We discovered that the answer to those questions depends on who is asking them.
I am sure you are aware of Shuhari. It is a Japanese martial arts concept that describes different stages of learning. Shuhari roughly translates to "first learn, then detach, and finally transcend." The "shu"-state is about learning fundamentals, techniques and heuristics. Once one progresses, he/she reaches the "ha"-state, which means "detachment from the illusions of self". If one achieves mastery, he is in the "ri"-state, where "there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms". I have previously explained this concept slightly deeper.
If we apply this concept to the Scrumguide, we quickly discover that it leads to some insights: Somebody reading the guide and being in the "Shu" state will need more guidance than somebody in the "ha" or "ri" state. So if you are just starting with Scrum, you will be very happy to find the three questions for the Daily Scrum, the distinction of Sprint Planning 1 and 2, maybe a guidance on how to do a Retrospective or even some standard items that can usually be found in a Definition of Done. Once you are in the "ha" state, you will want to get rid of the "rigid cage" that is being imposed on you by the "shu" rules. However, you will still need some unmovable boundaries to help you not to go astray (at least not too far). When you finally have reached the "ri" state, you don't need any framework at all. All you need are the values and basic principles of Scrum - everything else will come naturally to you and you will be able to taylor the framework to your needs without losing agility (which most often happens if somebody not in the "ri" state starts tayloring Scrum).
For this reasons I hereby pledge for three different versions of the Scrumguide:
- The Shu Scrumguide should be more like a compendium, including very strict orders on what to do. It should also include best practices. It is important, however, to make transparent to the reader what are best practices and what really belongs to Scrum. Whoever reads the Shu Scrumguide should be able to set up a Scrum Team right away with clear guidance on how to do it.
- The Ha Scrumguide should be quite similar to the current version. It should include a lot information on what to do, but no more details on how to do it. So this is basically a guide that includes the information about what is included and mandatory in Scrum. No best practices are shared here.
- The Ri Scrumguide will be a short one-pager and only include the fundamental principles and values.
Along with their normal content, the three guides should give some hints on how the reader can self-assess his/her knowledge level in order to decide which guide is the right one for him/her. It has to be made sure that "shu" people stay with the "shu" guide, otherwise we will face a myriad of dysfunctional Scrum-But implementations. After all, apprentices always try to circumvent their masters, because learning something new is difficult and painful. However, if you don't go through this pain, you will never become a master yourself.
What do you think about this idea? Rain comments on me!