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Topics: Agile, PMI Standards, Scrum
Scrum Guide Vs. ACP Exam Preparation Book
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Mike Griffith’s book is one of the best resources and books I’ve read so far related to Agile. It does explain everything in simple details and it is a very comprehensive book. However, there is a difference between what the new Scrum Guide mentions and what ACP Exam Prep Book does with regards to the Scrum Ceremonies:

1- Definition of Sprint: In scaled scrum or Nexus, Product Backlog Refinement is an official event but not in scrum. Mike's books however mention this as an activity.

2- Daily Scrum: It is not a must to ask those 3 questions as per scrum guide but it is recommended while ACP Exam Prep mentions that the scope is limited to answering those 3 questions.

3- Scrum of Scrums is not a scrum terminology and when there are multiple teams, you go to Nexus (Scaled Scrum).

4- All events are time boxed but this is not mentioned in ACP Exam Prep.

5- Sprint Reterospectives is for the whole scrum team as oer the scrum guide but the ACP Exam Prep mentions that this is primarily for the Development Team.

In a way it is very contradicting so any thought as to why there is a difference in Items 1, 2 & 5 ?
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Rami, some of these discrepancies are due to the fact that this is an Agile exam and not a Scrum one. The "best" Agile approach outlined in Mike's book may not follow Scrum exactly as the Scrum Guide states. Let's ignore scaled Agile or Scrum, as you will not see this on the exam. Regarding the 3 questions in the Daily Scrum, remember this book was written in 2015. The Scrum Guide was updated in late 2017. So even though the latest Scrum guide states that these 3 questions are not mandatory, this is an Agile exam, and within the scope of this exam is Scrum (Scrum as it was before the latest Scrum Guide), and within that scope the three questions are mandatory. So if you get asked a question on the exam about what is mandatory in a Daily Scrum, you will answer that the 3 questions is one of the mandatory things, because you know this is not a Scrum exam based on the latest Scrum guide. Scrum of Scrums is a term that may appear on the exam for the same reason. For ACP aspirants, as far as Scrum goes, FORGET the scrum guide; it was published after Mike's book, after the PMI-ACP exam content was created, and so I refer all ACP aspirants to these resources (Mike's book and the Agile Practice Guide).
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 1:00 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Sante, this is all great and I truly appreciate your feedback. This answers part of the question.

The other part goes beyond the exam. In principal, there should not be any contradictions as different resources should be consistent. The Scrum Guide was updated in 2017 correct but the Agile Practice Standard was issued in 2018 and the book was immediately updated so why was it not updated when the scrum guide was updated too.

I reached to Mike Griffiths and hoping to get his feedback on the discussion thread as his point of view would be great.
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Rami, thanks for pointing out the differences, it is really confusing for me, but I see the points of Sante if we are heading for the exam should follow the agile of PMI, I have read about scrum too and what I thought that scrum is just one method of so many others falls under the mother umbrella of Agile, correct me if I am wrong.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 12:56 AM
Rami Kaibni
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You are correct. Scrum is one of the most famous that falls under agile.
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May 15, 2018 12:55 AM
Replying to Riyadh Salih
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Rami, thanks for pointing out the differences, it is really confusing for me, but I see the points of Sante if we are heading for the exam should follow the agile of PMI, I have read about scrum too and what I thought that scrum is just one method of so many others falls under the mother umbrella of Agile, correct me if I am wrong.
You are correct. Scrum is one of the most famous that falls under agile.
Network:95296



May 15, 2018 12:43 AM
Replying to Sante Vergini
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Rami, some of these discrepancies are due to the fact that this is an Agile exam and not a Scrum one. The "best" Agile approach outlined in Mike's book may not follow Scrum exactly as the Scrum Guide states. Let's ignore scaled Agile or Scrum, as you will not see this on the exam. Regarding the 3 questions in the Daily Scrum, remember this book was written in 2015. The Scrum Guide was updated in late 2017. So even though the latest Scrum guide states that these 3 questions are not mandatory, this is an Agile exam, and within the scope of this exam is Scrum (Scrum as it was before the latest Scrum Guide), and within that scope the three questions are mandatory. So if you get asked a question on the exam about what is mandatory in a Daily Scrum, you will answer that the 3 questions is one of the mandatory things, because you know this is not a Scrum exam based on the latest Scrum guide. Scrum of Scrums is a term that may appear on the exam for the same reason. For ACP aspirants, as far as Scrum goes, FORGET the scrum guide; it was published after Mike's book, after the PMI-ACP exam content was created, and so I refer all ACP aspirants to these resources (Mike's book and the Agile Practice Guide).
Sante, this is all great and I truly appreciate your feedback. This answers part of the question.

The other part goes beyond the exam. In principal, there should not be any contradictions as different resources should be consistent. The Scrum Guide was updated in 2017 correct but the Agile Practice Standard was issued in 2018 and the book was immediately updated so why was it not updated when the scrum guide was updated too.

I reached to Mike Griffiths and hoping to get his feedback on the discussion thread as his point of view would be great.
Network:2896



Hi Rami,

Thanks for your questions. I will try to explain them as I don't see these points as "very contradicting" and there is a reason for the language generalization. So let's review them:

1- Sprint - you say "official event," my book says "Scrum Activites (Events, Ceremonies)" - P43. The reason I use three names is to get people used to the different forms of terminology used in the PMI-ACP exam which is approach agnostic. So questions may refer to "sprints" as "iterations" and events as "activities", "events", or "ceremonies". PMI-ACP aspirants need to recognize terminology beyond Scrum so I use all three terms here.

