The Purpose of this Guide

Amplio Scrum is a subset of Amplio that provides:

  • as simple a start as Scrum
  • while being tailored to the team(s) adopting it
  • a few missing, but essential practices
  • clarity on the why of each of the rules, events, artifacts, and rules being suggested.

Amplio Scrum can also be extended by including more of the fule Amplio system as needed.

This includes:

  • a set of first principles of knowledge work which can guide improvements
  • with a way to tell if a change to a practice will be good or not
  • a way to include how a few teams can work together

lio Scrum is not based on Scrum it is intentionally meant to look like Scrum since many teams are already doing it, or something like it.

Starting With Amplio Scrum

Let’s go through each of these:

As simple a start as Scrum

Consider the rules, events, artifacts, and roles of Scrum as a way of a team working. When it applies it can be quite useful. And let’s say we want to start with it because it’s got a simple, clear way of starting. But instead of thinking of these roles, events, artifacts, and roles, as immutable, let’s consider them as an example of how the team is going to work.

“Simple” must include how simple it is to adopt. Not just how simple is it to describe.  Saying something is simple to define but hard to use makes it less simple than something that has a few more pieces but is simpler to adopt. In other words, Simple(to start) = Simple( as defined) + Simple(to use).

Making the Simple(as defined) a little lower while increasing the Simple(to use) can make the Simple(to start) simpler. This is what we want to accomplish.

Be tailored to the team(s) adopting it

For most teams, major tailoring is not needed. If it is, then Scrum is not a good approach to take. Typically, there are only two key decisions to make:

  1. Should timeboxing be used (as in Scrum) or should we be using a flow approach?
  2. What do we do if we don’t have fully cross-functional teams?

Attending to these two questions can result in a much more fit-for-purpose starting approach,.

Adding a few missing, but essential practices.

While there aren’t that many of these, the few missing greatly impact teams. These include:

  • How to manage work in process by creating a focus on finishing
  • The concept of Minimum Business Increments which represents the quickest value we can deliver.
  • Double-loop learning so we can challenge our assumptions of how we are working and not fall into dogma.

Clarity on the why of each of the roles, events, artifacts, and rules being suggested.

Without the “why” it is not possible to come up with better solutions to the challenges we face. With the “why” we can often create better ways of solving our problems than Scrum provides.

Improving on the Start

Starting is just that – a start. We must continue to improve and learn. You may want to include this knowledge in your start, but you don’t need to. Amplio Scrum can also be extended by including more of the fule Amplio system as needed.

Continuing to Improve

The next set of concepts to include form the full Amplio Systems are typically:

  • a set of first principles of knowledge work that can guide improvements
  • a way to tell if a change to a practice will be good or not
  • a way to include how a few teams can work together 

The differences between Amplio Scrum and Scrum Guide Scrum

Scrum is attractive because it’s a simple framework. Using it as a starting point is often good. When more is needed Amplio Scrum can provide that. The first principles identified in Amplio both explain why Scrum works when it does, and how to modify it when appropriate.

Amplio ScrumScrum Guide Scrum
Based on Flow, Lean-thinking, and Theory of Constraints and practices consistent with them. These principles provide guidance to verify if the team is working properly.Based on empirical process control and complex adaptive systems. No first principles are provided. Provides no guidance on whether what the team is doing is consistent with first principles.
Uses the factors for effective value stream to provide guidance on whether a change to practice will be an improvementScrum suggests trying “safe to fail experiments” to see if something will be an improvement.
Can use flow or timeboxing.Uses timeboxing.
Several techniques for managing work in process.Uses timeboxing to manage WIP at a high level.
Provides alternatives value creation structures than cross-functional teams that are often required for the reality of the situation.Mandates cross-functional teams which are ideal when the situation allows.
Is a set of patterns so teams can decide how to implement what needs to happenIs a framework with the core practices being immutable
Intelligently incomplete. Allows for a tailored quick start and continued learning. Provides for new practices to be introduced as needed.Intentionally incomplete so can get an easy, quick start.
Includes advanced product management artifacts such as MVPs and MBIsPurposefully incomplete and does not provide these virtually universally useful concepts.
Works within the context the team finds themselves in.Designed for autonomous, cross-functional teams creating a new product.
Provides methods to help manage work in process.Requires practitioners to figure out how to manage work in process.
Includes coaching tips to help convey core principles to management. Alignment achieved through mutual understanding of principles.Does not include any coaching tips to convey any concepts. Alignment achieved by following Scrum.
Provides core concepts at the start and provides references to more as needed.A small set of concepts to start with. Practitioners are expected to figure out the rest.
Includes almost 2 dozen virtual collaboration boards to facilitate team and asynchronous communication.Doesn’t provide any virtual collaboration boards.
Provides insights in how to do development work efficiently.Leaves how to be efficient to the developers.
Prepares multiple teams to work together at small to medium scale.Is team-centric and provides little insights to expand to multiple teams.
Uses PDSA or OODA lops to “inspect and adopt” and improve model of understanding.Limited to “inspect and adapt”
Double-loop learning on both the way the team is working and on Amplio Scrum itself.Double-loop learning on how the team is working (Scrum itself is immutable).
Uses a continuous learning model.Uses an iterative learning model.



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