Book Review – Scrum by Jeff Sutherland


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Recently read a book titled Scrum, The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland. I think this is the most self-praising book I have ever read!

About Jeff Sutherland

As you might know already; Jeff Sutherland is one of the celebrated Software Professionals and co-creator of Scrum as a formal software development process. He is also one of the members who create The Agile Manifesto. A veteran US Military commander; a doctor and finally a software development professional; Jeff has contributed a lot across industries.

About Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework for developing and completing projects (more seen in software projects). A sprint is the key part of scrum. A sprint spans across two to four weeks in which a team collaborate and develop a working module. The sprint is planned according to the requirements, team’s capability and inter-relations. Each sprint tries to complete a working model/shippable product/early release to client so that further sprints are used to build on-top-of-it. Requirements are vetted by a Product Owner and sprint planning are coordinated by a scrum master. Another key aspect of scrum is the short daily meeting the team have to understand what each member worked on; what they are going to work on and any hindrances they face. Each sprint is also supposed to end with a retrospective.

About the book

The book is written in a biographical manner in which Jeff talks about how he came up with the idea of scrum. He gives real life examples of project he consulted with; failures and processes developed. As I mentioned earlier; the author uses ‘I’ too much that a reader can easily get irritated. The book is written with a generic audience in mind. If you are an engineer expecting to learn in-depth about Agile or Scrum — you will be deeply regretted.

I think, the audience of this book is more a senior manager who is still contemplating which agile framework to adopt. Author’s anecdotes from various industries make a strong case to adopt scrum as the process.A little more than 250 pages; the book is organized into nine chapters.

First three chapters are more or less introduction, history and lots of self-praise 🙂 The meat of the book starts with fourth chapter on Time where he discusses about sprints. Later, Jeff discusses about prioritizations, and why creating a working model in each sprint is important. Last chapter is more future looking discussing how scrum is used in non-software related projects.

Overall a one-time read. If you are interested in the philosophy, history and high level impacts scrum can make — go and read the book

About Vijay Sankar 44 Articles
A techie turned business professional; presently living in Cochin, India. For bread and butter, exploring the domain of marketing attribution. I hold an Electrical Engineering degree from College of Engineering, Trivandrum and Executive MBA (PGPEM) from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

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