2 Scrum guide recommends these 3 questions, my book says limit discussions to those 3 questions to stop people going off topic. So, yes, I see this as a slight difference, not a contradiction, but a slight difference.

3 - Yes, I mention Scrum-of-Scrums in the Scrum section since scaling frameworks such as Nexus, LeSS, SAFe, etc are not in the PMI-ACP exam. It seemed like the most logical place to include it.

4- On page 44 of my book I say "The daily scrum is a 15-minute timeboxed meeting..." so I don't think it is fair to claim it is not mentioned.

5 - On page 46 I say "Although others may be invited to participate, this meeting is primarily for the development team..." - I think the confusion here might be the definition of the development team, it is not just developers. I explain on page 43 the development team is everyone responsible for completing work including analysis, build and test.

I hope this helps address your questions and explain why additional terms are included to round out understandings.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 1:08 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Hi Mike,

This is great feedback and it definitely resolves all concerns I had. The purpose behind this question was to get clarity for myself and others as to why those differences exist. Yes you are right, those are not considered contradictions but they are slight differences (English is not my first language so sometimes I do not express with the right terminology).

As for question no 4, you are right, it is mentioned but I was talking about the rest of the activities because for example I believe it is important to know that Sprint Planning is time boxed to 8 hours for 1 month sprints and less for shorter sprints.

Your book is great, I honestly and despite the many years of experience I have in agile especially scrum and lean, really is benefiting a lot from this book. It is an amazing reference even for those who are not sitting for the exam, it is a great guide to have as it gathers info from different references and summarizes it in a great way.

Thank you again Mike.
Network:95296



May 15, 2018 1:00 AM
Replying to Mike Griffiths
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Hi Rami,

Thanks for your questions. I will try to explain them as I don't see these points as "very contradicting" and there is a reason for the language generalization. So let's review them:

1- Sprint - you say "official event," my book says "Scrum Activites (Events, Ceremonies)" - P43. The reason I use three names is to get people used to the different forms of terminology used in the PMI-ACP exam which is approach agnostic. So questions may refer to "sprints" as "iterations" and events as "activities", "events", or "ceremonies". PMI-ACP aspirants need to recognize terminology beyond Scrum so I use all three terms here.

2 Scrum guide recommends these 3 questions, my book says limit discussions to those 3 questions to stop people going off topic. So, yes, I see this as a slight difference, not a contradiction, but a slight difference.

3 - Yes, I mention Scrum-of-Scrums in the Scrum section since scaling frameworks such as Nexus, LeSS, SAFe, etc are not in the PMI-ACP exam. It seemed like the most logical place to include it.

4- On page 44 of my book I say "The daily scrum is a 15-minute timeboxed meeting..." so I don't think it is fair to claim it is not mentioned.

5 - On page 46 I say "Although others may be invited to participate, this meeting is primarily for the development team..." - I think the confusion here might be the definition of the development team, it is not just developers. I explain on page 43 the development team is everyone responsible for completing work including analysis, build and test.

I hope this helps address your questions and explain why additional terms are included to round out understandings.
Hi Mike,

This is great feedback and it definitely resolves all concerns I had. The purpose behind this question was to get clarity for myself and others as to why those differences exist. Yes you are right, those are not considered contradictions but they are slight differences (English is not my first language so sometimes I do not express with the right terminology).

As for question no 4, you are right, it is mentioned but I was talking about the rest of the activities because for example I believe it is important to know that Sprint Planning is time boxed to 8 hours for 1 month sprints and less for shorter sprints.

Your book is great, I honestly and despite the many years of experience I have in agile especially scrum and lean, really is benefiting a lot from this book. It is an amazing reference even for those who are not sitting for the exam, it is a great guide to have as it gathers info from different references and summarizes it in a great way.

Thank you again Mike.
Network:6465



I still need to learn a lot in this area. I take my hat off for all of you
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 1:26 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Kevin, Hatts Off to Mike Griffiths for his great book. If you want to learn about agile, read his book. Trust me on this one. (ACP Exam Prep) even if you are not going for the exam.
Network:95296



May 15, 2018 1:25 AM
Replying to Kevin Drake
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I still need to learn a lot in this area. I take my hat off for all of you
Kevin, Hatts Off to Mike Griffiths for his great book. If you want to learn about agile, read his book. Trust me on this one. (ACP Exam Prep) even if you are not going for the exam.
Network:12735



Oh yes I forgot to reference the timeboxed Daily Scrum in Mike's book. Also, I am one of the believers that the Retro is primarily for the Development Team. In fact I think the PO should stay the hell out of it most of the time. I do however think the Scrum Master should attend :-)
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 2:08 AM
Rami Kaibni
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Sante, Not sure I fully agree with you on not involving the PO in the retrospective. This is an opportunity for the whole team to inspect and adapt :-)
Network:12735



Remember the formula guys:

Mike's Book + Agile Practice Guide + Fastrack = PASS the PMI-ACP exam

Don't get confused with other sources is my recommendation :-)
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2 replies by Gustavo Cocina and Rami Kaibni
May 15, 2018 2:10 AM
Rami Kaibni
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That is absolutely right and even if you are not sitting for the exam, it is worth reading the book like I am doing right now and not sure if I am willing to sit for the exam or maybe I will in the future. In summary, this book is a great reference.
May 15, 2018 9:48 PM
Gustavo Cocina
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Absolutely true! The book is fantastic for knowledge and the assesment really made me confident to take the exam.
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