A Scrum Book

A Scrum Book

Jeff Sutherland

James O. Coplien


Lachlan Heasman

Mark den Hollander

Cesário Ramos



and The Scrum Patterns Group:

Esther Vervloed, Neil Harrison, Kiro Harada, Joseph Yoder, June Kim, Alan O'Callaghan, Mike Beedle, Gertrud Bjørnvig, Dina Friis, Ville Reijonen, Gabrielle Benefield, Jens Østergaard, Veli-Pekka Eloranta, Evan Leonard, Ademar Aguiar

This edition first published 2018

© 2018 The Scrum Pattern Group

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Table of Contents



The Scrum Core as Patterns

The Spirit of the Game

Product Organization Pattern Language


This chapter describes the patterns that you can use to build your Scrum Team and the other collections of people and loci of relationships that are common to Scrum practice. The Product Organization is one major Whole to which you must attend when introducing Scrum; the other one is the Value Stream Pattern Language. You build your organization and your process in parallel, each a little at a time, weaving together patterns from both of the chapters.

The above figure shows the relationships between the patterns in this chapter. We apply patterns one at a time, and the figure is a guide for the order in which we should apply them. This structure is called a pattern language, because just as a language like English describes how we can sequence words in meaningful ways, this graph describes meaningful pattern sequences. More precisely, it is called a generative pattern language because it generates “sentences” that are combinations of patterns that powerfully reinforce each other.

Each node of the graph is a pattern, and the lines between patterns depict dependencies between them. The graph therefore shows, for each pattern, the patterns above it, which you should already have considered before applying any given pattern, and the ones below it, which are candidates for next steps once you have put the current one in place. Of course, instead of just forging ahead you can jump to another place in the graph and add a pattern that refines some other pattern you had applied earlier. One pattern is said to refine another (or to refine several other patterns) or, the other way around, one pattern is said to contain one or more other patterns. So The Spirit of the Game refines The Mist, and Conway’s Law contains Scrum Team.

There are of course almost countless ways to sequence the patterns, each sequence giving rise to a Scrum organization with a slightly different character. Though you should challenge yourself by considering most of the patterns in this book, you don’t have to use all of them. You will usually pick the patterns that catch your eye and then organize them into a sequence using the graph as a guide. But the dependencies aren’t strict and we encourage you to engage your insight and intuition as you apply the patterns. Of course, you are allowed to change your mind along the way.

In the next section we present a kind of canonical or default sequence for the major patterns in the Product Organization Pattern Language. But, again, use your insight and intuition rather than following the sequence as a mandate. You know more about your organization and your situation than we do.

Product Organization Sequence

The Mist

Fertile Soil

Conway’s Law

Birds of a Feather

Involve the Managers

Scrum Team

Collocated Team

Small Teams

Cross-Functional Team

Product Owner

Product Owner Team

Development Partnership

Development Team

Stable Teams

Autonomous Team

Self-Organizing Team

A Scaling Sequence


Kaizen and Kaikaku


Oyatsu Jinja (おやつ神社)

Small Red Phone

Scrum (Master) Coach

Fixed Work

Sprint Planning

Swarming: One-Piece Continuous Flow

Kaizen Pulse

Remove the Shade

Pop the Happy Bubble

Daily Scrum

ScrumMaster Incognito

Norms of Conduct

Emergency Procedure

Illegitimus Non Interruptus

Scrum of Scrums

Sprint Review

Sprint Retrospective


Product Pride

Value Stream Pattern Language


Whereas the Product Organization Pattern Language builds the relationships between the people and teams in a Scrum organization, the Value Stream Pattern Languages builds relationships between steps of product construction, and the artifacts that represent parts of the process. The Scrum Team builds the Value Stream to frame out the overall rhythms and activities of development. Value generally flows from the Vision into the Product Backlog, and from there into the Sprint Backlog and eventually into the Product Increment. Many other patterns refine these larger Value Stream components along the way.

The above picture is the pattern language graph for the Value Stream Pattern Language, and shows the dependencies between the language’s patterns. We described how to use a pattern language graph in the first section of the Product Organization Pattern Language.

Value Stream Sequence


Impediment List

Value Stream

Set-Based Design

Sprint Burndown Chart

Scrum Board

Product Roadmap

Rhythms: Patterns of Time


Organizational Sprint Pulse

Release Plan

Release Range

ROI-Ordered Backlog

High Value First

Change for Free

Money for Nothing

Product Backlog Sequence

Product Backlog

Product Backlog Item

Information Radiator

Pigs Estimate

Small Items

Granularity Gradient

Estimation Points

Fixed-Date PBI

Vacation PBI

Enabling Specification

Refined Product Backlog

Definition of Ready

Notes on Velocity

Yesterday’s Weather

Running Average Velocity

Aggregate Velocity

Specialized Velocities

Updated Velocity

Sprint Goal

Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog Item

Teams that Finish Early Accelerate Faster

Production Episode

Developer-Ordered Work Plan

Follow the Moon

Visible Status

Dependencies First

Good Housekeeping

Whack the Mole

Definition of Done

Team Sprint

Responsive Deployment

Regular Product Increment

Release Staging Layers

Testable Improvements

One Step at a Time

Value Areas

Value Stream Fork

Happiness Metric

Scrumming the Scrum

Greatest Value

Product Wake

Building Your Own Pattern Language

Project Languages

A Project Language of Hyperproductivity


Patterns from Other Sources

Community of Trust

Named Stable Bases

Take No Small Slips

Completion Headroom

Recommitment Meeting

Informal Labor Plan

Developer Controls Process

Work Flows Inward

Programming Episodes

Someone Always Makes Progress

Team per Task

Sacrifice One Person

Day Care

Interrupts Unjam Blocking

Don’t Interrupt an Interrupt


Solo Virtuoso

Surrogate Customer



Self-Selecting Team

Unity of Purpose

Team Pride

Patron Role

Matron Role

Wise Fool

Domain Expertise in Roles

Moderate Truck Number

Compensate Success

Failed Project Wake

Developing in Pairs

Engage Quality Assurance

Producer Roles

Organization Follows Market

Face-to-Face Before Working Remotely

Distribute Work Evenly

The Water Cooler

Do Food

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