The Elements of Scrum Book Summary - The Elements of Scrum Book explained in key points
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The Elements of Scrum summary

Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson

A guide to every aspect of Scrum

4.1 (122 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

"The Elements of Scrum" by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson is a practical guide for implementing agile methodologies in project management. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to apply Scrum principles to increase productivity and improve team communication.

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    The Elements of Scrum
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    The traditional methods of software development are inefficient and lead to cost overruns.

    Tradition may have its charm, but it has few fans when it comes to technology development. Technology needs to be constantly updated to remain relevant; in fact, being current is essential not only to technology but also to the processes used to create it.

    One system of development is called the waterfall method, which is a finish-to-start process for producing software. In such a system, a software team would typically compile requirements, make a design, write code, test and then deliver a finished product.

    The “finish-to-start” aspect of the process is crucial. Activity A must be completed before work on activity B can start. For instance, you can’t begin testing a design until you’ve finished coding.

    Why do people and organizations like this method?

    By separating each development step, scheduling and planning is made easier. Managers often prefer a waterfall approach as they believe it allows them greater accuracy in scheduling and allocating budgets.

    But the waterfall method isn’t very reliable. Software is often too complicated a product to be fully designed before production starts. Therefore, if you demand a perfectly designed product, you’ll be left with little wiggle room for change during production.

    So while it’s possible for a perfect design to seamlessly transition to a perfect production process, this usually only occurs when you’re producing a static object, like a car. In this example, you’d design every element in the car, then follow those design directions to the letter during manufacturing.

    But software production, in contrast, is just too complex.

    So, while designers may come up with what they think is a perfect product, complications are sure to arise when designs are applied. The numbers tell the tale: only 16 percent of waterfall-method projects meet completion deadlines, while 31 percent are cancelled and 53 percent go over budget!

    How do you avoid such a pitfall in your own projects? Read on to learn more.

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    What is The Elements of Scrum about?

    The Elements of Scrum (2011) explains how outmoded software development processes are holding companies back in an ever-changing market. Today’s successful teams need to be agile and flexible; and the best companies do this by adopting a methodology called scrum. This book gives you everything you need to know to start a scrum-based process in your own organization.

    The Elements of Scrum Review

    The Elements of Scrum (2011) by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson is a valuable read for anyone interested in understanding and implementing Scrum methodologies. Here's why you should dive into this book:

    • Practical guide: It provides concrete strategies and techniques for successful Scrum implementation, making it a useful resource for teams and organizations.
    • Real-life examples: The book is brimming with real-world stories that illustrate the principles of Scrum in action, bringing the concepts to life and making them relatable.
    • Engaging insights: Sims and Johnson present the material in an engaging and accessible manner, making complex topics easy to understand and ensuring the book is far from dull.

    Best quote from The Elements of Scrum

    The main idea behind the agile approach is to deliver business value immediately.

    —Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson
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    Who should read The Elements of Scrum?

    • Project managers
    • Software developers and designers
    • Anyone interested in agile organizational processes

    About the Author

    Chris Sims is a certified scrum trainer, agile coach and the founder of Agile Learning Labs.

    Hillary Louise Johnson is a writer and journalist. She has contributed to publications such as Inc. and the Los Angeles Times.

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    The Elements of Scrum FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Elements of Scrum?

    The main message of The Elements of Scrum is to embrace the Agile mindset for effective project management.

    How long does it take to read The Elements of Scrum?

    The reading time for The Elements of Scrum varies. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just a few minutes.

    Is The Elements of Scrum a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Elements of Scrum is worth reading for anyone interested in Agile methodologies. It provides practical insights and useful techniques.

    Who is the author of The Elements of Scrum?

    Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson are the authors of The Elements of Scrum.

    What to read after The Elements of Scrum?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Elements of Scrum, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Agile Leader by Simon Hayward
    • Learning Agile by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
    • The Scrum Fieldbook by J.J. Sutherland
    • Scrum by Jeff Sutherland
    • Strategic Project Management Made Simple by Terry Dean Schmidt
    • Personal Kanban by Jim Benson & Tonianne DeMaria Barry
    • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • How to Walk into a Room by Emily P. Freeman
    • The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    • Hooked by Nir Eyal