In the early days of what we now know as Agile processes, Mike Beedle was influenced by the online description of Scrum, implemented the process in his own company, and led the effort to drive Scrum through the Pattern Languages of Programming Design conferences. This made Scrum the first (and only) formal organizational pattern that describes a complete Agile process. One of the patterns books contains the Scrum pattern:
M. Beedle, M. Devos, Y. Sharon, K. Schwaber, and J. Sutherland, "Scrum: A Pattern Language for Hyperproductive Software Development," in Pattern Languages of Program Design. vol. 4, N. Harrison, Ed. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 1999, pp. 637-651.
Recent work by Jim Coplien shows that Scrum is deceptively simply while compressing a complex array of organizational patterns in his book, "Organizational Patterns in Agile Software Development." Jim was surprised when he found that Scrum compresses at least 33 patterns from his book into a concept that can be explained in 2 minutes. It takes over 60 pages of rather dense text to describe these patterns. Click here for details of Jim's presentation on Scrum and patterns.
One of Scrum's design goals was to encapsulate best practices from 40 years of software development into a process that was simple enough for the average IT worker to use for development in less than 2 days of startup time. Jim's research shows that we did a good job of accomplishing that goal. You can download a copy of the original Scrum pattern language as it is part of a draft of "The Scrum Papers."
In recent years the Scrum Patterns Group has evolved a comprehensive set of patterns for Scrum that allow teams to try proven approaches that have worked in many companies. While the Scrum Guide provides the basic rules of Scrum, the patterns amplify the guide by showing teams how to solve problems in a specific context.
Scrum should be fast, easy, and fun. For many new Scrum Masters, it is slow, hard, and painful. Using proven patterns for starting up a new team or accelerating an existing team can rapidly eliminate a lot of Scrum Master headaches.