Scrum for Managers, ScrumMasters, Product Owners and Teams


3 days

This course is a 3-day in-depth seminar on the art of serving as an effective ScrumMaster or agile leader, on the Scrum framework, and the organizational changes involved in adopting Scrum. In addition to all standard Scrum content, you will learn -- through exercises and discussion – more key concepts and skills in Scrum and agile methods, including Large-Scale Scrum, agile organizational design, enterprise-level adoption and transition, Scrum in the context of offshore and/or multisite development, specification by example and its relationship to Acceptance TDD, how to do agile estimation, splitting large requirements into smaller customer-centric requirements, Product Backlog prioritization, how to facilitate a Scrum Retrospective, how to coach a Sprint Review, and more.

Surveys show that Scrum is by far the most popular agile method worldwide -- and with good reason.

There are three roles in Scrum: Team(s), Product Owner, and ScrumMaster. This latter role is NOT a project manager. The ScrumMaster is a coach and teacher (to all others in the organization) of the Scrum framework and how to obtain value with it, a team-builder, and a servant to help others -- someone who is a master of the Scrum framework who helps the self-managing Team and the Product Owner apply it and maximize value with it.

Agile management and its implications for a new organizational design are radically different from traditional project management and organizational systems for development. Rather than plan, instruct and direct, the ScrumMaster teaches, observes, facilitates, serves. And the organization is based on self-organizing/managing principles and empirical process control rather than command-and-control, and defined processes.

Participants learn how to be a ScrumMaster and what is the read to agile organization. Exercises, case studies, and examples are used to bring home the realization of how to be a ScrumMaster and what it means to be agile.

Methods of Education

Discussion, presentation, Q&A, workshop exercises


Anyone interested in adopting Scrum should take this as a foundation -- including potential Product Owners, and the leadership team. And certainly, anyone wishing to serve as a ScrumMaster.


Introductory: This course assumes no prerequisite skills, other than the readings listed in the Prerequisites section. Students will learn and apply skills (both "hard" and "soft") during the session.

Prerequisites: Pre-readings

Participants must read (available online), before the course:

Unless otherwise arranged, every participant is also required to have read the following chapters from Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Scrum (Larman & Vodde), before the course:

  • Chapter 2: Systems Thinking
  • Chapter 4: Queuing Theory
  • Chapter 8: Teams
  • Chapter 10: Organization

NOTE! Your company may have an online Safari account that you can use to read the book chapters online free. Please ask your colleagues if you have a Safari account.


Through education and practice, a ScrumMaster should be able to:

  • Remove the barriers between development and the customer so the customer directly drives development;
  • Teach the customer how to maximize ROI and meet their objectives through Scrum;
  • Improve the lives of the development team by facilitating creativity and empowerment;
  • Improve the productivity of the development team in any way possible; and,
  • Improve the engineering practices and tools so each increment of functionality is potentially shippable

In addition to the above, PLUS objectives include ability to coach or advise more in-depth agile and Scrum practices, including retrospectives, agile engineering practices, and estimation sessions.

