in Las Vegas, May 6-8. Look for more opportunities to contribute in this and coming issues of the Scrum Alliance newsletter.

There was a range of feedback. Some of you prefer short introductions, with links to full articles, while others prefer full articles within the newsletter. Some like a lot of graphics and pictures; for others, the fewer the better. But some general themes emerged.

See the survey results.

Be Part of the "State of Scrum" Study
Share your views on how you use Scrum

Scrum Alliance is conducting an industry study about the current "State of Scrum." If you work on software projects, or even non-software projects, we would like to have your input on how you use Scrum.

The goals of this study are to:

  • Uncover the current trends and key success factors in adopting and practicing Scrum from a variety of perspectives (i.e., practitioners, education providers like trainers and coaches, and employers).
  • Compare and contrast our key findings with those in other published works, such as IEEE and ACM journals, the Journal of Project Management, etc.
  • Recommend steps and actions for success in adopting and practicing Scrum for the short-, mid-, and long-term.
If you would like to participate, please take the online survey. Two participants will be randomly selected to win gift certificates, each equivalent to $500 (USD).

Your input will be strictly confidential. No individual, project, or organization will be identified in the report following this survey. The results will be compiled and presented to the Scrum Alliance community this summer.

Global Scrum
Gathering News

Scrum Gathering Paris
Call for Papers is open! We are now accepting submissions to speak at the Scrum Gathering Paris 2013. Make your mark in the Scrum community and have your ideas heard. Submit NOW. The deadline to submit is March 25th.

Scrum Gathering
Las Vegas

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, CollabNet, Platinum Edge, and RippleRock 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.

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Transforming the world of work
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