Scrum Book Summary - Scrum Book explained in key points
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Scrum summary

Jeff Sutherland

The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

4.4 (360 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Scrum by Jeff Sutherland is an essential guide for optimizing teamwork, productivity, and quality by adopting this Agile project management method using sprints and regular feedback.

Table of Contents

    Scrum
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    If you want to get things done, ditch the traditional waterfall method, and try Scrum.

    How many times have you planned to complete a project, only to find yourself painfully behind schedule as the deadline loomed closer?

    Unfortunately, this happens often when we use traditional management processes, like the waterfall method epitomized by Gantt charts.

    Gantt charts illustrate project timelines using color-coded parallel bars that indicate the timing and length of different parts of the process, which may occur simultaneously (the result can look like a stylized waterfall, hence the name). Although these are popular organizational tools, they often assume an outsized degree of importance, as when a project has fallen behind schedule, and managers pile more resources into it so that they can make their work fit that schedule, and not vice versa. It can lead to disastrous results.

    For instance, the FBI planned to implement a modernized software system called Virtual Case File (VCF), in order to better share information and prevent another 9/11.

    Using a Gantt Chart, the agency created a deadline for every important milestone. So the “technical design” stage was scheduled to end on a specific date, at which point the “coding and testing” phase of the project would commence.

    Unfortunately, the project broke down before a single line of code was written. VCP ultimately wasted years of the agency’s time and $170 million in taxpayer money.

    Since these kinds of failures happen periodically with the waterfall method, many organizations have adopted the scrum project management system instead.

    Scrum is characterized by team building and constant feedback. This team-oriented approach is reflected by the name, which describes the moment in a rugby game when the team works together to move the ball down the field, all united by the same clear goal.

    And this process works: When the FBI applied Scrum to Sentinel, their next attempt at large-scale modernization, the agency successfully implemented the system in less time, with fewer people and at a lower cost.

    Curious to know more about the core ideas behind scrum? Well, keep reading to find out!

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    What is Scrum about?

    Learn all about Scrum, the project management system that has revolutionized the technology industry. This is a uniquely adaptive, flexible system that allows teams to plan realistically and adjust their goals through constant feedback. By using Scrum, your team can improve their productivity (and the final result) without creating needless stress or working longer hours.

    Scrum Review

    Scrum (2014) by Jeff Sutherland is an insightful guide to the popular agile framework that can transform team productivity. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical, actionable steps for implementing Scrum, empowering teams to deliver high-quality work efficiently.
    • With real-world case studies and anecdotes from the author's experience, the book offers a valuable understanding of Scrum's potential.
    • The engaging storytelling and the author's passion for the subject ensure that the book is far from boring, making learning about Scrum enjoyable and rewarding.

    Best quote from Scrum

    Scrum asks why it takes so long and so much effort to do stuff, and why were so bad at figuring out how long and how much effort things will take.

    —Jeff Sutherland
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    Who should read Scrum?

    • Anyone whose business is struggling to make ends meet
    • Anyone who wants to be more productive in less time
    • Anyone who manages a team

    About the Author

    Jeff Sutherland is the co-founder and CEO of Scrum Inc. A West Point-educated former fighter pilot, Sutherland currently holds an advisory role at 11 different technology companies.

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    Scrum FAQs 

    What is the main message of Scrum?

    The main message of Scrum is to revolutionize the way we work and improve productivity through agile project management.

    How long does it take to read Scrum?

    The reading time for Scrum varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Scrum a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Scrum is worth reading for anyone interested in optimizing team performance and efficiency. It offers practical insights and a proven framework for successful project management.

    Who is the author of Scrum?

    The author of Scrum is Jeff Sutherland.

    What to read after Scrum?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Scrum, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Scrum Fieldbook by J.J. Sutherland
    • F.I.R.E. by Dan Ward
    • Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers by Anthony Mersino
    • The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management by Zachary Wong
    • The Elements of Scrum by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • Uptime by Laura Mae Martin
    • Burnout Immunity by Kandi Wiens
    • Good to Great by Jim Collins