Outline: Core

  • Agile Overview — Agile product development frameworks aim to increase flexibility or agility in the development organization, and thereby enable business agility. They emphasize increasing transparency, inspection, and adaption, and flexible workers. By far, Scrum is the most popular agile framework, with good reason. We examine some of the big ideas.
  • Scrum Background — The roots of Scrum start in the 1986 Harvard Business Review paper, The New New Product Development Game. We examine the background behind this research, and the key ideas in the paper, which were the impetus for Scrum.
  • Scrum Overview — In this section, we summarize the key elements of Scrum, including roles, events, artifacts, and values. And especially, the need for transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
  • Scrum Roles and Responsibilities — Team, Product Owner, and ScrumMaster are the three key roles of Scrum. We explore the behaviors and responsibilities of each role, and how that may differ from your current organization.
  • Scrum Artifacts — The Product Backlog of items, and Sprint Backlog of tasks, and the Product Increment are the three key artifacts of Scrum. We examine their contents, and how to create, modify, and use the backlogs.
  • Sprint — The Scrum Sprint is the short iteration within which the Team creates a Potentially Shippable Product Increment (PSPI). We explore the implications of working in Sprints that deliver PSPI.
  • Sprint Planning Meeting — This meeting kicks off the Sprint, in which the Product Owner offers a list of Product Backlog Items to the Team, and the Team creates a Sprint Backlog and forecast. We look at the outcomes and techniques for this meeting.
  • Daily Scrum — This is a daily short meeting in which the self-managing Team members update each other on their progress, to foster coordination and collaboration. We examine the rules and techniques.
  • Product Backlog Refinement — During the Sprint, the Team and Product Owner need to refine (or groom) the Product Backlog for future Sprints (much urgently, for the upcoming next Sprint). This should normally take between 5-10% of the overall Sprint duration. In this section we summarize the motivation, details, and various methods for estimation, requirements splitting, and detailed analysis.
  • Sprint Review Meeting — The goal of the Sprint is to product a PSPI, and in this meeting involving the Team, Product Owner, and other stakeholders, the group closely inspect the PSPI so that the Product Owner can decide to accept or reject the items and decide to actually release the product. In addition, the Product Owner seeks input for how to proceed in subsequent Sprints.
  • Sprint Retrospective Meeting — The Sprint ends with a workshop in which the Team, ScrumMaster (and perhaps Product Owner) reflect on their ways of working, relationships, and environment, and generate an improvement experiment to try in the next Sprint.
  • Release Planning — Before the first Sprint, the group needs to create and prepare a Product Backlog so that the Team knows what to work on. In addition, there may be a larger release goal that spans several Sprints. We examine the goals, activities, and techniques of release planning before Sprint 1.
  • The Art of the ScrumMaster — The ScrumMaster is a teacher and coach of Scrum, who focuses on getting the Team, Product Owner, and organization to work well and to get Scrum to work well in the organization. We explore the myriad bodies of knowledge, issues, and techniques that ScrumMasters need to be aware of.
  • Tools for Fostering Self-Organizing Teams — Teams in Scrum are self-organizing or self-managing, without a team lead or project manager. In the transition to Scrum, people at first may not be familiar how to effectively self-organize in a highly collaborative Team. We look at techniques and issues to help create a healthy and skillful self-managing team.
  • Introducing Scrum into the Organization — We examine examples and techniques that ScrumMasters and Product Owners use to more effectively introduce Scrum and create positive change in the organization.

Outline: Extra Topics Include...

  • Communities of practice — In a cross-functional team organization, the concern of a single function (such as architecture, user experience, or testing) remains important. How to handle this cross-team concern? With communities of practice. In this section we examine this critical organizational element.
  • Agile estimation — With relative point estimation, estimation poker, monte carlo simulation, and more.
  • retrospective techniques — With system dynamics analysis, root cause analysis, collaboration exercises, and more.
  • Large-Scale Scrum — How do you apply Scrum to a product group of 1000 people, perhaps in multiple sites? We provide a few pointers to this large subject.for large, multisite, and offshore development, and introduce Large-Scale Scrum framework-1 and framework-2 for scaling to massive and multisite product development.
  • Visual management — In Lean Thinking and agile methods, using big visible charts on walls, paper cards on walls, and other physical information radiators are important tools to foster collaboration and agility. We explore the motivation and modalities of visual management.
  • Lean Thinking — Lean thinking, or the Toyota Way, is not the same as Scrum, but it has been an influence on many agile approaches, including Scrum. What are the key elements of lean thinking? We explore some of these, including value flow, manager-teachers, managers practicing Go See and Help, continuous improvement, respect for people, and more.
  • Splitting large requirements — How do you take a large requirement and split it into much smaller customer-centric requirements? We will take real requirements from student examples, and show how to split them, using the many splitting perspectives, such as splitting by use cases, by scenarios, by specializations, and more.
  • The 3 Cs of user stories — User stories are a behavior of agile and collaborative requirements analysis, based on card, conversation, and confirmation. We look at the details of these, and how to do stories.
  • Agile requirements analysis and acceptance testing — We explore skillful and simple techniques such as specification by example, and acceptance test-driven development.
  • Design workshops — How can team members, and cross-team members, collaborate on a shared design and architecture? We examine the practice of facilitated design workshops and agile modeling.
  • Agile architecture — How to grow a system with agility? We look at some of the behaviors and patterns of agile architecture.
  • Many more exercises — Related to scenarios and case studies of Scrum in action, benefits, problems, estimation, and more.

Maximum Participants


Environment - Room, Tools, Texts

Read this: Course Environment - Workshop Style1

Text and Notes

  • There is a course PDF for the presentations. We may decide to give the students a file copy to view on a laptop or a paper copy, depending on situation.