Scrum Definition :
Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations
generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.
In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:
- A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.
- The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a
- The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next
Scrum is simple. Try it as is and determine if its philosophy, theory, and structure
help to achieve goals and create value. The Scrum framework is purposefully
incomplete, only defining the parts required to implement Scrum theory. Scrum is
built upon by the collective intelligence of the people using it. Rather than provide
people with detailed instructions, the rules of Scrum guide their relationships and
Various processes, techniques and methods can be employed within the framework.
Scrum wraps around existing practices or renders them unnecessary. Scrum makes
visible the relative efficacy of current management, environment, and work
techniques, so that improvements can be made.
The Scrum Team commits to achieving its goals and to supporting each other. Their
primary focus is on the work of the Sprint to make the best possible progress toward
these goals. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders are open about the work and the
challenges. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent
people, and are respected as such by the people with whom they work. The Scrum
Team members have the courage to do the right thing, to work on tough problems.
These values give direction to the Scrum Team with regard to their work, actions, and
behavior. The decisions that are made, the steps taken, and the way Scrum is used
should reinforce these values, not diminish or undermine them. The Scrum Team
members learn and explore the values as they work with the Scrum events and
artifacts. When these values are embodied by the Scrum Team and the people they
work with, the empirical Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation
come to life building trust.
The fundamental unit of Scrum is a small team of people, a Scrum Team. The Scrum
Team consists of one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers. Within a
Scrum Team, there are no sub-teams or hierarchies. It is a cohesive unit of
professionals focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal.
Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills
necessary to create value each Sprint. They are also self-managing, meaning they
internally decide who does what, when, and how.
The Scrum Team is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete
significant work within a Sprint, typically 10 or fewer people. In general, we have
found that smaller teams communicate better and are more productive. If Scrum
Teams become too large, they should consider reorganizing into multiple cohesive
Scrum Teams, each focused on the same product. Therefore, they should share the
same Product Goal, Product Backlog, and Product Owner.
The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder
collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and
development, and anything else that might be required. They are structured and
empowered by the organization to manage their own work. Working in Sprints at a
sustainable pace improves the Scrum Team’s focus and consistency.
The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every
Sprint. Scrum defines three specific accountabilities within the Scrum Team: the
Developers, the Product Owner, and the Scrum Master.
Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any
aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.
The specific skills needed by the Developers are often broad and will vary with the
domain of work. However, the Developers are always accountable for:
● Creating a plan for the Sprint, the Sprint Backlog;
● Instilling quality by adhering to a Definition of Done;
● Adapting their plan each day toward the Sprint Goal; and,
● Holding each other accountable as professionals.
The Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the value of the product resulting
from the work of the Scrum Team. How this is done may vary widely across
organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.
The Product Owner is also accountable for effective Product Backlog management,
● Developing and explicitly communicating the Product Goal;
● Creating and clearly communicating Product Backlog items;
● Ordering Product Backlog items; and,
● Ensuring that the Product Backlog is transparent, visible and
The Product Owner may do the above work or may delegate the responsibility to
others. Regardless, the Product Owner remains accountable.
For Product Owners to succeed, the entire organization must respect their decisions.
These decisions are visible in the content and ordering of the Product Backlog, and
through the inspectable Increment at the Sprint Review.
The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may
represent the needs of many stakeholders in the Product Backlog. Those wanting to
change the Product Backlog can do so by trying to convince the Product Owner.
The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum
Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both
within the Scrum Team and the organization.
The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by
Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework.
Scrum Masters are true leaders who serve the Scrum Team and the larger
organization. The Scrum Master serves the Scrum Team in several ways, including:
● Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;
● Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments
that meet the Definition of Done;
● Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s
● Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive,
productive, and kept within the timebox.
The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:
● Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition
and Product Backlog management;
● Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and
concise Product Backlog items;
● Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex
● Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.
The Scrum Master serves the organization in several ways, including:
● Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum
● Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the
● Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an
empirical approach for complex work; and,
● Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.
The Sprint is a container for all other events. Each event in Scrum is a formal
opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts. These events are specifically
designed to enable the transparency required.
Failure to operate any events as prescribed results in lost opportunities to inspect
and adapt. Events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need
for meetings not defined in Scrum.
Optimally, all events are held at the same time and place to reduce complexity.
Sprints are the heartbeat of Scrum, where ideas are turned into value. They are fixed
length events of one month or less to create consistency. A new Sprint starts
immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint. All the work necessary to
achieve the Product Goal, including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review,
and Sprint Retrospective, happen within Sprints.
During the Sprint:
● No changes are made that would endanger the Sprint Goal;
● Quality does not decrease;
● The Product Backlog is refined as needed; and,
● Scope may be clarified and renegotiated with the Product Owner
as more is learned.
Sprints enable predictability by ensuring inspection and adaptation of progress
toward a Product Goal at least every calendar month. When a Sprint’s horizon is too
long the Sprint Goal may become invalid, complexity may rise, and risk may
increase. Shorter Sprints can be employed to generate more learning
cycles and limit risk of cost and effort to a smaller time frame. Each Sprint may be
considered a short project.
