Scrum

Scrum

Scrum is one of the various Agile Frameworks that is mostly used in developing complex projects. Initially, the Scrum framework was formalized to be used in software development projects, but it can now be applied in any innovative and complex project.

Scrum is a control and management process which cuts through the challenges and complexities of project development to develop a product capable of meeting the business needs. Scrum Teams are allowed to deliver working products in an incremental manner. Scrum can be seen as a simple framework which provides an effective team collaboration during the development of complex products.

Scrum isn’t a technique or a process for the development of products, but it’s a framework in which one can employ many techniques or processes. With Scrum, the efficiency of product development and management processes can be made clear for project development teams to be able to show improvements. The framework is very simple, and any individual or organization can choose to implement it easily.

The framework can be adopted by anyone, including those with limited knowledge in project management. If your organization develops projects, this is the time for you to adopt this framework. The framework is scalable and flexible, making it applicable to various kinds of projects. If you are developing a project for the first time, this is the right framework for you due to ease of use and ease of adoption. Other members who will be participating in developing the project will also find it easy to learn the framework.

It is essential for the Scrum Team to have the ability to adjust to each of the various changes the procedure will go through. The buyer may change their mind, the Scrum Team could improve just how they wish to finish a job, or the product owner could make alterations on the product backlog.

Each product goes through a lot of changes throughout the procedure, and it is crucial to be adaptable. If you can’t adjust, the item is going to fail to be created and the whole system will need to be reworked.

It’s useful when there are many different types of projects to complete each project in a timely manner while ensuring the value of the product doesn’t change. Scrum has a strong collaborative and connective philosophy, which also helps each project to be completed in the best possible way.

Scrum Principles

Evade formality on Agile projects
Scrum project teams that see the most success are those that embrace creativity and spontaneity in their processes, as opposed to formality. Remove formality in your processes by eliminating and rooting it out where possible. This will be achieved if the team looks for ways to make their activities less formal. For example, instead of having to wait until the daily scrum to ask some questions or discuss issues that can be resolved easily, it is easier to walk over to a team member and ask the question directly.

Act and think as a team
Team members work for the benefit of the entire team and hence should work towards ensuring that the team as a whole is productive. Whenever individual performance metrics are introduced in a team, collaboration, communication, and performance go down. Instead, team members should seek to work as a team through failures and successes. In a Scrum project, the responsibility of working towards the goal of the project, defining the scope, and sticking to the assigned time should be the responsibility of the entire group, not individuals.

Visualization over writing
Visualization works better than writing in boosting thought and memory. This is because retention improves when you visualize compared to when you write. Successful teams use drawings, diagrams, and modeling tools to help their members conceptualize the project. The goal is to make the material as visually consumable as possible.

Visualization makes it easy to process raw data into information. Simply reading reports on the progress of a sprint is ineffective and unlikely to demonstrate the progress fully. However, adding a visualization such as a burn-down chart increases the ability to retain information and allows the team to measure the project against trends and timelines. It is also easier to identify problem areas at a glance than having to read about them.

Scrum Uses

While Scrum was initially used to develop products, for nearly 30 years it has been used in a wide variety of industries to do things like:

  • Determine viable markets, products and technologies
  • Identify products ripe for refinement or enhancement
  • Iterating and producing new versions of products or additions as quickly as possible
  • Sustain existing operational environments and create new ones including cloud environments
  • Renew and sustain existing products

Due to its rapid iteration process, Scrum has been used extensively when it comes to developing hardware, software, embedded software, and the like. It has also been used for almost everything, including autonomous vehicle creation, governments, schools, marketing strategies, and organizational operations too numerous to mention.

While it was created nearly 30 years ago, as the interactions between environmental, market and technological complexities have grown, Scrum has proved its utility when it comes to dealing with life’s complexities on a near-daily basis. It has also proven especially adept at improving processes related to incremental and iterative transfers of knowledge.

