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  • kschwaber
    A group called ScrumStudy has published a book, Scrum Body of Knowledge, also calling it a Scrum Guide. It is posted on Amazon. When it was first pointed out
    Message 1 of 55 , Nov 4, 2013

      A group called ScrumStudy has published a book, Scrum Body of Knowledge, also calling it a Scrum Guide. It is posted on Amazon. When it was first pointed out to me, all of the reviews were five star. I bought a copy to see what was so great. First, it had extended the Scrum Guide where Jeff and I define Scrum from 17 pages to the 340 in the book. Second, it simply threw together every known practice about agile around Scrum and created a methodology which (their words) is appropriate for any project of any size in any industry. Whew. Worse, the book was written by thirty or so people, none of whom are active in the Scrum or agile community.


      I went in to look at the reviews, unsure how other people in the Scrum community could view this as useful, particularly with such glowing comments. I found that all of the people were from the same country where ScrumStudy is located (India) and that most had never reviewed anything on Amazon before. Amazon reviews were being gamed. 


      I emailed some friends and we entered what we thought of the book. The lead author of Scrum BOK, Tridibesh Satpathy did the following:

      1. Objected to my review (see below for the review and his objection) and had it removed.

      2. Had his friends write more positive reviews.


      If anyone here knows amazon and can help, please do so. This is an absolute corruption of Scrum principles and values, and is an abuse of amazon. Also, if you want to flood the book with negative reviews, I won't object.





      My Review:

      Tridibesh Satpathy, whom I have never met or communicated with (nor any of his co-authors or reviewers), removes the heart, soul and values of Scrum with this book. Singlehandedly, he attempts to turn Scrum into a formulaic methodology that can be used without thought or empiricism. The Scrum Guide that defines Scrum (http://bit.ly/1ixDnJK) is 17 pages long. Tridibesh et al have added every known practice, technique, and defined gated process to it to create a 300+ page monument to the failures of predictive methodologies.

You can pick up this book, apply it, take the certifications, and feel comfortable that everything is in place. It isn't. Tridibesh et al have never seen your organization, your projects, your context, or your goals. How can they possibly believe that they can formulate a solution for you?

I might have once believed that arrogance prompted this effort, particularly since none of the authors or editors are known in the agile community. However, experience has taught me that this is purely driven by a need for money. Studied from all angles, the is a money making scheme that should be avoided by those who understand the basis of agility, empiricism, and lean thinking.

As the first step in lean thinking, to identify and eliminate waste, throw out this book and avoid its authors.

Ken Schwaber
co-developer of Scrum, signatory to the Agile Manifesto, founder of the Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance, and Scrum.org

Scrum on!    


      How Tridibest got it removed:

      Scrumstudy support says:

      This review is completely inaccurate and unethical, and should be removed by Amazon for the following reasons: 
1) This review is inappropriate because he works for competition Scrum.org (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jessehouwing). He wants to promote books from people in his organization (i.e. Scrum.org) and to discredit the books written by Scrumstudy. So this should not be allowed by Amazon as per "Promotion of illegal or immoral conduct" - Objectionable Material.
2) He has not read the book (this is not an Amazon Verified Purchase); hence how can he comment that the book is not relevant and call it a `sham'?
3)This person is only interested in selling books from his organization and from authors who work for his organization (and does not provide any specific reason why SBOK is not good except that the book discusses concepts which he is not familiar with). Here this person is a direct competitor with SCRUMstudy and is posting negative reviews about SCRUMstudy for his personal financial benefits. So, it contains inappropriate content. 
4) SCRUMstudy.com is a very reputed organization for teaching Scrum globally. The Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK) was written by 18 authors who are expert Scrum Practitioners and is being widely appreciated in the industry. The SBOK was reviewed by 25 experts and draws from the combined knowledge and insight gained from thousands of projects across a variety of organizations and industries. This whole review seems to discredit SCRUMstudy and the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK) for the benefit a competitor (Scrum Alliance) for financial benefits. 
5) We will request interested students to do a free introductory course about Scrum from SCRUMstudy.com (which includes the first chapter of SBOK, instructional videos and a simple real-life Scrum case study) and judge for yourself about the quality of the courses offered by SCRUMstudy (instead of reading through negative reviews from vested interests and competitors). The first chapter of the SBOK is available for you to view in SCRUMstudy.com or in Amazon.




      Scrum on!

    • Christofer Jennings
      FWIW, I ve forwarded this thread on to co-workers. Best wishes to you all. (going back to lurking now :) ,chris ... FWIW, I ve forwarded this thread on to
      Message 55 of 55 , Dec 14, 2013
        FWIW, I've forwarded this thread on to co-workers. 
        Best wishes to you all.
        (going back to lurking now :)

        On Dec 14, 2013, at 12:20 PM, Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trainer and Coach <chuck-lists2@...> wrote:

        +1 to both of you.  I think it was fine to do the Amazon thing, but I also think we only made a small dent in what they can do, and they will find all outlets regardless.

        Yes, we need to be ready.

        Charles Bradley
        Professional Scrum Trainer
        Scrum Coach-in-Chief

        From: Alan Dayley <alandd@...>
        To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <SCRUMDEVELOPMENT@yahoogroups.com> 
        Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2013 11:35 AM
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] CALL TO ACTION!

        Scrumstudy is well funded and motivated to sell their book. Our actions did not cause them to start selling via PMI, they would have done that anyway.

        Yes, we should invite them into the community conversation.


