The ScrumMaster Study Guide: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The ScrumMaster Study Guide

1st Edition

By James Schiel

Auerbach Publications

234 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781439859919
pub: 2011-12-13
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Examining the questions most commonly asked by students attending Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) classes, The ScrumMaster Study Guide provides an accessible introduction to the concepts of Scrum and agile development. It compiles the insights gained by the author in teaching more than 100 CSM classes and countless seminars.

Describing how to sell agile development to upper management and customers, the book illustrates real-world implementation of agile development, addressing the roles and responsibilities of each team member as well as some of the things that can go wrong in an implementation.

  • Focuses on running Scrum projects in an agile environment
  • Covers agile development, team building, and transitioning to Scrum and agile
  • Explains how to adapt Scrum and agile to your work environment
  • Describes how to measure individual and team productivity
  • Illustrates the functions of a Scrum team on a day-to-day basis

This book is intended for newly minted ScrumMasters, product owners, and students about to attend a CSM or CSPO class as well as developers and managers who want to sharpen their skills. Scrum is a simple framework and agile development is simply a concept; successful implementation requires more than just the training you can get in a CSM class or a workshop. Helping you understand key aspects of agile development and Scrum that might have previously been difficult to comprehend, this book is the ideal starting point for finding the answers you need for agile software development in your organization.

Table of Contents



An Agile Product Development Life Cycle

Release Planning and "Iteration Zero"


Product Backlog Preparation

Setting the Sprint Schedule

Staffing of Scrum Teams

Training of Scrum Teams

Review/Revise DONEness Definition

Creation (or Updating) of the Architecture Definition

Grooming for the First Sprint



Backlog Grooming


Preparing for the Backlog Grooming Workshop

Setting Up the Backlog Grooming Workshop

Facilitating the Backlog Grooming Workshop

Wrapping Up the Backlog Grooming Workshop

The Sprint Planning Meeting


Preparing for the Sprint Planning Meeting

Setting Up the Sprint Planning Meeting

For a Single-Part Planning Meeting

For Multipart Planning Meetings

Facilitating the Sprint Planning Meeting

For Single-Part Planning Meetings ("Commitment-Based Planning")

For Two-Part Planning Meetings ("Velocity-Based Planning")

For Two-Part Noncolocated Planning Meetings

Wrapping Up the Sprint Planning Meeting


The Daily Scrum Meeting


Preparing for the Daily Scrum

The Standard Daily Scrum (All Team Members in One Location)

The Tokenized Daily Scrum (All Team Members in One Location)

The Slightly Remote Daily Scrum

The Completely Remote Daily Scrum


The Sprint Review Meeting


Preparing the Sprint Review Meeting

Setting Up the Sprint Review Meeting

Facilitating the Sprint Review Meeting

Wrapping Up the Sprint Review Meeting


The Sprint Retrospective Meeting


Preparing for the Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Setting Up the Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Facilitating the Sprint Retrospective Meeting

Wrapping Up the Sprint Retrospective Meeting


Creating Backlog Agreements


Practical Advice to End the Practical Guide


About Agile Development


Do Agile Projects Have End Dates?

What if My Customers Do Not Want Early and Frequent Delivery?

Can You Do Agile Development Without Scrum Teams?

What is the Difference Between Agile and Scrum?

What is the Difference Between a User Story and a Use Case?

Is Time for Research Part of the Iteration?

What Happens if We Discover Something We Should Have Done Differently?

How Do I Communicate Expectations beyond the Product Owner?



About Scrum


Is Scrum of Value with Pure Infrastructure or Commercial, Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Software Projects?

When is Scrum Not a Good Methodology to Use?

Does the Product Backlog Contain All Requirements/Stories?

Does Using Scrum Mean There Is No Reason for Management?

What Are the Differences Between Scrum and XP?

How Do You Handle Multiple-Team Coordination in Scrum?

Scrum of Scrums

Coordinating Scrum-of-Scrums (CSoS)

How Does a Scrum Team Self-Organize with Regard to Assigning Tasks?

Does Swarming on Small Stories Increase or Decrease Productivity?

