This is the first comprehensive, practical guide for Scrum practitioners working in large-scale distributed environments. Written by three of IBM’s leading Scrum practitioners—in close collaboration with the IBM QSE Scrum Community of more than 1000 members worldwide—this book offers specific, actionable guidance for everyone who wants to succeed with Scrum in the enterprise.
Readers will follow a journey through the lifecycle of a distributed Scrum project, from envisioning products and setting up teams to preparing for Sprint planning and running retrospectives. Each chapter presents a baseline drawn from “conventional” Scrum, then discusses additional issues faced by distributed teams, and presents specific best-practice solutions, alternatives, and tips the authors have identified through hard, empirical experience.
Using real-world examples, the book demonstrates how to apply key Scrum practices, such as look-ahead planning in geographically distributed environments. Readers will also gain valuable new insights into the agile management of complex problem and technical domains.
Review By: Daniel Luciano 03/11/2011I have been using agile methods and Scrum since 2000, and I have been a certified ScrumMaster since 2007. All of my work is with small (less than ten people), collocated teams. I had heard and read that Scrum did not scale well or work well with distributed teams, so I was very interested in reading "A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum." The authors of this book work for IBM, where distributed teams are common. By reading the book, I was hoping to see how others use Scrum in a distributed software development environment.
The book is a light read and under 200 pages in length. The authors write in an easy-to-read style. Each chapter ends with a list of references, which provides for more in-depth information. Most of the chapters have quotes from others within IBM, who provide advice in using the ideas presented by the authors. The book not only provides information on using Scrum with a distributed team but also information on using Scrum in a non-distributed development environment. In addition, the book contains information on working with distributed team no matter what the development methodology. The authors offer descriptions for several types of distributed teams. Understanding the different types of distributed teams is an important point in the book, since many chapters present methods of working within the Scrum framework for each type of distributed team.
There are several excellent parts of the book. Chapter 1 has a good overview of Scrum basics. Even if you think you know Scrum, this is a good chapter to read, because there has been so much written about Scrum and there are many misconceptions. This chapter gives you the authors’ frame of reference about Scrum, which sets up the rest of the book.
Chapter 2 is about the challenges facing a distributed team. The information found in this chapter is useful for any distributed team, even if you are not using Scrum.
Since I believe the daily stand-up meeting is one of the most important practices in Scrum, I found Chapter 6 to be the most interesting. It offers information on how to run the daily stand-up meeting for each of the different types of distributed teams.
I recommend this book to anyone who has worked or will work with Scrum in a distributed environment. I also recommend it to those who work with Scrum in a non-distributed environment. The ability to communicate in a distributed environment is very important, and it is a major theme throughout the book.