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5 Best Changes in Latest Scrum Guide Version

Updated: Apr 15

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

This statement applies to every person, situation, organization, and even system. Whoever wants to grow needs to accept the change. Knowing what’s required with changing the world, accepting it, and doing the required is the path to progress. The same applies to scrum and agile. Agile involves frequent change towards betterment.

Scrum after every few years updates their scrum framework version defined in their guide. The changes mentioned in the scrum guide have the goal of providing a simplified framework, eliminating unwanted portions, and making the framework more accessible to its users and new users.

Understanding the importance of change and up-gradation, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, authors of scrum brought a new version of the scrum guide for their users by making some changes in the previous framework mentioned in the updated guide. The latest version of the scrum framework is published in the year 2020.There are many changes in this 2020 version guide, some are important and some of them are not. In this article, we will discuss the top five changes we feel are important and complete their goal of simplifying the framework, and making it more accessible for its user.

Scrum guide
the scrum guide

Accountability not Role

In a previous version of the scrum master, the product owner was not included in the development team. This terminology has always created the scrum team as a development team making scrum masters and product owners an outsider creating a competitive feeling in them. To avoid such confusion and competitive scenario the new version has made the entire scrum master, product owner, and also the developers as a single team. Now the development team term is only developers. There is no hierarchy kept in the scrum team and made the whole team one. This has benefited as the developer started feeling that they are working along with the product owner with collaborating and not under them.

In most cases, accountability is always misunderstood with responsibility. So the author wanted to find the word more related to ‘players’ than role or responsibility. Every player in a team is important to consist of a specific duty, also contributing to other tasks and being accountable. So the term accountable is introduced and all the hierarchy is removed from the scrum team.

Accountability in every team member including product owner, scrum master, and developers of having one team increases everyone’s responsibility towards work activities. Everyone is included in the term when said a scrum team.

No Servant Leaders

The term servant leaders are removed from scrum guide and introduced as a true leader. In most experienced teams this change in term doesn’t make any difference as the teams and team members are experienced and know their responsibilities well. The servant-leader was just a term for them. But in less experienced or no experience leaders may misunderstand and connect this servant leader term to slavery and felt offensive. This has created some disturbance in agile organizations and asked to re-consider the term servant leader and scrum masters as they both feel offensive and may get connected to slavery creating a feeling of inferiority. As agile is a system for equality and mindset the authors have changed the term to a true leader.

scrum guide
scrum guide


No Question in Daily Sprint

In the previous version, the scrum guide consisted of three questions in a daily sprint as an example;

  • What actions did I take to meet the sprint goal yesterday?

  • What actions will I take today to help meet the sprint goal?

  • What are the issues stopping me or team members to reach the sprint goal?

Even though these questions are given only as mere examples in most teams these questions were used as a manifesto in a daily sprint. In the new version, they have not provided any particular technique to handle the daily sprint. The above questions are also dropped from the guide. Authors have given the team a chance to go with what suits them and their team-best techniques and a chance for their creativity as long as their daily sprints derive the required output from it.


In this version, the authors have included three commitments in a precise way as below

  • Commitment for product goal

  • Commitment for the sprint goal

  • Commitment for the definition of done

With this, it will be possible to successfully implement and achieve the transparency and opportunity for adaptation and inspection which many have confused in the previous version.

Product Goal

In the 2020 version the product goal is defined as actions we require to take for reaching the target we need to achieve. This defining of product goal shows the bigger picture to the scrum team.

Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress.”

So choose wisely the change you and your team members need.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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