Scrum Notes

Most Recently I have been studying for the Professional Scrum Master (PSM-1) assessment. Hoping it serves as a guide to the Scrum Guide, I am sharing some Scrum concepts that helped me navigate through the framework. This article is not a replacement for the Scrum Guide but can be helpful in understanding the basics. As the guide states, scrum is lightweight, simple to understand, and difficult to master, therefore please feel free to consider the article as a first step to a journey. Please visit for more.

A framework in which people address complex adaptive problems while delivering products of highest possible value.

Scrum is:

  • Lightweight
  • Simple to understand
  • Difficult to master

Scrum is not:

  • A process
  • Technique
  • Definitive method

Remember: Scrum is a framework not a process!

Scrum started to be used in the 1990’s for:

  • Research
  • New products
  • Development

The essence of scrum is small teams of people who are highly flexible and adaptable.

Scrum Theory

  • Founded on empirical process control theory. Asserts that knowledge comes from experience.
  • Employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk.
  • Three pillars of implementation of empirical process control: Transparency, Inspection, Adaptation.
  • Transparency: Aspects of the process must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. A common language and a shared definition of “Done”.
  • Inspection: Artifacts must be inspected often but not as often to get in the way of work.
  • Adaptation: The process must be adjusted if it is deemed that an aspect deviates the acceptable limit.

The 4 Formal Scrum Events

  1. Sprint Planning
  2. Daily Sprint
  3. Sprint Review
  4. Sprint Retrospective

Scrum Values

  • Commitment
  • Courage
  • Focus
  • Openness
  • Respect

The scrum team and stakeholders agree to be Open about the work and challenges based on respect and trust.

The Scrum Team

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Development team

Scrum teams are self organizing and cross-functional.

  • Self organizing: The team chooses how_ _to organize work.
  • Cross-functional: The team has all the competencies needed to accomplish the work.

Scrum teams deliver products iteratively and incrementally.

The Product Owner

  • Is responsible for maximizing the value of the product.
  • Is the sole person responsible for the backlog
  • Is a one person team

The Development Team

  • Group of professionals who do the work for delivering a releasable increment of “Done” product.
  • They organize and manage their work and are empowered by the organization.
  • Scrum recognizes no titles for members
  • Cross Functional Team. Scrum recognizes no Sub-teams like Quality Assurance team or Business Analysis team.
  • Accountability belongs to the team as a whole.
  • Team Size: Small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work. Between 3 and 9 team members.

Scrum Master

Scrum Master serves to PO:

  • Ensures that the goals, scope and product are understood by everyone.
  • Finds techniques for backlog management.
  • Helps the team understand the need for a clear backlog.
  • Understand Product Planning in an empirical environment.
  • Facilitate Scrum events.

Scrum Master serves the Dev Team:

  • Coach the dev team in cross-functionality and self-organization.
  • Help the dev team create high-value products.
  • Remove impediments for progress.
  • Facilitate Scrum events.
  • Coach the dev team in places where Scrum is not fully adopted.

Scrum Master serves the organization:

  • Lead the organization to scrum adaptation.
  • Plan scrum implementation within the organization.
  • Help employees Understand Scrum processes.
  • Causes change that increase productivity.

Scrum Events

  • Events are used in scrum to create regularity and minimize the need for meetings.
  • All events are time-boxed.
  • Duration is fixed and can’t be changed once the sprint has started.
  • Each sprint is an opportunity to inspect and adapt something.
  • The heart of the scrum is the Sprint, a time-boxed event of one month where a “Done” and potentially releasable increment is created.
  • The new sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous sprint.

The sprint contains:

  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrums
  • The development Work
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

During the Sprint:

  • No changes are made to endanger the Sprint Goal.
  • Quality goals do not decrease
  • Scope may be clarified and renegotiated.

Cancelling the Sprint:

  • A sprint can be cancelled before sprint time-box is over.
  • Only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel the sprint.
  • A sprint should be canceled if the goal becomes obsolete.

Sprint Planning

  • The sprint Planning happens by the entire scrum team during the sprint planning.
  • Sprint Planning is time-boxed to max 8 hours for a one-month sprint.
  • The scrum Master ensures the event takes place and helps the attendants understand its purpose and keep it within the tome-box.

The sprint Planning answers the following questions:

  1. What can be done this sprint? The number of items selected from the backlog is up to the Dev team. The team also crafts a sprint goal.
  2. **How *will the work\* ** get done? The dev team decides how it will build into a “done” increment and be able to explain how. The Dev Team self-organizes to undertake the work. The PO can help clarify the goal.

Sprint Goal

  • Is an objective set for the Sprint through the implementation of the backlog.
  • The selected product backlog delivers one coherent function which is the sprint goal.
  • Causes the dev team to work together rather than take separate initiatives.
  • The team can negotiate the scope of sprint backlog.

Daily Scrum

  • Is a 15-minute time-boxed event for the Dev Team.
  • It is held at the same time and place to reduce complexity.
  • Its goal is to inspect progress toward the sprint goal.

Questions in the Daily Scrum :

  1. What did you do yesterday
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Any impediments?

The Scrum Master ensures the team has the meeting but the dev team is responsible for conducting it.

Benefits of daily scrum:

  • Improves communications
  • Eliminates other meetings
  • Identify impediments
  • Improve Dev team’s level of knowledge

Sprint Review

  • It is held at the end of the sprint to inspect the increment and product backlog.
  • Max time : 4 hours for a 1 month sprint.

Includes the following:

  • Scrum master ensures the event takes place.
  • Attendees are invited by the PO.
  • The PO explains what has been “Done”.
  • The Dev team demonstrates the work done.
  • The PO discusses the backlog.
  • The group collaborates at what to do next.
  • Review of the timeline and potential capabilities.

Sprint Retrospective

  • Opportunity for the scrum team to inspect and improve.
  • Usually after The Sprint Review and prior to Sprint Planning.
  • Max 3 hour for one month sprint.
  • Scrum master ensures the meeting is positive and productive.

The purpose of Sprint Retrospective:

  • Inspect how the last sprint went.
  • Identify that the items went well and any potential improvements.
  • Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way scrum works.
  • The scrum master encourages the team to improve within the process.

Scrum Artifacts

  • Represents work or value that provides transparency and opportunity for inspection.

Product Backlog

  • It is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product.
  • Single source of requirements for any changes.
  • Only PO is responsible for the backlog.
  • The backlog is never complete and evolves with the product.
  • Lists all the features, functions requirements and fixes.
  • Have the attributes of a description, order, estimate and value.
  • Requests never stop changing so the backlog becomes
  • Product refinement can be a collaboration of Dev and PO. No more than 10% of the capacity of the Dev Team.
  • Can be edited by the PO at any time.
  • Dev team makes the estimates and tracks the work remaining.An increment is the sum of all product Backlog items completed during a sprint. At the end of the sprint the new increment must be “Done”. The increment is a step toward the vision.

Artifact Transparency

Scrum relies on transparency. Scrum master must work with the PO and Dev Team to understand and improve.

Definition of “Done”

The purpose of each sprint is to deliver increments of Potentially releasable functionality that adhere to the scrum team’s definition of “Done” . An increment should be usable and releasable. Any product should have the definition of “Done”.

Scrum roles, events, artifacts and rules are immutable and although implementing only parts of it is possible the result is not scrum.Scrum exists in its entirety. .

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