Various practices exist to forecast progress, like burn-downs, burn-ups, or
cumulative flows. While proven useful, these do not replace the importance of
empiricism. In complex environments, what will happen is unknown. Only what has
already happened may be used for forward-looking decision making.
A Sprint could be cancelled if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete. Only the Product
Owner has the authority to cancel the Sprint.
Sprint Planning initiates the Sprint by laying out the work to be performed for the
Sprint. This resulting plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum
The Product Owner ensures that attendees are prepared to discuss the most
important Product Backlog items and how they map to the Product Goal. The Scrum
Team may also invite other people to attend Sprint Planning to provide advice.
Sprint Planning addresses the following topics:
Topic One: Why is this Sprint valuable?
The Product Owner proposes how the product could increase its value and utility in
the current Sprint. The whole Scrum Team then collaborates to define a Sprint Goal
that communicates why the Sprint is valuable to stakeholders. The Sprint Goal must
be finalized prior to the end of Sprint Planning.
Topic Two: What can be Done this Sprint?
Through discussion with the Product Owner, the Developers select items from the
Product Backlog to include in the current Sprint. The Scrum Team may refine these
items during this process, which increases understanding and confidence.
Selecting how much can be completed within a Sprint may be challenging. However,
the more the Developers know about their past performance, their upcoming
capacity, and their Definition of Done, the more confident they will be in their Sprint
Topic Three: How will the chosen work get done?
For each selected Product Backlog item, the Developers plan the work necessary to
create an Increment that meets the Definition of Done. This is often done by
decomposing Product Backlog items into smaller work items of one day or less. How
this is done is at the sole discretion of the Developers. No one else tells them how to
turn Product Backlog items into Increments of value.
The Sprint Goal, the Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus the plan for
delivering them are together referred to as the Sprint Backlog.
Sprint Planning is timeboxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint.
For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.
The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and
adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work.
The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team. To
reduce complexity, it is held at the same time and place every working day of the
Sprint. If the Product Owner or Scrum Master are actively working on items in the
Sprint Backlog, they participate as Developers.
The Developers can select whatever structure and techniques they want, as long as
their Daily Scrum focuses on progress toward the Sprint Goal and produces an
actionable plan for the next day of work. This creates focus and improves self-
Daily Scrums improve communications, identify impediments, promote quick
decision-making, and consequently eliminate the need for other meetings. The Daily
Scrum is not the only time Developers are allowed to adjust their plan. They often
meet throughout the day for more detailed discussions about adapting or re-planning
the rest of the Sprint’s work.
The purpose of the Sprint Review is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and
determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to
key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.
During the event, the Scrum Team and stakeholders review what was accomplished
in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment. Based on this information,
attendees collaborate on what to do next. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted
to meet new opportunities. The Sprint Review is a working session and the Scrum
Team should avoid limiting it to a presentation.
The Sprint Review is the second to last event of the Sprint and is timeboxed to a
maximum of four hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is
The purpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to plan ways to increase quality and
effectiveness. The Scrum Team inspects how the last Sprint went with regards to
individuals, interactions, processes, tools, and their Definition of Done. Inspected
elements often vary with the domain of work. Assumptions that led them astray are
identified and their origins explored. The Scrum Team discusses what went well
during the Sprint, what problems it encountered, and how those problems were (or
were not) solved.
The Scrum Team identifies the most helpful changes to improve its effectiveness. The
most impactful improvements are addressed as soon as possible. They may even be
added to the Sprint Backlog for the next Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective concludes
the Sprint. It is timeboxed to a maximum of three hours for a one- month Sprint. For
shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.
Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value. They are designed to maximize
transparency of key
information. Thus, everyone inspecting them has the same basis for adaptation.
Each artifact contains a commitment to ensure it provides information that enhances
transparency and focus against which progress can be measured:
● For the Product Backlog it is the Product Goal.
● For the Sprint Backlog it is the Sprint Goal.
● For the Increment it is the Definition of Done.
These commitments exist to reinforce empiricism and the Scrum values for the
Scrum Team and their stakeholders.
The Product Backlog is an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the
product. It is the single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team.
Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are
deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event. They usually acquire this
degree of transparency after refining activities. Product Backlog refinement is the act
of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more
precise items. This is an ongoing activity to add details, such as a description, order,
and size. Attributes often vary with the domain of work.The Developers who will be
doing the work are responsible for the sizing. The Product Owner may influence the
Developers by helping them understand and select trade-offs.
The Sprint Backlog is composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog
items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the
Increment (how).The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers. It is a highly
visible, real-time picture of the work that the Developers plan to accomplish during
the Sprint in order to achieve the Sprint Goal.
Consequently, the Sprint Backlog is updated throughout the Sprint as more is
learned. It should have enough detail that they can inspect their progress in the Daily