The Scrum Primer

| by Craig Larman Follow 3 Followers , Gabrielle Benefield Follow 1 Followers , Bas Vodde Follow 2 Followers , Pete Deemer Follow 0 Followers on Dec 17, 2012

About the Authors

Pete Deemer is a founder of the Scrum Foundation, which is headed by Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum. Pete is an honors graduate of Harvard University, and has spent the last 22 years leading teams building software-based products and services at global companies. Most recently he served as Vice President of Product Development for Yahoo!, where he led Yahoo's global adoption of Scrum. He has also spent a number of years as adjunct faculty at University of California Berkeley, where he received the prestigious Club 6 teaching award, and he is currently a visiting lecturer at the National University of Singapore.

He has provided Scrum training and coaching to the employees of companies including Microsoft, Dell, EMC, Ericsson, CA, Fidelity, GE, JP Morgan, Mercedes Benz, Oracle, SAP, Siemens, Unilever, and Verizon.


Gabrielle Benefield is an author, speaker and advisor specialising in Agile and Lean organisational transformation, product strategy and innovation. She is the founder of Evolve Beyond, a global consultancy headquartered in London, working with diverse industries including finance, telecommunications, energy and gaming. Previously, Gabrielle was an executive in Silicon Valley, and led one of the largest Agile enterprise transformations at Yahoo!, scaling up to 250+ teams in the US, India, Europe, and Asia.

Gabrielle is one of the founders of the Scrum Foundation and is also an author of the Scrum Primer, one of the most downloaded guides to Scrum. Furthermore, she is the creator of HotHousing, an innovative framework to rapidly take products from first concept to release.

Currently, Gabrielle is co-authoring a book on Agile and Lean contracts and regularly delivers presentations and public & private workshops around the world. Also the following publications will be released in 2013: HotHousing: An innovators guide to product development; Evolve: Legal Contracts for dynamic business environments; How to Measure Value: A practical guide to creating value metrics. You can contact Gabrielle through her sites at or

 Craig Larman is a management and organizational-design consultant for enterprise adoptions and very large-scale product delivery with Lean principles and large-scale Scrum, especially in "embedded systems" domains and investment banking. He is the co-author (with Bas Vodde) of Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking & Organizational Tools and Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, & Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum, and Agile & Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide. You can reach him at




Bas Vodde is a coach, consultant, programmer, trainer, and author related to modern agile and lean product development. When he coaches organizations, he works on three levels: organizational, team, individual/technical practices. He has trained thousands of people in software development, Scrum, and modern agile practices for over a decade. He is the author of the Scaling Agile and Lean Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum and of Practices for Large-Scale Agile and Lean Development, both together with Craig Larman. Bas works for Odd-e, a company which supports organization in improving their product development, mainly in Asia.

Bas currently lives in Singapore where he ended up after living in Holland (born), China and Finland. He worked in a couple of start-ups in Holland, after which he, in 2001, had enough of the "normal life" and moved to China and started working for Nokia. In Nokia, he worked on large and traditional projects. This uncomfortable experience convinced him that agile and lean development is a more human way of developing software products -- no matter how large your development is.

He had the opportunity to introduce Agile Development (particularly Scrum) in Nokia Networks (later Nokia Siemens Networks) but had to move to Helsinki. There he watched dozens of product groups adopt scrum and other agile practices. The extreme cold in Finland forced him to migrate south and back to China where he focused on one large product group and its Scrum adoption.

Bas is interested in Scrum with a special focus on large companies and large product development. But he also enjoyed working on technical practices, especially test-driven development (especially in embedded environments) and continuous integration. He keeps working as a developer because he strongly believes you need a well-factored code base if you want to be fast and flexible. His hobbies are studies in lean production and quality management and, of course, programming.

Bas is also one of the authors of the CppUTest unit test framework for C/C++ and of Osaka a Mac UI automation framework written in Ruby.




Traditional development with single-function groups, delayed or weak feedback loops, frontloaded predictive planning, and a sequential flow from analysis to test is not very successful in today’s volatile world. This approach delays feedback, learning, and potential return on investment due to an absence of real working software until late in the game, causing a lack of transparency, lack of ability to improve, reduction in flexibility, and an increase in business and technical risks. An alternative – cross-functional teams with iterative development – has also existed for decades, but was not as widely used as the traditional model.

Scrum packages proven product-development concepts in a simple framework, including: real teams, cross-functional teams, self-managing teams, short iterative full-cycle feedback loops, and lowering the cost of change. These concepts increase agility and feedback, enable earlier ROI, and reduce risk. Scrum is a development framework in which cross-functional teams develop products or projects in an iterative, incremental manner. It structures development in cycles of work called Sprints. At the end of the Sprint, the Team reviews the Sprint with stakeholders, and demonstrates what it has built. People obtain feedback that can be incorporated in the next Sprint. Scrum emphasizes working product at the end of the Sprint that is really “done”; in the case of software, this means a system that is integrated, fully tested, end-user documented, and potentially shippable. There are many concise descriptions of Scrum available online, and this primer aims to provide the next level of detail on the practices.

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Here you can find the translated versions of the book:

Table of Contents

  • Beyond Traditional Development
  • Scrum Roles 
  • Product Backlog
  • Definition of Done
  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Tracking Progress During the Sprint
  • Product Backlog Refinement
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective
  • Starting the next Sprint
  • Managing Releases
  • Application or Product Focus
  • Common Challenges
  • Appendix A: Additional Reading

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