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Jeff Sutherland Launches The Scrum@Scale Guide

The first Scrum team finished it’s first Sprint 24 years ago last week. My goal then, and it continues to be, was high-performance teams. In the decades since I have been solely focussed on that. How do we enable people to accomplish more, live better lives, and fundamentally change the trajectory of their success?

Millions of people globally are now meeting every day for their Daily Scrum. It is astonishing how Scrum has reshaped the world of work across many disciplines and beyond software. The Standish Group data shows that Agile projects are three times less likely to completely fail than waterfall projects and four times more likely to succeed. This is what is driving companies to want to become “Agile.”

Currently, the existential threat to Scrum is “Bad Scrum.” So I have spent the last few years codifying the best-practices for scaling scrum and thinking about what works and what doesn’t and put a name on it: Scrum@Scale.

Scrum@Scale is the framework for organizations to iteratively develop the best way for Scrum to work in their context. So I’ve kept it simple. The Scrum@Scale Guide is just a few pages. Just like with Scrum, and the Scrum Guide, it’s free. You don’t need to ask my permission. Grab it, use it, and share your knowledge and your experience.

Each and every Scrum team is different, even teams within the same organization. They have their own culture, ways of working, successes, failures, their own context. But they follow a common framework. And within that framework they iteratively develop novel solutions to the problems they are trying to solve.

To spread good Scrum, and to have the impact we want to have on work, we need more people than just Scrum Inc. teaching it. We had a pilot last year with Angela Johnson of the Co-Lead Team and learned a ton. We are posting her classes on the Scrum Inc. website as well as scrumatscale.com. Last week, we graduated our first class of Scrum@Scale trainers. There are 17 of them.

You can read about the process of becoming a trainer including all of the qualifications and benefits on our site scrumatscale.com. I do want to point out one thing we do require. To become a Scrum@Scale trainer you have to have scaled Scrum and you have to submit a case study of that work. What did you learn? What was hard? What worked? And that case study has to be shared. Not just with Scrum Inc. Not with other Scrum@Scale trainers. With the world. We want the world to hear about our trainers’ victories, and for those stories to become reference points in a global conversation.

We’ve already had hundreds of people take our Scrum@Scale classes, many of them coaches and trainers. The consistent feedback we’ve gotten is that this is a codification of the best scaling practices they had been applying for years. We want to foster a community where the people and organizations transforming themselves learn from each other.

We’ll be posting all of the case studies from this first trainer class in the next few weeks at scrumatscale.com. We want to create a living library of the myriad ways to effectively scale Scrum within a common framework. A library that is there whether you are at a Fortune 100 company in the US or at a hyper growth startup in Hyderabad.

As you might know, I stepped down as CEO of Scrum Inc. in January. One of the main reasons is so I could focus my efforts on spreading Scrum and Scrum@Scale to as many people as possible whose lives will be better for it.

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