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A Scrum Book: The Spirit of the Game


Cover image for A Scrum Book

A Scrum Book

The Spirit of the Game


Gain insights and depth of rationale into Scrum from many highly respected world authorities, including one of its founders, who lead you through the deep foundations of Scrum’s structure and practice. Enhance and customize your Scrum practice with ninety-four organizational building blocks, called patterns, that you can freely and flexibly choose from to fit your needs. Understand and appreciate the history of Scrum and the role it plays in solving common problems in product development.

Customer Reviews

There’s a lot of wisdom in this book that is applicable and useful outside of a Scrum context. The patterns are pragmatic, engaging, and very well executed—a true joy to read.

- Adam Tornhill

Author of "Software Design X-Rays" and "Your Code as a Crime Scene"

A Scrum Book: The Spirit of the Game is a valuable, well-organized resource whether
for team members in the early days of their Scrum journey, for journeymen
ScrumMasters looking to add techniques and approaches to their toolkit as they
unlock more complex improvement efforts, or for master coaches looking for a
well-structured body of knowledge into which to integrate and evolve their own
patterns. Practices, tools, and principles (the what) are surfaced for us as we go
about our daily work, and Sutherland, Coplien, et al. lay bare the philosophy,
thinking, and reasoning (the why) to facilitate our learning.

- Mark Gillett

Managing Director, Silver Lake

Within minutes of opening A Scrum Book: The Spirit of the Game, I implemented
my first Scrum pattern and raised the level of my team’s software game. I’ve
dabbled in Scrum practices for years, but after reading this book, I have gained
a deeper appreciation for the nuances behind those practices and how they work
in concert to create an elegant whole. This book is a must read for anyone who
works on a team to build software.

- Michael Keeling

Staff Software Engineer and author of _Design It!_, LendingHome

This is a book for all Scrum practitioners, veterans as well as newbies. Starting
with the first pattern (The Spirit of the Game) and continuing throughout the
book, it’s about people. You will be able to use the book and its patterns as a
source of inspiration when you create your way of working according to Scrum.
The book and its patterns cover the what of Scrum as well as its whys. There is
no need to wait. Get it! Read it! Use it! Improve!

- Arne Åhlander

Certified Scrum Trainer and CEO, Aqqurite AB

The book’s use of Zen principles and the lessons from Japanese industrial culture
makes this an incredibly fun read. It’s extremely informative and I’m sure I’ll
continue to pick it up frequently to review the wise recommendations contained

- Dary Merckens

CTO, Gunner Technology

You hold in your hands a work of art that will inspire, support, and challenge you
and your organization to be better for the greater good. And have lots of fun while
doing it.