Scrum Values

Scrum values are the values upon which the Scrum framework is formulated. These values relate to ethics, which makes scrum from a social perspective, a value system. The values are commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage.

Courage
Scrum members work together as a team and feel more supported with all resources available to them. As such, Scrum teams can undertake even the most challenging tasks. It is through courage that the Scrum team can see change as a source of innovation and inspiration. Training, resource provision, and support are essential for any team to remain courageous.

Commitment
They are committed to show improvement and deliver a working product. Scrum teams are self-organized, and this requires a lot of commitment. A committed team has a higher chance of achieving a goal.

When team members commit they commit to the team, to quality, collaboration, learning, sprint goals, self-organization, excellence, and doing the best they can. They also commit to coming up with working software, constantly improving it, adhering to the Scrum framework, creating value, finishing the work, inspecting, and adapting. Challenging the status-quo and transparency are also critical commitments in Scrum project implementations.

Openness
Due to the empirical nature of Scrum, openness and transparency are very important. It helps the team inspect the facts as they are so that appropriate solutions can be developed. The work, progress, problems encountered, and lessons learned changes in a project due to the unexpectedness and unpredictability of the world.

Openness is encouraged in Scrum projects, particularly in regard to how Scrum teams should work together and express to each other how they are doing. Any team which faces concerns should raise them for handling. Inspection should be done on what is real so that any adaptations made are sensible. Scrum teams should also be open and ready to collaborate with other teams even from other disciplines within the organization.

Respect
Scrum teams work together and share their successes as well as failures. They help each other in times of challenges and this brings about respect. Each member in the Scrum should be ready to respect the background and experience of other Scrum members. Diversity in the team should be embraced and respected. Respect should be accorded to the project sponsors by developing the right product. Money and time should not be wasted doing things that were not initially planned for. Any changes to be made to any aspect of the product under development should be communicated to all stakeholders.

Focus
Focus is paying attention to the most important aspects without being bothered by sideshows, even when they may prove to be important. It is important to focus on what is clear now rather than on other changes and adaptations that may or may not happen in the future. Now is important because it resolves problems that consumers are experiencing at the moment. The future is highly uncertain, and the best lessons for tomorrow are best learned from the issues of today.

The Scrum team should focus on a few things each time so that they can work together in a bid to produce excellent products. Due to the iterative and incremental approach of Scrum, the Scum team should be focused. At any particular time, the Scrum team has to be focused on what is important without being worried about what will be important at some time in the future. The future is uncertain, so the team should focus on what they know currently. This helps them learn something so that they can show an improvement in the future. The Scrum team has to focus on their work to get things done.

The above values are related to Scrum ethics. They give direction to the kind of work done by the Scrum team, as well as how they behave and act. Anything that was done in Scrum, whether implementing changes or coming up with new decisions, should reinforce and uphold the above values instead of diminishing them. Each member should commit themselves to uphold them.

Scrum Rules

No project methodology can be successful without rules, and Scrum is no exception. Scrum rules are the glue that binds the Scrum Team to the roles, events, and artifacts within the overall Scrum Framework. While some methodologies have extremely rigid rules that govern them, what sets Scrum rules apart is that they are more inclusive and flexible in nature.

While some of these rules are guidelines for adopting Scrum best practices, others take the form of general norms that should be encouraged within a project setting. Together, these rules and norms will then govern the interaction between team members and stakeholders.

