The 12 best Scrum articles I read in 2020

Scrum Jan 4, 2021

Just like in 2019, I’ve read hundreds of Scrum articles on Medium in 2020. I thought it would be nice to reflect and share the best Scrum articles I’ve read for each month of 2020.

I want to stress these posts are my personal favorites. Their selection is not based on popularity or reads. This is also why I put a picture of a pretty espresso machine, just because I can! The espresso machine should remind people that this article is subjective, and you might not necessarily agree with my choices.

Without further ado, here are the 12 best articles I’ve read on Medium, one for each month and arranged by chronological order.

January — I made my teams work numerous weekends — and I still regret it by Willem-Jan Ageling

The post details the harrowing, true story of what can happen when you force your team to consistently work overtime. A wrong estimate turns into a forced commitment that pushes a whole team to the edge, and some members even over it.

I made my teams work numerous weekends — and I still regret it
My role in burning out people until Scrum confirmed my belief that it was wrong

February — Scrum Master vs Project Manager — An overview of the differences by Robbin Schuurman

Scrum gets introduced, and the default knee-jerk response often is to make the Project Managers the new Scrum Masters. Is this a sensible choice to make? To what extent do the roles overlap, and where lie the important differences?

This article provides answers to these questions and much more. It serves as a valuable reminder to be mindful about the areas where you will need to grow when you transition to a Scrum Master role.

Scrum Master vs Project Manager — An overview of the differences.
What is a Scrum Master? What are the differences between a Scrum Master and Project Manager? Isn’t a Scrum Master some kind of an Agile…

March — What is NOT the role of a Product Owner? by David Pereira

Every company I’ve joined has a different understanding of what it means to be a Product Owner. In this illuminating article, David explains the most common misconceptions and describes why they should not be a part of the Product Owner role.

What is NOT the role of a Product Owner?
Since the Agile Manifesto, many companies started working with many agile frameworks, mostly Scrum and Kanban. However until now it is…

April — You know your Scrum Master sucks when… by Stacey Christiansen

Stacey’s writing always flows and sings, and in this obviously satirical article, she shows many fun examples of a Scrum Master gone bad.

You know your Scrum Master sucks when…
Just having some fun with my fellow Scrum Masters. Enjoy!

May — Experiments, Practices, and Strategies for Being a Remote Scrum Master by Barry Overeem

The pandemic has forced many Scrum Masters to go fully remote, without adequate preparation or experience. Barry’s article will help you get started or level up in the new remote context as a Scrum Master.

Experiments, Practices, and Strategies for being a Remote Scrum Master
Inspiration for fulfilling the stances of a Scrum Master, remotely

June — Embrace Change with Continuous Planning and Refinement by Todd Lankford

Todd’s insightful article makes you aware of the three planning horizons and how you can best use these different levels to your advantage.

Embrace Change with Continuous Planning and Refinement
A daily rhythm can help.

July — If you are a junior professional afraid of “scrum experience needed”, fear no more by Romario Verbran

Reading job ads is scary, as the list of things they are asking for always seems endless. Given the popularity of Scrum, nowadays, it is often one of the bullet points on that list. Romario felt like an impostor applying to jobs requiring Scrum knowledge.

After landing a job in a Scrum Team, he overcame his fear. In this article, he shares his newfound understanding of Scrum so you can hopefully make the same leap.

If you are a junior professional afraid of “scrum experience needed”, fear no more
Scrum basics for young professionals feeling lost in the wild

August — “Scrum is A Single Team Framework” by Willem-Jan Ageling

Willem-Jan tackles the pervasive misconception that Scrum is a single team framework.

“Scrum is A Single Team Framework”
“That’s why we need to use a scaling approach”

September — Time to say goodbye to Dual Track Agile? by Alex Ballarín

Dual track Agile is extremely popular nowadays, but what are the limitations, and how can we overcome them? Alex has got you covered!

“Scrum is A Single Team Framework”
“That’s why we need to use a scaling approach”

October — Time Spent in Scrum Meetings by Jasper Bogers

Scrum has too many meetings. Who hasn’t heard this argument raised before? Jasper starts with the cold facts and reasons why this argument makes little sense.

Time Spent in Scrum Meetings
Too many meetings?

November — What’s New in the 2020 Scrum Guide update by Maria Chec

The newest Scrum guide was rewritten entirely and shortened. If you’re looking for a concise summary of the important changes, then start here!

What’s new in the 2020 Scrum Guide update
Highlights of the 2020 Scrum Guide

December — The iron triangle and Agile by Raj Nagappan

I’m a big fan of Raj Nagappan’s articles, and I have a soft spot for articles referencing the iron triangle (also a shout out to Dan Ray’s great article on the same subject!). A fantastic read on what’s flexible (and what isn’t) when you use Agile approaches.

The iron triangle and Agile
This once-common tool of planning can still help us in the age of Agile projects, if we learn it’s secrets.