Scrum

An overview of the Agile Scrum framework

What is Scrum?

Agile Scrum is a lightweight framework designed specifically for keeping complex product development and project management on track. Primarily used for Agile product development, but applicable to any activity requiring teamwork, the Scrum framework guides cross-functional teams to communicate, hold each other accountable, and iterate quickly and consistently to deliver results.

Like a rugby team (where Scrum gets its name) trying to take possession of the ball, Scrum encourages teams to work together and learn from their experiences to improve. It's not a prescriptive method, but rather a set of principles and well-defined roles that help teams manage their work.

The Agile Scrum framework is structured around roles, ceremonies, and artifacts.


Roles

  • Product owner
  • Scrum leader (aka Scrum master)
  • Scrum development team 


Ceremonies

  • Daily scrum (aka daily standup)
  • Sprint planning
  • Sprint review
  • Sprint retrospective


Artifacts

  • Product backlog
  • Sprint backlog
  • Increment

Use this template to introduce Scrum to your team with a collaborative group activity.

Roles in Scrum

Scrum leader

The Scrum leader, also called the Scrum master, is the glue that holds the team together. A Scrum leader's main job is to facilitate Scrum ceremonies and nurture an environment where the team embodies Agile principles and collaborates efficiently.

Product owner

The product owner looks over the product backlog, defines user stories, and orders the work to be done. They act as an advocate for the customer,

Developers

The Scrum Development team then turns part of that work into an increment of value (or goal) during a sprint planning session (e.g., in two weeks, we will complete the build out of the onboarding application). The Scrum team and its stakeholders then analyze the results and make any adjustments for the next sprint — and then repeat.

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Scrum ceremonies

While the term might sound a bit intimidating, Scrum ceremonies are relatively straightforward. Think of them as meetings designed to align the Scrum team and empower them to be more effective with each increment.

Daily scrum

The daily scrum, also called the daily standup, is a 15-minute meeting that keeps the Development team aligned. Facilitated by the Scrum leader, this ceremony asks team members to succinctly answer three questions:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Are you facing any roadblocks that need to be addressed?

Sprint planning

Sprint planning happens at the beginning of each sprint — typically, every two weeks.

Sprint review

The sprint review happens at the end of each sprint with the purpose of aligning key stakeholders outside of the Scrum team and getting their feedback on the deliverables from the sprint.

Sprint retrospective

While the sprint review focuses on the increment itself, retrospectives are a time for the Development team to reflect on the sprint process. Retros allow teams to identify what went well, what didn't, and what actions they can take to improve over the course of the next sprint.


Use these templates to plan, facilitate, and follow up after your Scrum ceremonies and meetings. More templates coming soon.

Artifacts in Scrum

These three artifacts are the foundation of a successful sprint. They allow Scrum teams to align on their shared priorities and work quickly toward achieving the product goal.

Product backlog

A product backlog is an always-evolving list of the requirements, features, enhancements, and fixes for a given product. Each item is represented by a user story and prioritized in order of importance. The product backlog is managed by the product owner.

Sprint backlog

A sprint backlog is a subset of the product backlog that outlines the stories that a Scrum team is prioritizing during a sprint.

Increment

In Scrum, the increment is the output of a sprint. By definition, Agile is an incremental approach to product development — so it makes sense that each increment builds upon the previous ones.

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MURAL for Scrum teams

Scrum teams use MURAL to map out sprints, plan individualized goals, and help team members visualize the big picture. Learn more.

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