Here are some key Scrum Rules that Scrum practitioners must be aware of:

  • Sprint lengths should be of the same duration
  • No Sprint should exceed 4 weeks in length
  • Teams shall not take inter-Sprint breaks (Sprints must follow a continuous, unbroken cycle)
  • Each Sprint must start with a Sprint planning meeting Sprint planning meetings must be time-boxed (2 to 3 hours)
  • Each Sprint review meeting should then be followed by a Sprint Retrospective, which all team members must attend
  • When prioritizing Product Backlog Items (PBIs or User Stories), no two items can have the same priority
  • If there exist any defects in the previous Sprint (Iteration), those must be prioritized for resolution at the highest level in the upcoming Sprint
  • Team meetings must be open and fair, with all members (and stakeholders) allowed to express their points of views
  • When a team member is facing a challenge delivering his or her commitments, he or she shall actively seek out assistance from others who can support him or her
  • Scrum Team members who complete their assignments ahead of time must actively volunteer for additional tasks from the “Open” list
  • While rules will certainly help bring order and discipline within project teams, no number of rules can actually prevent chaos – unless everyone on the team abides by the rules.

The key principles behind Scrum Rules are:

  • lEveryone must be consulted before a rule is proposed
  • All Team members and stakeholders must agree to abide by the rules
  • The rules must be well publicized
  • There should be consequences for not following a rule

Ultimately, these rules and norms are high-level guidelines for project managers to refer to when managing their projects. Common sense should be used when adopting them, and they should be tailored to adapt to a specific project’s needs if required.

Transitioning to Scrum requires adjusting to cultural changes and hence new mindsets. And like all change, it will not come easy; but we assure you from experience that as teams fully commit themselves to Scrum they discover a new sense of creativity, flexibility, and inspiration which leads to better and more efficient results.

Advantages of Scrum Implementation

Advantages of Scrum Implementation

Enough with the praises, though!
You should learn about how great agile is and the “miracles” it can bring about.

What makes agile project management so good, specifically?

There is a long list of benefits that bring agile project management to everyone’s attention — specifically those in software project management, but most definitely not exclusively so.

Better Quality
One of the main tenets of agile project management is that it promises better product quality.

To get things straight, it’s not that products developed via waterfall project management lack in quality. It’s just that it is far more likely for an agile-developed product to be qualitative by the point of its full release on the market.

There is a very strong logic behind this.

On the one hand, waterfall project management tends to be too strict within its own limits. This means that it is far more likely for mistakes to:

  • Be noticed too far out in the process (and waterfall will not allow the team to reiterate the same feature/ part of the project)
  • Be noticed when the product is already on the market/ in review by client

Agile project management is very focused on continuous improvement. As such, a product has a much higher chance of actually getting better throughout the development process.

Or, in other words, instead of sweeping all those small (or not so small) mistakes under the rug (as you would do in waterfall project management because you have to follow the plan), you will just deal with them there and then.

Sounds much more feasible, right?

Better Customer Satisfaction
Another reason that makes agile so advantageous is related to the fact that, by the end of the project, customers tend to be far more satisfied.

How so?
There are a few verticals to consider when it comes to customer satisfaction, and agile makes sure that all of them are properly met. For instance:

  • Agile will allow you to change the requirements as per client feedback.
  • Agile will force you to release bits of the project as you move along, ergo, it will allow your customer to provide you with input that is easier to implement (due to the small size of the actual bit they are testing).
  • Agile will help you deliver a better final product

Given all these factors, it makes all the sense in the world that customers will be happier — throughout the project, as they will be able to request the modifications they need and, at the end of it, as they will receive a product that fits their requirements, purposes, and desires.

Do keep in mind that the same stands true in those cases when the “customer” is an internal stakeholder — such as, for example when you are managing a software development project meant to be used internally.

Better Transparency
This agile benefit is very tightly connected to what has been mentioned already. When you can ensure better quality and better customer satisfaction, it all comes with greater transparency.
This transparency will manifest itself in all the verticals of project management. You will see better transparency in your team.

You will also see better transparency within the organization, regardless of whether or not the upper management uses the same project management approach as you do.
Finally, you will see better transparency between you and your customer (be it an internal one or an external one). When you constantly ask for feedback and continually improve the product to suit your customer’s needs, you create a more genuine relationship with them. You start to truly communicate, rather than engaging in nothing more than ping-pong emails.

Better Control
For those of you used to the premises of waterfall or traditional project management, it might seem that agile is anything but control-focused.

