image: © Florian Richter (CC BY)

If only everyone would read the Scrum Guide … This is an exercise I have used many times to create a shared understanding of Scrum.


Place a flip on the wall and ask the team to collect all things they associate with Scrum; use a 5 to 10-minute timebox for this. You can ask the team to use silent writing for this.

In a second timebox, ask the team to split the items on the chart into two columns: one column for the things that are Scrum, as described by the Scrum Guide and the second column for items that are not. Again use a 5 to 10-minute timebox for this. These first two exercises, it is OK if the team doesn’t get the terminology right or puts items in the wrong columns – it’s the thinking, discussion and creation of a shared view on Scrum that counts.

The third exercise presents a pre-drawn flip “This is Scrum”; in this exercise ask the team to come up with the five events, three artefacts and three roles that are tied together by the rules in the Scrum Guide. In this part, do make an effort to get the terminology right. When you’ve got all 11 post-its, ask the team to place them on the sprint timeline.

Optionally, you can take some time for a quick Q&A.


At a Product Owner course I attended (facilitated by Gunther Verheyen), we did the “What is Scrum” exercise almost identically to this exercise described.


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