Book review: Scrum — A Smart Travel Companion by Gunther Verheyen

This morning I got out of bed way earlier then I normally do. Since this suddenly gave me quite some extra hours for my day, I decided to pick up Gunther Verheyen’s little book Scrum — A Smart Travel Companion again and finish it.

I catogorize the book as a “professional”, but reading it brought me more joy than most non-professional books I’ve read.

Even more than Gunther’s Scrum trainings, the book breathes and creates deep understanding of what Scrum is really about. It is the perfect companion for, or better completion of the Scrum Guide written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

The book is made up of four parts:

  • The Agile Paradigm
  • Scrum
  • Tactics for a Purpose
  • The Future State of Scrum

I would rather see it as having three major content blocks:

  1. Agile as the context for Scrum

In the first block, Gunther takes you on a thinking journey through the origins of Agile and its link with Scrum, the “Agile thinking essentials” and the link between Agile and Lean. If it was a map, it wouldn’t show you the end goal, but you would definitely know which direction to take. And which not.

2. Scrum and some tools that can help you with it

The central block is about Scrum and practices that can support Scrum. Unlike the Scrum Guide Gunther takes you on a narrative, a story of how Scrum came to be. How it is a game to play. With players, rules, principles and values.

3. Beyond Scrum (or deep Scrum)

And then the third part. Oh man, the third part! Go beyond Scrum! It’s not just about adopting a new process. It’s about becoming a new organization. Break down walls. No, tear them down. And rebuild as is needed. Throw away your current thinking, and recreate it in order to truly deliver value. And please, go beyond IT and development. Scrum in its simplicity can help to deliver value in any complex environment. I promise :)