In fact, it very much is.

Agile project management allows you to control your project at a granular level, precisely because it encourages (and downright forces) you to split your project into small, bite-sized bits and pieces.

Waterfall project management forces you to lay it all down on paper before everything begins. At the same time, though, it also forces you to stick to the plan even when things go south. And yes, they will eventually go south, one way or another: the client’s requirements might change, you might realize something is taking longer than planned, your product might be bugged, or the costs might end up exceeding your expectations.

There are a million things that could go wrong, especially in software project management (where things tend to be more experimental than, let’s say, oil drilling, for example). When you can manage all these things that could go wrong as they happen, you gain control over the entire process. Even more, you can use your (bad) experience to improve the process, as well.

Don’t take this the wrong way. Control is not one and the same as micromanagement. You don’t have to constantly look over your team’s shoulders and manage each tiny detail every step of the way. That would just ruin the bridge of transparency, honesty, and self-discipline you are trying to build between yourself and your team.

Better Predictability
Again, this might seem like it’s the exact opposite of what agile project management is all about. But when you take a closer look, you will realize that agile projects can be better predicted precisely because they are managed step by step.

Let’s compare this with baking a cake.

When you buy the boxed mix, you can easily and accurately predict what you are going to get — a decent cake batter you can then personalize according to your tastes. However, you don’t know all the ingredients in that boxed mix — and, although the short-term result might be easy to foresee, it might be a bit more difficult to predict what will happen to your body if you continue eating boxed cake every week, for decades on end.

That would be the waterfall project management approach. You are using a mould and hoping that everything in your project will fit that ideal, very predictable format. However, long-term, you have no idea if your project plan won’t go against you.

When you bake a cake from scratch and you know where each ingredient comes from, how many calories it has, and how many nutrients it provides your body with, you can predict its effects on your body if you eat the same type of cake for an extended period of time.

Plus, as long as you accurately measure each ingredient’s quantity, you will be able to accurately predict how your cake is going to look and taste like. It might take a bit of practice until you learn how to do this correctly but, once you learn its tricks, the cake made from scratch will be more predictable in every single way!

That would be the agile project management approach. It might seem totally unpredictable at first, but the results will become more predictable once you have the right tools and the experience to accurately measure and approximate everything.

Better Risk Management
One of the major downfalls of waterfall project management is connected to the fact that it remains confined within its own tables and spreadsheets.

Waterfall project managers plan everything out at the beginning of the project. Agile project managers do the same. The main difference lies not in whether they plan, but in what happens when things don’t go according to that plan.

As mentioned before, waterfall tends to sweep risks under the carpet — or, at least, estimate them poorly and through an idealistic point of view. Agile, on the other hand, doesn’t do that. It faces the problems head-on, tackles them, removes them from your path, and then allows you to draw honest conclusions.

As a result, your risk management will improve, as well. When you stop hiding your head in the sand, you can see things more clearly. As such, you can manage any potential risks with more accuracy, as well.

Better ROI
Put every advantage we have already discussed throughout here one on top of the other and you will understand why agile project management tends to lead to better ROI.

Better products + happier clients + better risk management cannot go wrong.

It’s a universal formula for success. The more you can manage your money and put out better products, the more likely it is that customers will:

  • Come back to you
  • Pay on time
  • Evangelize and recommend you to other potential customers
  • Leave great reviews for your company on various channels

Sounds like a dream?
We prefer to call it Agile.

Better Metrics
This advantage circles back to the fact that agile won’t allow you to just sweep problems under the carpet. It will make you have a face-to-face conversation with these issues, get to know them in-depth, and then tackle them from a stance where you actually know what to do. Plus, agile project management is a team effort in every respect. From the moment you start splitting your project into smaller chunks, your team will be involved in the process. They will be able to give you real-life estimations on how long everything takes.

