Scrum in a single sentence

Asking the Serious Scrum community to describe Scrum in a single sentence

Maarten Dalmijn
Oct 17 · 4 min read

Scrum in the Scrum Guide is defined as follows:

A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

However it’s difficult to understand. What is a framework? What are complex adaptive problems?

You can’t beat this definition, it’s in the Scrum Guide after all. If you read it in the context of the Scrum Guide then it becomes a lot easier to understand and digest.

I was still curious to hear how fellow Scrum practitioners would describe Scrum in a single sentence if given the chance to do so.

So I just asked the following question in our Slack channel:

“How would you describe Scrum in a single sentence to someone who does not know Scrum?”

Below is a compilation of the different responses:

Dan Ray — Product Owner

“A framework for the delivery of value that supports and emerges empirically from a mindset of courage, focus, commitment, respect, and openness.”

Willem-Jan Ageling — Scrum Master

“ To build product increments of the highest possible value in fixed time-boxes, using empiricism to address complex product environments.”

Stefan de Neef — Scrum Master

“A bottom-up movement that allows for constant validation of the direction you’re heading to when there is high uncertainty.”

Rui Costa ⚡ — Scrum Master

“An iterative way of working that allows you to fail fast and recover faster.”

Just Meddens — Consultant & Professional Scrum Trainer

“How to cope with uncertainty.”

Paddy Corry — Scrum Master

“Collaborating on small safe bets for early feedback in complex environments.”

Marc Bruisten — Scrum Master

“ A framework that allows for continuous inspection and improvement of team collaboration, value delivery and customer satisfaction in unpredictable environments.”

Max Heiliger — Scrum Master

“Deliver working software that the customer wants, faster.”

Ansh K— Scrum Master

“A framework for happier lives — of customers, organisations, and people involved in product development.”

Sjoerd Nijland — Scrum Master

“ Maximize value in complex environments.”

Elena Vladimirova — Agile Coach

“ Working methodically with the information you have in order to decrease uncertainty and increase confidence in making decisions. ”

Alexandre Fernandes— Scrum Master

“ Get what you need by doing whatever you can in an iterative way.”

Gunnar R. Fischer — Senior Software Developer

“Delivering value in a complex environment.”

Resmi Murali — Scrum Master

“ A framework to develop anything and everything in Iterations in a complex environment.”

Kemal Eser Eker — Scrum Master

“ Setting up a platform for experimenting, learning and improving by small iterations.”

Ionut-Adrian Bejenaru — Scrum Master

“Scrum is about learning fast and build what matters most now, indefinitely.”

Zeynur Kerp — Scrum Master

“ Scrum is a behavioral framework that enables a group of people (scrum team and its stakeholders) to use their collective intelligence , experiment, learn, adjust and deliver solutions that really matters.”

Maarten Dalmijn — Product Owner

“Working with the information you do have to discover what you don’t know so you can deliver more value.”

Marty de Jonge — Organisation Transformation Coach

“How to better organise your chaos as one!”

Jeroen Boot — Quality Manager

“Applying short cycle experiments to rapidly learn in a complex environment how to deliver more value faster.”

Umar — Scrum Master

“ Scrum is a value based process framework to evoke people and organisations to deliver sustainable value through experiential ways of working.”

Let us know how you would describe Scrum in a single sentence!

Each of these single sentences highlight different parts of what Scrum is about, which helps you to better understand the essence of Scrum.

It’s a fun exercise to try and distill the essence of Scrum.

What is your favorite definition of Scrum in a single sentence? How would you define Scrum in a single sentence?

Let me know in a response, as I’m curious to learn from all of our readers.

I will update the article with best responses over time. So just write a reply if you came up with a sentence you like.

Do you want to write for Serious Scrum or seriously discuss Scrum?

Maarten Dalmijn

Written by

Product Owner and Agile enthusiast.

Serious Scrum

Content by and for serious scrum practitioners.

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