- Portia Tung

Author of "The Dream Team Nightmare" and Agile Coach

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Contents & Extracts

  • Dedications
  • Product Owner’s Note
  • Preface
    • 尋牛 – The Search for the Bull
    • 見跡 – Discovering the Footprints
    • 見牛 – Perceiving the Bull
    • 得牛 – Catching the Bull
    • 牧牛 – Taming the Bull
    • 騎牛帰家 – Riding the Bull Home
    • 忘牛存人 – The Bull Transcended
    • 人牛倶忘 – Both Bull and Self Transcended
    • 返本還源 – Reaching the Source
    • 入鄽垂手 – In the World
  • Introduction
    • Scrum — Through the Lens of Experience
    • Patterns of Scrum
    • Getting Started
    • The Fundamental Process
    • A Quick Tour of the Book
    • Book Notations
    • What Now?
  • The Scrum Core as Patterns
    • ¶1 The Spirit of the Game
    • The Core Patterns in Brief
    • Beyond the Core
  • Product Organization Pattern Language excerpt
    • Product Organization Sequence
    • ¶2 The Mist
    • ¶3 Fertile Soil
    • ¶4 Conway’s Law
    • ¶5 Birds of a Feather
    • ¶6 Involve the Managers
    • ¶7 Scrum Team
    • ¶8 Collocated Team
    • ¶9 Small Teams
    • ¶10 Cross-Functional Team
    • ¶11 Product Owner
    • ¶12 Product Owner Team
    • ¶13 Development Partnership
    • ¶14 Development Team
    • ¶15 Stable Teams
    • ¶16 Autonomous Team
    • ¶17 Self-Organizing Team
    • A Scaling Sequence
    • ¶18 Mitosis
    • Kaizen and Kaikaku
    • ¶19 ScrumMaster
    • ¶20 Oyatsu Jinja (Snack Shrine)
    • ¶21 Small Red Phone
    • ¶22 Scrum (Master) Coach
    • ¶23 Fixed Work
    • ¶24 Sprint Planning
    • ¶25 Swarming: One-Piece Continuous Flow
    • ¶26 Kaizen Pulse
    • ¶27 Remove the Shade
    • ¶28 Pop the Happy Bubble
    • ¶29 Daily Scrum
    • ¶30 ScrumMaster Incognito
    • ¶31 Norms of Conduct
    • ¶32 Emergency Procedure
    • ¶33 Illegitimus Non Interruptus
    • ¶34 Scrum of Scrums
    • ¶35 Sprint Review
    • ¶36 Sprint Retrospective
    • ¶37 MetaScrum
    • ¶38 Product Pride
  • Value Stream Pattern Language excerpt
    • Value Stream Sequence
    • ¶39 Vision
    • ¶40 Impediment List
    • ¶41 Value Stream
    • ¶42 Set-Based Design
    • ¶43 Sprint Burndown Chart
    • ¶44 Scrum Board
    • ¶45 Product Roadmap
    • Rhythms: Patterns of Time
    • ¶46 Sprint
    • ¶47 Organizational Sprint Pulse
    • ¶48 Release Plan
    • ¶49 Release Range
    • Value and ROI
    • ¶50 ROI-Ordered Backlog
    • ¶51 High Value First
    • ¶52 Change for Free
    • ¶53 Money for Nothing
    • Product Backlog Sequence
    • ¶54 Product Backlog
    • ¶55 Product Backlog Item
    • ¶56 Information Radiator
    • ¶57 Pigs Estimate
    • ¶58 Small Items
    • ¶59 Granularity Gradient
    • ¶60 Estimation Points
    • ¶61 Fixed-Date PBI
    • ¶62 Vacation PBI
    • ¶63 Enabling Specification
    • ¶64 Refined Product Backlog
    • ¶65 Definition of Ready
    • Notes on Velocity
    • ¶66 Yesterday’s Weather
    • ¶67 Running Average Velocity
    • ¶68 Aggregate Velocity
    • ¶69 Specialized Velocities
    • ¶70 Updated Velocity
    • ¶71 Sprint Goal
    • ¶72 Sprint Backlog
    • ¶73 Sprint Backlog Item
    • ¶74 Teams That Finish Early Accelerate Faster
    • ¶75 Production Episode
    • ¶76 Developer-Ordered Work Plan
    • ¶77 Follow the Moon
    • ¶78 Visible Status
    • ¶79 Dependencies First
    • ¶80 Good Housekeeping
    • ¶81 Whack the Mole
    • ¶82 Definition of Done
    • ¶83 Team Sprint
    • ¶84 Responsive Deployment
    • ¶85 Regular Product Increment
    • ¶86 Release Staging Layers
    • ¶87 Testable Improvements
    • ¶88 One Step at a Time
    • ¶89 Value Areas
    • ¶90 Value Stream Fork
    • ¶91 Happiness Metric
    • ¶92 Scrumming the Scrum
    • ¶93 Greatest Value
    • ¶94 Product Wake
  • Composing Your Own Pattern Language
    • Project Languages
    • A Project Language of Highly Effective Teams
    • Your Own Pattern Language
  • Patlets
    • Patterns in the Product Organization Pattern Language
    • Patterns in the Value Stream Pattern Language
    • Patterns from the Organizational Patterns Book
    • Patterns from Fearless Change
  • Picture Credits


Jeff Sutherland is the co-creator of Scrum. Author of Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time (about 100,000 copies sold), and other titles. He holds a PhD in Medicine.

James O. Coplien was an early influencer of Scrum, a co-founder of the Hillside Group (the software pattern movement) and co-author of Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development, Advanced C++ (70,000 copies sold), and several other titles. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy and a PhD in Computer Science.

The Scrum Patterns Group is the dedicated team that has worked to evolve the patterns seen frequently in Scrum. The group includes Lachlan Heasman, Mark den Hollander, Cesário Ramos, 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, and Ademar Aguiar.