Finally, agile project management will allow you to track what is genuinely going on, rather than what you idealistically projected to happen. All of these aspects will eventually lead to better, more accurate, more realistic, and more useful metrics when it comes to team performance, ROI, and time management.

Better Collaboration
If there is one thing absolutely everyone loves about agile project management (aside from the apparent chaos, which, by the way, can become addictive) is the fact that teams just tend to work better when they are managed under an agile method.

Agile project management fosters an environment that focuses on self-discipline, honesty, and taking responsibility. When you have these three ingredients, you create true team spirit — the kind where people naturally understand and empathize with each other, where they genuinely want to help each other, and where various types of frustrations and bad feelings don’t even take root.

Agile is all about collaboration. The way you collaborate with your team, the way your team members will collaborate among themselves, the way your product manager will collaborate with the client, and the way you will collaborate with other stakeholders and upper management within your company — this will all change for the better. This is not an empty promise. It lies at the very foundation of what agile is and what this approach aims for.

Better Work-Life Balance
We won’t lie. Not all people who work in agile project management have a great work-life balance. But, then again, not all people who work in anything have a great work-life balance.

It is generally believed that those who work in agile project management (meaning the project managers and the teams) tend to have a better work-life balance because they learn how to efficiently manage their time. Therefore, they are much less likely to slack off and prolong their workdays into work nights and work weekends.

They are more likely to get their job done in the time it is supposed to be done — so that in their off-hours, they can go back to their families, hobbies, and spare time. Overall, this can lead to nothing but better, happier, more productive employees.

And we all know how happy that makes management, HR, and every single part of your organization, right?

You don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to all these benefits. You just have to look at those companies that have embraced agile as part of their structures — they have plenty to say about it and how it has drastically changed their entire way of doing business.

These are just some of the advantages. You might experience all of them, a few of them, or more. In any case, you will definitely enjoy a noticeable, realistic improvement in the way your projects are managed!

Scrum Team

Scrum Team

There are three major roles in a small Scrum team, which is usually no bigger than 9 to 10 members. The team must be small enough to work in collaboration with each other and is usually located within the same space or at least have powerful online tools to keep the team members in constant communication with each other.

The main roles are: Development Team and Product Owner

Development Team
The development team consists of the developers that are a group of highly skilled individuals capable of self-organizing their workload and collaborating with their team members to make sure they are all working toward the same goal.

Characteristics of the Development Team

  • Responsible and confident enough to optimize their workload as they are empowered by the organization to do so.
  • They have cross-functional skills that ensure that they can work on all aspects of the product increments.
  • Regardless of what their work is, all developers share the same title to ensure everyone is equal across the team.
  • Accepts that accountability for the project goes to the team as a whole unit, regardless of their skills.
  • Only the development team can create an increment, and all the team members have to agree for the increment to be ‘Done’.

Product Owner
The Product Owner has the responsibility of ensuring that the Product Backlog reflects the needs and requirements of the business or the customer for the system in development. They have to ensure the value of the product that is delivered by the development team.

Characteristics of the Product Owner

  • They are capable of creating a clearly defined Product Backlog.
  • They are responsible for and capable of ensuring the Backlog Items are properly ordered and have a function or feature that is of value to the product.
  • Must keep the Product Backlog clearly updated and visible for all to see at all times.
  • They must ensure that the development team has a clear understanding of each item on the product board.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is the referee of the team and has to make sure that the team understands the rules, works according to the values, and ensures that everyone has the means and tools to achieve their goals.

The Scrum Master must make sure the product is being kept in line and must be the one to mediate any problems or iterations that do not stay on track. The Scrum Master is there to support and coach the team through the project.

The Scrum Master has to balance various interactions between the stakeholders and the development team. He is the one that will coach the team through various changes and interactions that add value to the product being developed.

The Scrum Master, in essence, serves three groups.

Scrum Master Interactions with the Product Owner

  • Ensures that all the goals of the Product Backlog are clear and understood by the entire team.
  • Helps the Product Owner constantly find techniques for effective management of the Product Backlog.
  • Helps the Product Owner organize the Product Backlog to ensure it has maximum impact in order to create value.
  • Helps the Product Owner facilitate requested events.

