Ilya Bibik: How to Kill the Scrum Monster

Ilya Bibik focuses in his book How to Kill the Scrum Monster mainly on the Scrum methodology and the role of the Scrum Master. For him agile is a mindset which was borne out of necessity: it’s not about rituals, meetings and charts, it’s about the people and about getting the job done. The author manages to present a very pragmatic, refreshingly down-to-earth view on Scrum and agility.

Content and Structure

The first chapter From Waterfall to Agile traces succinctly the passage from the waterfall methodology to the agile approach. The author notices that the industry – by focusing rather on processes than on principles – has succeeded in turning agility into a “monster.”

Overview of Agile Methodologies presents several of the most well-known implementations of the agile principles: eXtreme Programming, Kanban, Scrum, Scrumban and Lean.

The book’s longest chapter Agile Scrum Deep Dive deals with the formal aspects of Scrum but also with situations when a strict following of the process does not add value. Some specific topics dealt with are the composition of the Scrum team, sprints, meetings, Definiton of Done, velocity and useful tools.

In Scrum Master: What It’s All About the reader finds out about the responsibilities of a Scrum Master and the challenges of this role. Bibik presents the role of a Scrum Master as being very difficult. According to him a Scrum Master „effectively requires three main qualities: to be mature, self-aware, and emotionally intelligent“ (p. 35).

Team Dynamics presents Bruce Tuckmans forming-storming-norming-performing model, discusses relationships between Scrum roles and conflict resolution. The final chapter Key Takeaways summarizes the book.

The appendix (Case Studies) describes 23 problematic situations a Scrum team might encounter. These situations are fictional but still highly relatable.


How to Kill the Scrum Monster is an enjoyable little book. By presenting a very pragmatic, refreshingly down-to-earth view on Scrum and agility the author manages to convey what agility really is about. The “monster” as we are told in the book’s first chapter is what the industry transformed “agile” into. Bibik’s “back-to-the-roots-approach” focuses strongly on the agile principles and reminds of Dave Thomas’ memorable Agile is Dead talk.

The book is a very pleasant read, which I recommend to anyone who is interested in agile software development. Beware though: if it is important to you to do everything “by the book”, this book might be too pragmatic for you. But if you care about “real-life problems of working with real people rather than with the imaginary ideal teams that do not exist” (p. ix) than the book is worth reading.

Bibliographical information

Ilya Bibik
How to Kill the Scrum Monster: Quick Start to Agile Scrum Methodology and the Scrum Master Role

2018, pp. IX, 76, PDF
ISBN: 978-1-4842-3691-8

More information in the catalogue of the German National Library.

About the Author

Ilya Bibik has extensive experience as a Scrum Master and several years of experience as a software developer. So far How to Kill the Scrum Monster is his only book.

Source: The information about the author is taken from the authors LinkedIn page – retrieval date 01.05.2020.

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Petre Sora

Petre Soras Interessen sind vielfältig und befinden sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Mensch und Informationstechnologie. Nachdem er sein Bachelorstudium im Fach Psychologie abschloss, orientierte er sich neu und studierte Software Engineering an der Hochschule Heilbronn, ebenfalls mit einem Bachelor abgeschlossen. Anschließend war er knappe sechs Jahre als Java-Entwickler in mehreren Unternehmen tätig. Aktuell ist er mit dem Masterstudium der Praktischen Informatik und der Rezensionsplattform für IT-Fachbücher beschäftigt.

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