The Elements of Scrum – A Book

The Elements of Scrum uses storytelling to demonstrate the principles and practices of Scrum. It includes history and origin, and comparison to traditional methodology. The book also discuss the principles and practices as stated in the Agile Manifesto but through anecdotal explanations, historical examples, and frank opinions. It also has explanations about every aspect of the Scrum process, which includes team composition, scheduling and workflow management. They are all presented in meaningful and retainable stories, which is the best human way to pass along information.

Book Details

This paperback edition measures 6 in. wide, 0.4 in. thick, and 9 in. tall. It ships about 11.8 ounces in weight. The book is divided in 20 chapters with a total of 184 pages. It is available in paperback and Kindle formats. The book was published in February 2011 in English by Dymaxicon Publishing. The version of the book as printed on the cover is 1.01. ISBN-10: 0982866917, ISBN-13: 978-0982866917


$26.93 for the paperback version and $9.99 for the Kindle version

Target Audience

The Elements of Scrum is for a wide range of audiences. The book is an excellent introduction to Scrum, and would appeal to new and beginners in agile methodologies. However, the book is also full of examples, and would be helpful to experienced practitioners as they implement Scrum as a team on their projects. Finally, the book is a good read and a good review, even for experts, to refresh their knowledge about the topic. The book is also recommended for Agile coaches, trainers and teachers.

What Customers Say

Dave M. (Amazon) described the book as an excellent material that examines the inner workings of Scrum. He stated that the book provides insight on how teams function rather than explain theories about agile software development. And the book does it through examples, clear explanations and valuable walk-throughs.

Brad L. (Amazon) stated that the book is a great refresher. He described the layout as organized and the explanations as effective. He stated that reading it is a good way to brush up on Scrum before starting a new project.

Tobias M. (Goodreads) described it as the best Scrum guide he has read. He recommends it for people wanting to get started on Scrum. The book offers a clear description of the process, roles, artifacts and ceremonies. All these are combined with stories and words of wisdom. He recommends it also to Scrum coaches and teachers.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: The Elements of Scrum is divided into an introduction and 3 parts. The introduction tells of the experience of a Scrum team during the week. The first part follows with the Introduction to Agility. This part contains chapters about the origins of Scrum, the comparison with traditional waterfall methods, agile values and principles, and others. The second part focuses on Scrum: the roles, sprint, artifacts, user stories, and estimating. The last part is about supporting practices, such as release planning, user personas, storymapping, and more, including chapters about test-driven development and pair programming.
Approach/Tone: The authors relay ideas through stories and examples which are usually followed by explanations and opinion/recommendations. For emphasis, humorous stories or examples are given to show which ideas have not provided the desired results.
Style: The book contains short paragraphs where ideas smoothly flows from one to the next. Thus, the book is easy to read. The language used is easy to understand, and where there are business or technical terms, definitions are also provided. Some illustrations are included to help relay the idea.

Why Buy the Book

The Elements of Scrum is an Amazon top-rated and recommended book. It caters to readers regardless of their experience about the subject. It provides a good introduction, good examples that are based on agile principles, and a good explanation of how and why Scrum works better on certain projects. Also, the points, ideas, actual experiences and discussions are all expressed in stories and anecdotes that are easy to remember and enjoyable to read.


Chris Sims is the founder of Agile Learning Labs, a provider of agile training and management consulting. It is a privately held company based in Silicon Valley. Chris is a Certified Scrum Trainer, an agile coach, and a C++ developer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Chris held various positions as ScrumMaster, Owner, Engineering Manager, Project Manager, and Software Engineer. He has also written many articles about agile on InfoQ and on Agile Learning Lab’s blogs.

Hillary Louise Johnson is Senior Editor of Sactown Magazine, a premier magazine for the Sacramento region in California. She also runs Dymaxicon, a publishing company that has titles in technology as well as literary fiction. Hillary continues to be a freelance journalist since 1992, and has written for Inc., Worthy, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, O (Oprah) Magazine, InStyle, and others. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology at the Antioch University. Hillary also co-authored with Chris the book Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction.

$26.93 for the paperback version and $9.99 for the Kindle version

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