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The New 2020 Scrum Guide is Here!

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Scrum and a new 2020 Scrum Guide has been released to commemorate the occasion. Read on for some key changes introduced by the new Scrum Guide.

Overall, the new Scrum Guide is less prescriptive than its 2017 Scrum Guide predecessor. The 2020 Scrum Guide is now 14 pages, instead of the original 19 pages. The new guide removed the three suggested Daily Scrum questions. This does not mean that you should stop using the questions, but that flexibility is now evident.

The revision also uses more general language to address a broader use of Scrum. Standard IT terms such as "system" and "testing", among others, have been removed to make it a guide that can speak to product development organizations of all types.

Key changes in the New 2020 Scrum Guide

1- New ‘Commitments’

The new guide introduces the Product Goal. The product goal is a commitment to achieve the product vision. The new Scrum Guide also finds a home for the Definition of Done and the Sprint Goal. These are now “Commitments.” Thus, there are now three Commitment items in Scrum.

· The Product Goal - a commitment to the Product Backlog.

· The Sprint Goal - a commitment to the Sprint Backlog.

· The Definition of Done - a commitment to the Product Increment.

2- One Team

The term “Development Team” has now changed to “Developers.” This is to avoid having a “team within a team” mentality that can lead to an "us vs them" antipattern and highlights the focus on delivering value as a single team.

3- From "Servant Leaders" to "Leaders that Serve"

Although there are no changes to the responsibility of the Scrum Master, the wording has changed to describe the Scrum Master as a Leader who serves the Scrum Team, instead of Servant Leader. Although this might seem trivial, the goal is to emphasize that a Scrum Master is accountable for improving the Scrum Team's performance instead of being a passive servant.

4- Self-Managing Teams

The 2020 Scrum Guide calls for self-managing teams. The previous version referred to the teams as being self-organizing. The difference is that self-organizing teams are expected to coordinate and make decisions around the work. On the other hand, self-managing means the team decides how much work they will take into the Sprint, how they will go about doing the work, and which of them will do the work to accomplish the goal.

5- Introducing the “Why”

The Sprint Planning event now has a “Why” topic. The previous version required the Scrum Team to discuss and agree on “What” they will commit to for the Sprint as well as “How” they will build it. Now the Scrum Team is also expected to collaborate on the Sprint Goal to discuss “Why” the Sprint is valuable.

6- Calling Out Lean thinking

Scrum roots are based on Lean thinking. Yet, past Scrum Guide versions have been silent about how Lean principles fit into Scrum. This Scrum Guide 2020 version clarifies the need for Lean thinking and reducing waste to focus on the essentials when using Scrum.

Happy birthday Scrum and thank you for 25 years of helping us to work better together.

To download the new guide please visit



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