The SBOK? Looks like anyone can create a PM standard these days!

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Looks like a brand spanking new Scrum standard has hit the scene and it is titled "A Guide to the SCRUM BODY OF KNOWLEDGE" (SBOK).  I usually keep up with this stuff, but I had heard nothing about this and the only official ScrumBOK I know of is a short guide written by the two founders a few years back.  If you go to the Amazon page where the book is being sold, you will see a whole lot of readers ripping on it and it seems it was neither sanctioned by anyone officially affiliated with Scrum.  I dug around and found this blog that outlines a heated exchange between Ken Schwaber and the author of the so called "official" guide.  Here's an excerpt:

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.
 
Thanks,
 
Ken
 
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.
 
I wanted to post the whole exchange to place it all in context, and if anything, what this indicates to me is that due to the explosion of certifications and everyone wanting to jump on the standards bandwagon to make a quick buck that we are going to see more of this unfortunately.
 
Sadly it diminishes the legitimacy of our profession leaving people looking to get credentialed and those hiring based on them to be confused and worse, suspicious of the whole process.
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.
 
Thanks,
 
Ken
 
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.
Posted on: November 04, 2013 07:00 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

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ScrumStudy and their sister company or what not, VMEdu, inc., are not ethical business people...I had to hire a law firm to deal with them...

Anonymous
@Mike...to be fair you should state that you worked for one of SCRUMstudy competitors or at least state facts that back up your statement.

As we all know the SCRUM market is the wild wild west right now with three companies trying to become the preferred solution in the market. The buyers will decides who wins.

In regards to certifications...it is not the be all end all of proving ones worth....it their ability to get things done and that comes with practical experience and continuing professional development



I put my comment under my name. Put your name on your post so we all know who you are. Do not hide under "anonymous". The USA is a free country. ..No worries, here are the facts:

Since 2008 I am offering my own credentials/certification Agile Expert™ with the text material A Guide To The Agile Management Body of Knowledge - ABOK. Last year ScrumStudy tried to register these two trademarks, regardless of the fact that we have been using them since 2008. They saw that SBOK project is going down, so they tried to jump on another train (ABOK). That is why I hired the lawyer. I hope, if you work for the ScrumStudy, that you know that I am not the only person/company who has hired lawyer to deal with ScrumStudy and VMEdu, inc. Regarding your "practical experiance,... bro, ScrumStudy saw opportunity to make a quick $$$$ in a Scrum/Agile market, the ScrumStudy'' "practical experience" is based on taking other people intellectual properties/trademarks without authorization...

Regards,

Mike Marco MBA/PMP/CSM/CSP/PMI-ACP.....

So how do you choose the right certification provider?

Thank you for sharing such information.

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