The Zen of Scrum (Free Presentation)

These days people keep telling me that I look tired. And I don't just look tired, I feel tired. The bags under my eyes have dropped lower than the shares of the average American car manufacturer.

It all has to do with the Scrum presentation I have been working on for the last two weeks. I was invited to talk about our organization's experiences with Scrum, for an audience of 35 people at Imtech. This happily coincided with my plan to create some spiffy-looking presentations for the readers of this blog.

I searched, found, downloaded and analyzed about 20 different Scrum presentations from all over the world. And, while reviewing hundreds of slides, I saw an opportunity to create something new… a presentation that A) is very pleasing to the eye; B) tells a complete story; C) is available for free; and D) has no logo's plastered over every free pixel in every slide.

Well, this is the result. The world's best presentation about Scrum (I hope)…

Note: The Download button on SlideShare is giving errors. I don't know why. You can download the PowerPoint presentation here, until SlideShare has fixed that problem.

The style of the presentation is heavily influenced by a fantastic book called Presentation Zen, which I really urge you to take a look at. It all comes down to: many visuals, few words, no bullet points. (The book was also the inspiration for the title page of my slides: The Zen of Scrum.)


Please note that the first error has already been reported to me by Marc Evers. (It appears that Mike Beedle's picture is incorrect.) F$#%*!! Well, I think I'll just wait a couple of weeks for people to send me additional bug fixes and suggestions for improvements, after which I will upload a revised version.

And if you prefer to let me do the presentation in person, for you and your colleagues, feel free to ask. (Note: tempting me with food can help.)

(picture by Silvio Tanaka)

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  • Anthony Parkin

    The bit that always concerns me with the Agile pushers is that they always suggest that agile is the almost perfect solution and provide reasoning such as that in your presentation.
    They start by complaining about “the old way” and describing the very worst of it. They then continue to explain how agile / scrum / fixes all these things.
    They never talk about the good bits of the big up-front design method and never mention the bad parts of agile.
    Strange that, isn’t it?

  • Jurgen Appelo

    @Anthony: good point! Can you tell us about some good bits of big-upfront design, and the bad parts of agile? Or where we could find such information?

  • Michal

    Could you link to the 20 other presentations you looked at?

  • Krishna

    The best scrum presentation I have seen, great work!
    You might want to rethink Darth Vader as the customer, though :-). This seems to encourages a water-fallish us v/s them thinking.

  • Rita Rodrigues

    Will you record the presentation and make it available? It would be interesting to hear it. The slides are interesting but I’m sure you have a lot to add to it when speaking to the audience.

  • Jurgen Appelo

    @Michal: If you do a search for ‘Scrum presentation’ on both Google and SlideShare, you’ll find them all in less than a minute.
    (That’s what I did.)

  • Jurgen Appelo

    @Krishna: Darth Vader is a Product Owner who wants a product called a ‘death star’. He represents a far-away customer (the emperor).
    Of course, I trust (most) people will realize that this is just a joke.

  • Jurgen Appelo

    @Rita: I am considering it. But that will have to wait after making a revised and updated version.

  • Michal

    Yeah. I probably saw them all. I was just wondering which 20 out of the zillion out there cought your eye. Or let’s make it more specific: which 3 did you like best (other then your own ;)?

  • Jurgen Appelo

    Well, I think the ones from Mike Cohn have been among the most useful to me.

  • Volker

    Nice presentation. Must have been a lot of work.
    What about the fun with scrum? Is there any?
    When I thought about doing a presentation to our stuff I came to the point, that when I wanted to make them interessted into scrum I have to give them some personal benefits.
    So nearly all existing presentation are showing the facts about scrum, but don’t make the gains for any role in the picture upfront. I think that a good felling with the methodology is realy important at the start.
    The manifesto says, people over processes. Maybe this could be a point to any scrum presentation. Showing or describing why are the participating people, in short, are more happy and pleased with scrum, when it is so.
    What do you think?

  • Jurgen Appelo

    @Volker: good point! Thanks for telling me about it. I will think on how to work this into my presentation.

  • abby, the hacker chick blog

    Wow, that is probably the best looking presentation I’ve seen on ANY topic. I can’t even imagine how much time you must have put into it, but it looks awesome! Now, when do we get to hear the talk that goes along with all of the slides…? 🙂
    But, um… just one thing, does Mike Beedle really look that much like Jim Coplien??

  • Jurgen Appelo

    Yes I know, the picture is wrong!! It’s terrible, and people keep reminding me… Argh! 🙂

  • Olivia Jennifer

    An agile process tends to focus on iterations, and client feedback, to allow for the inevitabilty of changing requirements whereas a waterfall process tries to define all requirements up front, and tends to be inflexible to changing requirements. You can learn more about agile and scrum by referring to some free resouces ( provided by scrumstudy or by attending any agile scrum certification courses. I would personally suggest Agile Expert Certified course or Scrum Master Certification to you.

  • Olivia Jennifer

    If you want to know the difference between Scrumstudy, Scrum Alliance and – please visit this blog: Scrum trainning blogspot

  • Lúcia

    I wish I could have access to the presentation but I can’t download it or open it in your link.

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