        On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Jean Richardson <jean@...> wrote:
        Fellow Lister Members,
        What I was concerned would happen back in early November has happened.  This morning I had reason to go up to PMI.org, and what was there to greet me?  A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK GUIDE) 2013 Edition.  There will NOT be an opportunity for anyone on this list to post a public review of the guide at that location.  Curious folks already familiar with the PMBOK will be clicked over to the Scrum Study site where they can buy a copy for $35.95. 
        The hubbub we created on Amazon hardly slowed ScrumStudy’s momentum, I’d say, and because we reinforced the boundaries of our bubble, it is unlikely that the best of the thinking that inspired that indignation will get to new folks who probably need to hear about it.  ScrumStudy doesn’t need to reach the world through Amazon; they can do a pretty good job through PMI and other outlets.  We played into a common oppositional pattern that generally results in outcomes like this.
        I would strongly encourage influential members of the Scrum community to reach out to ScrumStudy and invite them to attend major regional and worldwide agile conferences to inquire into their thinking.  It seems to me it is important to include them in the conversation about agile and, certainly, about Scrum.
        I’m buying a copy.  I’m certainly going to have to deal with it if it comes up in organizations I coach in, and I’m pretty sure it will.  In fact, I pretty sure I know where it will come up first.  Darn it.
        ---- Jean
        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adam Sroka
        Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 5:14 PM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com

        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] CALL TO ACTION!
        It is certainly a topic with a lot of passion behind it in the technical community. Back in the 90s the issue of Perl language certifications was supposed to be discussed at a conference and one of the well respected members of the community showed up with a printer offering to print a free cert for anyone who asked. The issue of Perl certs was never brought up again. 
        I can't deny that I owe a lot to the Scrum Alliance. Among other things if I hadn't gone to Ron and Chet's CSD class in Cleveland I might not have got to know Cheezy and eventually joined LeanDog. The Scrum Alliance has done good things for the community and me personally. 
        On the other hand, there were really good coaches making modest livings off of Scrum, XP, and the other methods that eventually become Agile before any of them became buzzwords to any real extent. Those guys got work because they knew what they were doing. Nowadays a lot of folks get work just because of the name and a lot of those leads end up really stinking and eating a little chunk out of your soul. 
        I think it is a nuanced thing. I appreciate that Scrum has become popular and that I now occasionally run into people who have some idea what I do. However, I'm also reminded of when John Kerry was running for president and he claimed that when he was elected he would double the size of the Special Forces. An officer friend of mine pointed out that they tried that during Vietnam and it ruined the reputation of the Special Forces for a generation. 

        On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trainer and Coach wrote:

        I certainly respect your viewpoint not to respect the cert bodies/programs, and I know there are some out there with this view.  A minority view, but a very thoughtful and unified minority according to my perception.

        I personally think we would not be *nearly* as far along in our goals re: Agile and Scrum if we didn't have such things.  In fact, I think Agile and Scrum would probably have died an earlier death or been relegated to niche players had those bodies not existed(never crossed the chasm).  I certainly concede that certs in general and cert bodies have their significant downsides.  Net net, though, I think it's a win for the industry and a win for the world, personally.  It's also certainly self serving of me to say that as one who is now associated with a cert body as a trainer.

        OTOH, before I was trainer, I gained much value from the certs in my career, and having the cert when no one else around me did also gave me some instant credibility with people (rightly or wrongly!).  That foot in the door, along with my passion and ability to persuade others made real change happen, to improve the industry as a whole.  Mind you that my knowledge, passion, and persuasion are not nearly as good or artful as many others in the industry and on this list.  But I get by.  :-)
        Charles Bradley
        Professional Scrum Trainer
        Scrum Coach-in-Chief

        From: Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...>
        To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com> 
        Sent: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 5:07 PM
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] CALL TO ACTION!

        I guess part of the reason we differ is that I don't have a high opinion of any of the certification programs or certifiers. I do have some friends who are certification trainers, some of whom are brilliant and some of whom I secretly think should get a real job (if you're reading this go ahead and assume you're one of the brilliant ones ;-) However, I believe in doing and doers. If your job depends more on convincing someone they know something than actually getting them to do it then I'm not a big fan of your job. 
        Given that I'm immediately suspicious of folks who make these sort of claims I am not proportionately more offended by these cats just because they aren't recognized by any particular so and sos that I know or interact with on this list. Their rubber stamp is no more bothersome to me than anyone else's. 
        I am obviously in the minority, and given that I don't think it is worth my energy to worry about these guys. It might, however, be worth some of my energy to try to convince others it isn't worth theirs either. That's where I'm coming from. 

        On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trainer and Coach wrote:

        We definitely disagree on this topic.  In this particular case, it was not so much a case of unqualified -- it was more a case of fraudulent.  Was there malice?  Hard to say, but saying that they are "**the** Scrum and Agile certification body" was quite fraudulent, IMO.  Also, their mysterious several 5 star reviews where that "person" had only reviewed one thing ever (that product) was probably fraudulent -- malice -- I would think so.
        Charles Bradley
        Professional Scrum Trainer
        Scrum Coach-in-Chief

        From: Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...>
        To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com> 
        Sent: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 9:47 PM
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] CALL TO ACTION!

        "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." 
        There are a lot of folks who have never seen a highly functional Agile team who nevertheless feel that they can make a name for themselves by selling consulting and/or publications. I don't think that we need to disparage or litigate against them. I believe that it is probably adequate to just provide a better example. 

        On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, Charles Bradley - Professional Scrum Trainer and Coach wrote:
        > There will always be poseurs. The only thing you can do about it is set the best example you can for those who are paying attention.
        Nope, that is not the only thing you can do about it.  There are many other things you can do about it, especially when its fraudulent or uses deceptive marketing.  If it's not fraudulent or deceptive, you can still do other things about it.  The strategies you use
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