The Scrum framework consists of teams and their associated roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and development team; artifacts, activities/events, and rules. Each component of this framework serves a specific purpose and is essential to the success of the project.
Scrum projects include three artifacts and five essential activities. These processes enhance performance from the very beginning to the last day of the project. Here’s what these activities are and the benefits they offer:
Three artifacts are used to help improve the transparency of information that the team and stakeholders need to know about:
This is similar to a to-do list. It is an ordered list that contains the requirements of changes, such as fixes, enhancements, and new features, among others. This list constantly evolves based on creating a product that is competitive and useful. For this reason, the Product Backlog needs to be updated from time to time, which is one of the Product Owner’s tasks.
The Sprint Backlog is a set of Product Backlog items that are identified by the Scrum team (during the Sprint planning meeting) to be completed during the Sprint. The development team modifies the Sprint backlog during the Sprint and builds on it to reach the Sprint Goal. The Sprint backlog should be detailed enough that team members can track their progress in the Daily Scrum.
An increment is the integration of all product backlogs completed during the Sprint. It is the concrete stepping stone toward the product goal. For work to be considered part of an increment, it needs to meet the Definition of Done.
Scrum Activities Sprint Planning
This Scrum framework activity is where the team determines the product backlog items that they will be working on during that Sprint. Sprint planning usually involves the entire team for the following:
- The Product Owner identifies the product backlog items and proposes a Sprint Goal.
- The team members determine how many product backlog items they can complete and how they will deliver them.
- The Scrum Master facilitates Sprint planning to ensure that the right product backlog items are included in the Sprint backlog.
Sprint planning takes place in the team room on the first day of a new Sprint. It should happen after the Sprint Review and Retrospective from the previous Sprint. This activity is usually split into two parts: scope and plan. Scope is when the team selects the items for Product Backlog, and plan is when the team discusses how they will deliver the Product Backlog items.
The key benefit of Sprint Planning is that it enables the team to start a new Sprint with a plan in place and a clear understanding of the work that needs to be done.
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Sprints are sometimes called “iterations.” Each Sprint has:
- A goal that needs to be accomplished
- A design and flexible plan
- Work/steps to be followed
- The resultant product Increment
The Sprint can be considered a timebox that lasts no more than one month, during which a “Done” product Increment is created. In other words, it is a short cycle of software development that allows a team to develop a deliverable product functionality. During the sprint, no features are added, and the goals don’t change. Nonetheless, exceptions may occur when the team finishes a Sprint early.
The development team comprises cross-functional members that could include software engineers, programmers, architects, analysts, QA experts, testers, system admins, UI designers, and more.
When a Sprint’s horizon takes longer than a month, the complexity and definition of what is being built may change. Consequently, risk may increase. Once a Sprint is finished, a new Sprint begins immediately.
A “Daily Scrum” is a daily meeting that occurs at a set time. They are organized and facilitated by the Scrum Master. Its purpose is to gather everyone for a status check to ensure that all members are working toward the same goal.
These meetings typically take no more than 15 minutes, even when it comes to a bigger team. If the Daily Scrum meetings last too long, there’s a risk that members will lose focus on what they need to accomplish that day. The Scrum Master needs to keep the questions and answers as brief and straightforward as possible. No one should attempt to solve problems during a Daily Scrum, as this is something that can be dealt with later.
Sprint Review is an informal meeting that’s held at the end of the Sprint. It gathers the Scrum Master, the Product Owner, the development team, and the stakeholders altogether. Its purpose is for the team to present a demo, comparing their finished work to the original plan that was provided at the beginning of the Sprint.
The Sprint Review meeting generally lasts less than two hours for two-week Sprints, or four hours for one-month Sprints. The meeting outcome is a revised Product Backlog that defines the items for the upcoming Sprint(s).
The Sprint Retrospective takes place after the Sprint Review, and before the upcoming Sprint Planning. For one-month Sprints, this meeting lasts less than three hours. The whole team, which includes the devs, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner, gather for this meeting. The stakeholders may join in, too, but this is optional.
This session tackles certain improvements. It also aims to identify potential mistakes and possible solutions. Moreover, it’s an opportunity for the team to discuss the activities they’re good at, and what events should be continued.
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These Scrum activities are designed to enable teams to deliver a potentially shippable software in short iterations. The meetings are crucial for providing structure, especially when the whole team joins in. But every team is different and there are no perfect processes. It’s important to keep the principles of Scrum in mind: stay agile and keep improving.
Do you want to know more about Scrum and how you can implement it for your project? Bydrec is here to help. Contact us at 888-864-3124 for more information!