Scrummasters: Technical Background or Project Management Background?

Scrum Means Less Documentation—What Should I Do with Existing Documentation?



Using Scrum


How Many Scrum Teams Can a Product Owner Have?


Backlog Management

Team Interactions

What Do You Do When the Product Owner Will Not Engage?

Tooling and Tools

What Tools Assist in a Scrum Project?

Tooling and Toools

A Cautionary Word about Backlog Management Tools

Does Scrum Work by Itself?

What is Sprint Zero, and How Do I Use It?

Within a Project, Can Sprint Lengths Be Different?

Can I Use the V Model in My Sprints?

How Do You Keep Daily Scrums Working after Several Sprints?

How Do I Keep Team Members Engaged during Sprint Planning?

What Should I Do if My Team Is Highly Specialized?

Can New Items Be Introduced during the Sprint?

How Do I Handle Stories That Are Started but Cannot Be Finished in a Sprint?

How Should I Handle Urgent Requests in the Middle of a Sprint?

How Should I Handle a Sick or Otherwise Absent Team Member?

How Can Scrum Be Applied in a Test Team?

How Does System Testing Fit in Scrum?



Agile Product Management

What is the Release Backlog?

How Do I Determine Project Budget from a Product Backlog?

Velocity-Based Commitments

T-Shirt Sizing

How Do You Balance Customer Requirements against Technical Requirements?

Approach 1: Tax the Functionality

Approach 2: Build Infrastructure into the Backlog

How Do You Forecast Completion in a Backlog Filled with Epics?

How Can I Incorporate User Interface Style Guides?

How Do I Manage Risk in the Agile Project?

What About the Project Manager?

How Do I Start a Product From Scratch?

Step 1: Create the Product Vision

Step 2: Build the Initial Product Backlog

Step 3: Create the Initial Architectural Design

Step 4: Groom the Product Backlog

Step 5: Moving Forward



Agile Development Dysfunctions


We Do Functional Specifications and Use Agile for Design/Build: Is That Wrong?

I Constantly Have to Remind My Team about Doneness





What Do I Do if the Functional Manager Is Still Assigning Tasks within the Sprint?

What if a Manager is Giving Work to a Scrum Team Member from Outside the Sprint?

My Daily Scrum Has Turned into a 1-Hour Status Meeting! Why?

What Does It Look Like When a Scrum Team Is Failing?

Failure Mode 1: Team Does Not Understand Scrum

Failure Mode 2: Scummerfall

Failure Mode 3: Command and Control

Failure Mode 4: External Task Assignment

Failure Mode 5: Backlog Items Are Too Big

Failure Mode 6: Poor Team Self-Management

Failure Mode 7: Anti-Self-Management

Failure Mode 8: Team Is Too Big

Failure Mode 9: ScrumMaster Does Not Provide Leadership



About the Author

Jim Schiel has over 28 years of experience in software development, research-and-development (R&D) management, agile development, and Scrum in highly regulated industries. He has been a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) since 2005 and a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) and Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) since 2006.

Jim’s career started in 1985 when he began working for Siemens Medical Solutions. He managed various development teams, ranging in size from 5 to 80 developers; he instituted iterative project management processes. At Siemens, Jim transitioned an organization of 1,200 developers from waterfall and various iterative models to agile development using Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP) concepts. Jim left Siemens in 2008 to begin working as an agile coach and trainer and in 2009 founded Artisan Software Consulting. Artisan provides coaching, training, and consulting to organizations attempting large-scale transitions to agile development using lean software development principles, Scrum, XP, and kanban approaches.

Jim has been training for over 7 years and has trained more than 1,100 students. He currently teaches Certified ScrumMaster courses and Certified Scrum Product Owner courses and provides workshops on advanced Scrum techniques, user stories, agile in management, and more. Jim’s book, Enterprise-Scale Agile Software Development, published in 2010 by CRC Press, covers much of his experiences managing and guiding large-scale transformations.

About the Series

Applied Software Engineering Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
COMPUTERS / Software Development & Engineering / General
COMPUTERS / Certification Guides / General