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Scrum Field Guide, The: Practical Advice for Your First Year

By Mitch Lacey

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Mar 12, 2012


Thousands of IT professionals are being asked to make Scrum succeed in their organizations–including many who weren’t involved in the decision to adopt it. If you’re one of them, The Scrum Field Guide will give you skills and confidence to adopt Scrum more rapidly, more successfully, and with far less pain and fear. Long-time Scrum practitioner Mitch Lacey identifies major challenges associated with early-stage Scrum adoption, as well as deeper issues that emerge after companies have adopted Scrum, and describes how other organizations have overcome them. You’ll learn how to gain “quick wins” that build support, and then use the flexibility of Scrum to maximize value creation across the entire process.


In 30 brief, engaging chapters, Lacey guides you through everything from defining roles to setting priorities to determining team velocity, choosing a sprint length, and conducting customer reviews. Along the way, he explains why Scrum can seem counterintuitive, offers a solid grounding in the core agile concepts that make it work, and shows where it can (and shouldn’t) be modified. Coverage includes


  • Getting teams on board, and bringing new team members aboard after you’ve started
  • Creating a “definition of done” for the team and organization
  • Implementing the strong technical practices that are indispensable for agile success
  • Balancing predictability and adaptability in release planning
  • Keeping defects in check
  • Running productive daily standup meetings
  • Keeping people engaged with pair programming
  • Managing culture clashes on Scrum teams
  • Performing “emergency procedures” to get sprints back on track
  • Establishing a pace your team can truly sustain
  • Accurately costing projects, and measuring the value they deliver
  • Documenting Scrum projects effectively
  • Prioritizing and estimating large backlogs
  • Integrating outsourced and offshored components


Packed with real-world examples from Lacey’s own experience, this book is invaluable to everyone transitioning to agile: developers, architects, testers, managers, and project owners alike.


Table of Contents

Foreword by Jim Highsmith          xix

Foreword by Jeff Sutherland          xxi

Preface          xxv

Acknowledgments          xxix

About the Author          xxxi


Chapter 1: Scrum: Simple, Not Easy         1

The Story   1

Scrum   6

Keys to Success   17

References   18


Part I: Getting Prepared          19

Chapter 2: Getting People On Board          21

The Story   21

The Model   27

Change Takes Time   28

Keys to Success   31

References   32


Chapter 3: Using Team Consultants to Optimize Team Performance         33

The Story   33

The Model   37

Keys to Success   45

References   48

Works Consulted   48


Chapter 4: Determining Team Velocity         49

The Story   49

The Model   54

Keys to Success   63

References   65


Chapter 5: Implementing the Scrum Roles           67

The Story   67

The Model   70

Keys to Success   76


Chapter 6: Determining Sprint Length         77

The Story   77

The Model   80

Keys to Success   87

References   88


Chapter 7: How Do We Know When We Are Done?          89

The Story   89

The Model   91

Keys to Success   97

References   97


Chapter 8: The Case for a Full-Time ScrumMaster          99

The Story   99

The Model   102

Keys to Success   108

References   112

Work Consulted   112


Part II: Field Basics          113

Chapter 9: Why Engineering Practices Are Important in Scrum         115

The Story  115

The Practices   119

Keys to Success   126

References   129

Works Consulted   129


Chapter 10: Core Hours            131

The Story   131

The Model   134

Keys to Success   138


Chapter 11: Release Planning         139

The Story   139

The Model   142

Keys to Success   151

References   152


Chapter 12: Decomposing Stories and Tasks          153

The Story   153

The Model   155

Keys to Success   163

References   164

Works Consulted   164


Chapter 13: Keeping Defects in Check           165

The Story   165

The Model   166

Keys to Success   169

References   169

Work Consulted   170


Chapter 14: Sustained Engineering and Scrum           171

The Story   171

The Model   174

Keys to Success   177

References   178


Chapter 15: The Sprint Review           179

The Story   179

The Model   182

Keys to Success   185

Works Consulted   187


Chapter 16: Retrospectives          189

The Story   189

The Practice   191

Keys to Success   196

References   197


Part III: First Aid          199

Chapter 17: Running a Productive Daily Standup Meeting          201

The Story   201

The Model   204

Keys to Success 2  09


Chapter 18: The Fourth Question in Scrum           213

The Story   213

The Model   216

Keys to Success   216

References   217


Chapter 19: Keeping People Engaged with Pair Programming           219

The Story   219

The Model   221

Keys to Success   226

References   227


Chapter 20: Adding New Team Members          229

The Story   229

The Model   231

Keys to Success   234

References   235


Chapter 21: When Cultures Collide           237

The Story   237

The Model   242

Keys to Success   247

References   250

Works Consulted   250


Chapter 22: Sprint Emergency Procedures          251

The Story   251

The Model   253

Keys to Success   256

References   257


Part IV: Advanced Survival Techniques         259

Chapter 23: Sustainable Pace         261

The Story   261

The Model   265

Keys to Success   270

References   271


Chapter 24: Delivering Working Software           273

The Story   273

The Model   277

Keys to Success   280

Work Consulted   283


Chapter 25: Optimizing and Measuring Value          285

The Story   285

The Model   287

Keys to Success   292

Works Consulted   293


Chapter 26: Up-Front Project Costing           295

The Story   295

The Model   299

Keys to Success   303

References   304


Chapter 27: Documentation in Scrum Projects           305

The Story   305

The Model   308

Keys to Success   315

References   316


Chapter 28: Outsourcing and Offshoring          317

The Story   317

The Model   320

Keys to Success   324

References   329

Work Consulted   329


Chapter 29: Prioritizing and Estimating Large Backlogs          331

The Story   331

The Model   334

Keys to Success   338

References   340


Chapter 30: Writing Contracts           341

The Story   341

The Model   345

Keys to Success   353

References   356


Appendix: Scrum Framework         357

The Roles   357

The Artifacts   359

The Meetings   361

Putting It All Together   364


Index   365

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-321-76942-2

ISBN-13: 978-0-321-76942-8

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