Yurij Mikhalevich
April 22, 2023

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland

Scrum is an Agile framework that aims to deliver high-value products with minimum waste. As a software engineer, I’ve always been interested in becoming more efficient at what I do. During my over decade-long career, I have worked with different teams using different processes. Currently, my favorite is the Shape Up methodology proposed by the people behind the 37signals company.

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant at first to read “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” book due to a minor negative bias towards Scrum that I had developed from encountering a few cases that were misrepresenting it. However, I decided to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did. After finishing the book, I came to like Scrum more and was inspired to invest more time in learning how to implement it best. I even became a certified Professional Scrum Master!

I discovered that Scrum and Shape Up have more in common than I initially thought. Both frameworks value shipping things fast, emphasize the importance of teams owning the projects they build, and suggest driving the development by the user problems. The primary difference is that Scrum imposes more processes, which can be helpful to less experienced developers but cumbersome to more experienced ones. Scrum encourages collaboration and communication and allows for frequent feedback and adaptation. It emphasizes the importance of prioritizing work based on value and helps teams avoid getting bogged down by unnecessary tasks. Because Scrum is a complex framework, it’s easy to misimplement it, overfocus on some aspects of the process and ignore others, and lose the value Scrum can bring to the team. On the other hand, Shape Up is much more suited for experienced developers, brings just enough process into the work, and is structured in a way that makes it harder to misimplement.

Scrum can be a valuable framework for teams of all sizes and skill levels if implemented correctly. If you want to learn more about Scrum or Agile, I suggest giving “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” a read! The book provides an excellent introduction to Scrum and its benefits, as well as practical advice.

Builds the future at Lightning AI, creator of the Move Fast and Break Things community of software engineers, DeepLearning.AI mentor, creator of rclip, writes about tech, software engineering, books, what to watch, and beyond, practices creative writing and captures moments through photography
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