Scrum Master Interactions with the Development Team

  • Ensures that all the goals of the Product are clearly understood.
  • Helps the development team to self-organize.
  • Helps to facilitate events that require immediate change as and when they arise.
  • Ensures the Daily Scrum runs when planned and tries to find effective solutions for problems that may have arisen.

Scrum Master Interactions with the Stakeholders/Organization/Customers

  • Coaches the organization as to the Scrum framework.
  • Helps to plan the Scrum implementation with the help of the organization/stakeholders/customers.
  • Collaborates with other Scrum Masters in the organization to ensure the effectiveness of Scrum throughout the organization.

Scrum Values

In order for Scrum to work for the organization, the Scrum team must be able to commit to learning to work by the five Scrum values. These values are what embody the pillars of Scrum which are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

5 Values of Scrum:

  1. Commitment
    Each team member commits to doing their best to ensure they achieve their goals and by so doing, achieve the goals of Scrum.
  2. Courage
    Each team member must show they have the courage to soldier on through tough times/ problems, and always do the right thing.
  3. Focus
    Each team member’s focus should be on the goals of the Sprint in order to achieve the overall goals of the Scrum team.
  4. Openness
    There must be open communication between the team members, management, and stakeholders. All problems or roadblocks must be reported and challenges brought to the necessary parties’ attention.
  5. Respect
    Each team member must respect the other team members and what they have to offer the team.

Scrum Rules

In order to achieve the goals of Scrum, there are 12 basic rules that should be followed in order to ensure that development runs at its optimum, spares no wasted time, and delivers the expected product.

12 Basic Rules of Scrum

  1. There is a ‘Sprint Planning’ meeting for every Sprint.
  2. The ‘Sprint Planning’ meeting is time boxed, usually to 2 hours per meeting.
  3. Every Sprint should take the same length of time.
  4. There should be no breaks between sprints. When one finishes, the next one should start after the planned Sprint meeting.
  5. Each Sprint should be designed with the intent to demonstrate the software at the end of the Sprint.
  6. A Daily Scrum must be held every day for the duration of the project.
  7. The Daily Scrum must be time boxed to 15 minutes or less.
  8. After every Sprint, there is a Sprint review.
  9. The Sprint Review should be time boxed to 2 hours.
  10. There should be a Sprint Retrospective meeting after every Sprint Review. No new Sprint should start without the Sprint retrospective.
  11. The Sprint Retrospective meeting should be time boxed to 2 hours.
  12. The Scrum Master is responsible for making sure everyone follows the Scrum rules.

Scrum Events

Scrum works with prescribed events in order to cut down on those emergency meetings that are not planned into the already tight schedule of the day.

Each Scrum event is time-boxed, which means that it is given a set time to completion or maximum duration. Anything that is not done or declared within that time frame must be moved over or left off. Kind of like predefined sizes of packing boxes, if the item does not fit in the box, it must be put into the next box or determined whether it is needed at all.

Sprint
The Sprint is the main Scrum event and has strict rules that govern the planning, developing, and ending of a Sprint. There is also a recommended procedure for canceling a Sprint.

The Scrum framework works on the concept of breaking a project down into smaller, more manageable projects. The goal of the Sprint is to be able to release at least a workable demo or functional portion of the project. When a Sprint is completed it is marked as “Done” by the development team who all have to be in agreement that the Sprint is ready.

Each Sprint will consist of its own little project plan which consists of what is being developed, how it is going to be developed, and how much effort it is going to take to develop it.

Every Spirit must come with the flexibility to be able to change and adapt at any given time during the Sprint’s life cycle.

