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2020 Scrum Guide Update

Celebrating 25 Years of Scrum

It’s been 25 years since the launch of Scrum and 10 years since the launch of the Scrum Guide. With contributions from the Scrum community, Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber have made updates. The Guide is now crisper, leaner and more transparent. Read on to access the 2020 version of the Guide and the summary of the changes.

arrows against the tide

Key Changes

The event featured insights from Jeff and Ken, plus expert Scrum practitioners who discussed the updates in the Scrum Guide.

being transparent

More Transparent

Leaner.  Easier to access, and more straightforward, opening the door to more practitioners in new industries and domains.

lean learning

Less Prescriptive

Scrum is a framework and not a methodology. Experiments, incremental changes, and iterations are the pillars of the practice.

One Framework, Limitless Applications

The updated Scrum Guide is leaner but its core remains empirical. The key pillars of Transparency, Inspection and Adaptation are still the cornerstones of good Scrum. These updates are based on 25 years of Scrum practiced by you, our Scrum community.

If you have taken a class with Scrum Inc. or are a Scrum Inc. Trainer, head over to ScrumLab to access your exclusive highlight reel.

Scrum Guide Update 2020

On November 18th, we co-hosted a live, virtual event to celebrate the launch of the 2020 Scrum Guide. It was a packed event with nearly 20,000 registrants.

The 3-hour event was led by co-creators Jeff and Ken and members of the Scrum community. Through a a variety of sessions and panels attendees had an opportunity to take a deep dive into the latest version of the Scrum Guide. We hope you enjoy the replay of the event, and please share far and wide so that all can benefit from the latest and greatest of Scrum.

Scrum Guide Changes 2020

Executive Summary Notes:

Even Less Prescriptive

Over the years, the Scrum Guide started getting a bit more prescriptive. The 2020 version aims to bring Scrum back to being a minimally sufficient framework. This was achieved by removing the Daily Scrum questions, softening language around PBI attributes and retro items in Sprint Backlog, shortening the Sprint cancellation section, and much more.

One Team, Focused on One Product

The goal was to eliminate the concept of a separate team within a team that has led to “proxy” or “us and them” behavior between the PO and Dev Team. There is now just one Scrum Team focused on the same objective, with three different sets of accountabilities: PO, SM, and Developers (anybody who is working on the sprint increment).

Introduction of Product Goal

The 2020 Scrum Guide introduces the concept of a Product Goal to provide focus for the Scrum Team toward a larger valuable objective. Each Sprint should bring the product closer to the overall Product Goal.

A Home for Sprint Goal, Definition of Done, and Product Goal

Previous Scrum Guides described Sprint Goal and Definition of Done without really giving them an identity. They were not quite artifacts but were somewhat attached to artifacts. With the addition of Product Goal, the 2020 version provides more clarity around this. Each of the three artifacts now contain ‘commitments’ to them. For the Product Backlog it is the Product Goal, the Sprint Backlog has the Sprint Goal, and the Increment has the Definition of Done (now without the quotes). They exist to bring transparency and focus toward the progress of each artifact.

Self-Managing over Self-Organizing

Previous Scrum Guides referred to Development Teams (team members who are working on the sprint increment) as self-organizing, choosing who and how to do work. With more of a focus on the Scrum Team, the 2020 version emphasizes a self-managing Scrum Team, that chooses who, how, and what to work on.

Three Sprint Planning Topics

In addition to the Sprint Planning topics of “What” and “How,” the 2020 Scrum Guide places emphasis on a third topic, “Why.” This third topic refers to the Sprint Goal.

Overall Simplification of Language for a Wider Audience

The 2020 Scrum Guide places an emphasis on eliminating redundant and complex statements and removing any remaining inference to IT work (e.g. testing, system, design, requirement, etc). The Scrum Guide is now less than 13 pages.

Access the Scrum Guide Online

To Download Your Copy of the 2020 Scrum Guide
Click Here

Scrum’s Impact Across Industries And Domains

Scrum is the lightweight framework for solving complex problems. Today, Scrum is being applied in more industries than ever before and the term “Scrum” is now seen on job descriptions around the globe.

We have seen Scrum build rocket ships, deliver construction projects on time and under budget and rethink HR departments to be more people-oriented. Scrum accelerates teams, gets projects to done and new products to consumers.

Here are just a few examples of the impact Scrum has had across industries and domains.

rocketship icon

Aerospace Defense

The Rocket Fired By Scrum: Successfully testing a 39.5-foot-long and 378,000-pound rocket motor is no small feat. Doing it for the first time using Scrum is amazing. 

northrop grumman fuels rocket with scrum

scrum in human resources

Human Resources

From employee engagement to policies and practices to recruiting and retention, Scrum helps HR teams create people practices that enhance the work of the organization while limiting risk.

scrum in human resources

scrum in healthcare


Hospital networks with a strong culture of innovation and embracing change are a great fit for Scrum. Operating room process improvements have led to better outcomes for patients and more revenue for providers.

operating room - scrum in healtchare

scrum in construction

Construction & more...

Perfectly suited to meet the end-to-end demands of the design and construction industry, no matter the project, the challenge, or situation. Teams using the framework report increased capacity, quality, and customer satisfaction.

scrum in construction

“Thank you for all the work you have done to change the world, and how we work for the better.”

picture of scrum creators jeff sutherland and ken schwaber