Scrum is one of the most popular frameworks for implementing agile. Scrum is a lightweight management framework with broad applicability for managing and controlling
iterative and incremental projects.
- A framework with particular set of practices that must be followed to delivery
shippable increments at agreed cycle.
- The framework is lightweight where the overhead of the process is kept as small as possible, to maximize the amount of productive time available for getting useful work done.
Scrum framework organize the set of specific concepts and practices into three categories of Roles, Ceremonies and Artifacts.
Scrum framework defines three specific roles i.e. product owner, scrum master, and the
development team who work in collaboration to deliver business value with each shippable increment.
The product owner – driving product value
Product owner is responsible for achieving maximum business value for the project. He
or she is the voice of customer who articulate customer requirements into user stories.
Product owner’s key responsibilities are:
– Owns the product vision, user need, customer and business (‘WHY’ part of the Product)
– Brings the client empathy to TEAM
– Owns the Product backlog (Creation, Grooming, Prioritization)
– Owns product releases and takes necessary decision
– Stakeholder management and collaboration from business/product aspect
The scrum master – Ensuring process and execution as servant leader
Scrum master is a facilitator who ensures that the Scrum Team is provided with an
environment conducive to complete the project successfully. Scrum master’s key
– A process owner
– An impediment resolver
– Team protector (keeps distractions away)
– A stakeholder manager, collaborator, coach
– Delivery owner (ensures meeting sprint commitments)
The scrum team – building shippable increments
Scrum team is a group of people who are responsible for understanding the requirements
specified by the Product Owner and creating the shippable increment. Key characteristics of the scrum team are:
– They are cross-functional. The development team includes developers, testers, designers, ops engineers who have all the skill required to build production ready product.
– The optimum size for effective scrum team is 5-9 people; not too large so that communication becomes an issue, not so small that overhead is excessive
– Each member may have specialized skills and areas of focus, but accountability
belongs to the Scrum Team as a whole. They celebrate success together and embrace
failures together as a team.
– They use an integrated development environment to create working, production-ready
software within a Sprint, allowing merging and check-ins with automated tests on a
Scrum framework defines specific time-boxed ceremonies / events i.e. sprint, sprint
planning, sprint daily, sprint review, sprint retrospective that help teams deliver
working software at the end of a Sprint.
A Sprint is a Time-boxed iteration of one to four weeks in duration during which the
Scrum Master guides, facilitates, and shields the Scrum Team from both internal and
external impediments to develop shippable increments.
Sprints consist of the Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, the development work, the Sprint
Review, and the Sprint Retrospective.
Sprint planning meeting is conducted prior to the Sprint as part of the Create
Sprint Backlog process. It is Time-boxed to four (4) hours for a 2-week Sprint. This is
done into two parts:
1. Define objective – In the first half, the Product Owner explains the highest
priority User Stories to the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team and product owner in
collaboration decide how much of the prioritized backlog can be turned into shippable
product as the Sprint goal.
2. Task breakdown – In the second half of the meeting, the Scrum Team decides “how”
(sub-tasks) to complete the selected Prioritized Product Backlog Items to fulfill the
It is a short daily meeting, time-boxed to 15 minutes. The team members stand in circle
facing each other to sync up on the progress of the project by answering three key
1. What did I complete since last daily?
2. What will I complete by next daily?
3. What impediments or obstacles (if any) am I facing?
The Sprint Review Meeting is the inspect part of the sprint which is Time-boxed to 2
hours for a 2-week Sprint. The Scrum Team presents the deliverable of the current
Sprint to the Product Owner. The Product Owner reviews the product (or product
increment) against the agreed Acceptance Criteria and either accepts or rejects the
completed User Stories.
Sprint Retrospective is the ‘adapt’ part of the process which is time-boxed to 1-2
hours for 2 week sprint. During this meeting, the Scrum Team gets together to review
and reflect on the previous Sprint in terms of the processes followed, tools employed,
collaboration and communication mechanisms, and other aspects relevant to the project.
The team discusses ‘what went well’ and ‘what did not go well’ during the sprint to
learn and make improvements in the Sprints to follow.
Scrum framework defines specific artifacts i.e. product backlog, sprint backlog, burn-
down chart, shippable increment that brings the transparency in the system to ensure
everybody has same understanding of the project/product state.
Product backlog is a prioritized list of product or project requirements. These are
creating, refining, ordering (prioritization) of the Product Backlog. High level estimates are given for the stories. The popular expression of sizes/estimates are story points or t-shirt sizes.
At the end of each sprint, the remaining release backlog can be tracked from release burn down chart.
The Sprint Backlog is the set of stories / backlog items selected from product backlog as a plan for delivering the product Increment. The sprint backlog is the outcome of sprint planning meeting which is the agreed commitment of the Development Team as their sprint goal.
At a given point in time during sprint, the remaining sprint backlog can be tracked from sprint burn down chart.
At the end of a Sprint the new product increment must be in a usable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s Definition of Done. The increment must consist of thoroughly tested code that has been built into an executable, and the user operation of the functionality is documented either in Help files or user documentation. It must be in usable & shippable condition that Product Owner may decide to release (if required).
Along with the Scrum framework, team needs to understand and live Scrum Values at
workplace to reap the the agile benefits.