Every Sprint can take no longer than 1 month (30 days) to complete. If the Sprint is going to take any longer, it needs to be broken down further. For Every Sprint, There Must Be the Following Events:

  • Sprint Planning
    This is where all the planning of the Sprint is done. It is here that the Development team collaborates over what features are needed in the Sprint. Sprint planning has a time box that is set to a maximum of 8 hours. The meeting is held by the Scrum Master who oversees the entire proceedings. The Product Owner ensures that the team clearly understands the goal of the Sprint and fits the required functionality.

    During the meeting, the team discusses topics such as:

    • What items from the Product Backlog can the team put in the Sprint?
    • How will the team proceed to get the work done in order to complete the Sprint?
    • The goal of the Sprint.
  • Daily Scrum
    This is a time boxed daily event of up to 15 minutes that all team members are expected to attend. It is here that work for the day is planned out and discussed to ensure every team member is still set on the correct path.

    It is here that the team collaborates on problems that may have arisen the previous day. All members leave the meeting with a clear view of how close they are to completing the project or Sprint.

    These daily meetings have been shown to increase the probability of both the Sprint and overall project getting completed on time and conforming to a high standard.

  • Sprint Development
    This is where all the actual development work gets done by a team of highly skilled individuals. Each team member works toward a common goal of completing the project on time and meeting all the project requirements.
  • Sprint Review
    At the end of each Sprint, the team along with the stakeholders have a Sprint review where the product is inspected. This is where the team gets to show the stakeholders the outcome of the Sprint Development and ensure they know what features went into the Sprint.

    It is at this review that the team discusses how they will optimize the next Sprint and goes over what could be done in the next Sprint to optimize the value of the next Sprint.

    The product is usually reviewed in this meeting in order for the team to get valuable feedback from the stakeholders and to get to schedule any changes or fixes to the Sprint that may be needed. In some cases, they view whether or not the Sprint is needed at all, especially if something has changed in the project since the last Sprint Review.

  • Sprint Retrospective
    This is where the Sprint team gets together for a maximum of a 2-hour meeting in order to go over what they can do to improve upon the next Sprint. This meeting takes place after the Sprint Review and before the next Sprint starts.

    Each Sprint is inspected with regard to the people developing the Sprint to discuss how well they handled the work and any pitfalls that could be avoided in the next Sprint. The team discusses any extra tools that may be needed, processes that could be improved upon, or teamwork that needs to be addressed. The meeting is overseen by the Scrum Master to make sure the meeting is a productive one that does not run over the allotted time box.

Scrum Artifacts

A Scrum Artifact is an item that is designed to add value to the project and that maintains a history or clearly defined information for all to see in order to gauge the project status.

Scrum Artifacts include:

Product Backlog
The Product Backlog is the wish list or requirement list that makes up the entire product or system that needs to be designed, developed, and implemented by a skilled team of Scrum Developers.

The Product Backlog is the sole responsibility of the Product Owner to maintain and ensure that any fixes, patches, new features, and so forth are listed as and when they are asked for. The Product Backlog gets added to on the fly and can be ordered, prioritized, and then re-ordered and re-prioritized.

The Product Owner must work on the assumption that the list is never fully complete. The Product Backlog list is also maintained well after the initial projects as there are always calls for bug fixes, updates, upgrades, etc.

Sprint Backlog
The Sprint Backlog is a mini Product Backlog and contains only the items that are required to make up the Sprint. It identifies all the work that the Scrum Development team has listed as necessary to complete a part of the project.

The Sprint Backlog is updated and tracked on a daily basis to determine the progress of the Sprint and ensure that is it going to meet the required completion target date. The Sprint Backlog is developed and maintained by the Scrum Development team and overseen by the Scrum Master.

Artifact Transparency
It is the duty of both the Scrum Master and Product Owner to ensure that the Scrum Artifacts are available for all to see in order to monitor the project’s progress. Transparency is one of the pillars of Scrum and is one of the main reasons it is so efficient.

The Scrum Master must, therefore, make sure that the information about the Artifacts is updated every day and positioned such that is visible.

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