Top 4 Most Significant Scrum 2020 Updates

The 2020 update of the scrum guide brings a leaner, clearer and less prescriptive guide for the scrum framework. For those who are not familiar with scrum it is a lightweight framework that helps organisations deliver solutions for complex problems in an iterative and incremental way that can reduce risk by adapting to change. 

At W2 we adopt the scrum framework within the technical team as the industry we operate in is infamously known for its complex nature, scrum allows us to strive toward continuous improvement and ensuring we stay on the right path of development. As the scrum master on the scrum team at W2 I was excited by the release of the update and the opportunity to reflect on our current implementation of the framework. Below are the top 4 biggest changes to the scrum 2020 framework.

Product goal

We often work on focused projects which drive the implementation of new features into the platform. When focusing on a particular feature we can lose site of the wider platform goal which can lead to delays in higher value features being implemented. The Product Goal focuses on a long-term goal for the whole platform which align our increments to this goal to achieve a more cohesive platform.

The topic of ‘why’

When planning a sprint, we focus on what we aim to deliver and how we will deliver it, which defines the sprint goal. The 2020 update adds the topic of “why” to the planning which asks why this sprint is valuable, turning our current practice on its head. This topic works well with the product goal as we define a sprint goal that aligns to it, doing this first means we improve our focus on the sprint goal throughout planning. 

Renaming of development team

In previous iterations the scrum team was made up of a product owner, scrum master and development team, which can be interpreted as a separate team within the scrum team excluding the product owner and scrum master. Scrum is all too often perceived as a framework for software development exclusively however this is not the case and with the renaming of development team to developers it is now inclusive of anyone who helps develop an increment removing what could be a mental blocker around utilising the framework for other area the organisation. 

Definition of done

The definition of done is a formal and transparent artefact that describes the level of quality a feature must adhere to become a releasable increment. As soon as an item meets the definition of done a new increment is born, this aligns with our continuous integration and deployment process. It is important that we are committed to meeting the definition of done for everything we do to continue delivering to a high standard and meet the compliance needs for ourselves and our customers. 

The 2020 update of the scrum guide provides clarity over the elements within the framework and removes unnecessary bloat. It is still the same framework with no major overhauls. The additions were refreshing and will help us focus and commit to implementing features of greater value in line with the Product Goal at a sustainable rate while maintaining a high-quality platform. 

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