The Scrum glossary that we have created at DoneTonic aims to provide all the lexicon related to this agile methodology. With these concepts clear, it is easier to understand what Scrum is, what is the role of each actor and thus take advantage of all its benefits.
Agile Project Management
The agile methodology manages to adapt the way of working and the conditions of the project to the unforeseen changes that occur during its development. In this way, flexibility and immediacy are achieved in order to adapt the project to new circumstances and offer a satisfactory response to the client.
It consists of applying a form of collaboration and workflows, as well as a set of values to guide decisions regarding the circumstances of the project and how we do it.
Companies that use the agile methodology manage their projects autonomously and reduce costs while increasing their productivity. Some of the benefits of using the agile methodology are: improved product quality, increased customer satisfaction, optimization of collaborative work and greater control and predictability.
The most commonly used methodologies are: Kanban, Scrum, extreme programming (XP), all of them are guided by the pattern defined by the Agile Manifesto.
Scrum is one of the most used agile methodologies to carry out complex projects with dynamic and changing requirements that must be delivered in a short period of time. It is a methodology used by multidisciplinary teams.
It appeared around 1986 and was created by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi from a study conducted in several companies in which a new approach to work was sought, but it was in 1995 when a set of good practices focused on software development were created.
The term “scrum” comes from a type of training that occurs in rugby, where players are grouped together to achieve a common goal.
For more information, we invite you to visit the article “What is Scrum“.
Within the Scrum methodology there are several roles that are detailed below.
Scrum Roles: the Scrum Team
There are 3 roles in Scrum: the Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the Development Team, the union of these 3 roles is what is known as the Scrum Team.
Each of these roles has assigned competencies and are responsible for the success of each sprint and the overall project.
He is the customer representative and responsible for the management of the product backlog, i.e., he is responsible for the management of the product portfolio. He will be in charge of maximizing the value of the product developed by the Scrum Team and the return on investment.
The Product Owner will collect the project requirements, decide what is developed and what is not, prioritize the Product Backlog and make it visible to everyone, both to the customer and the Scrum Team and agree with the team the definition of fact.
It should always be available to the Scrum Team or work team, which may have drawbacks if you work remotely or with different time zones, so it is recommended to agree on a time when both, both the Product Owner and all members of the Scrum Team and thus facilitate communication.
The Scrum Master is the leader of the Scrum Team but without hierarchical authority. He will protect the team and help them to remove impediments while collaborating with the Product Owner to prioritize the Product Backlog.
His main function is to ensure that Scrum methodology is followed throughout the development process.
Your main characteristics should be:
- Ability to manage the “group dynamics” that help the development of the stated objectives
- Eliminate impediments that make it difficult for the Scrum Team to achieve these objectives.
- Work together with the Product Owner to define the project objectives at an early stage and detect risks that may arise during the sprint.
The Development Team is composed of between 3 and 9 professionals, with self-management and multidisciplinary capabilities and its task is to achieve an increment in product development from the Product Backlog elements selected during the Sprint Planning.
In the Scrum methodology it must be ensured that each member of the Development Team knows his role and has the necessary skills to execute all the tasks agreed upon in the sprint.
It is also important that they do not interfere with each other’s work, although everyone must know the depth of the project.
Scrum Artifacts are those elements that ensure transparency and recording of the primary information of the Scrum process.
They are designed to maximize information transparency. Decisions to optimize value and control risks are made based on these artifacts.
There are 3 Scrum Artifacts:
- Product Backlog
- Sprint backlog
The Product Backlog is an ordered list containing everything that might be necessary for the successful development of the product and is the only source of requirements for making changes to the product.
The only person responsible for the Product Backlog is the Product Owner who will add and order the items. It is a dynamic, living list, in which items will always be added as the product is being used and the Product Owner has the feedback.
It is the main source of information about the product in Scrum and it is the result of the Product Owner‘s work with the customer, stakeholders, committees… and it must reflect the real state of the work to be implemented in the product.
The Sprint Backlog is the subset of Product Backlog items chosen to be addressed during the sprint. These items are made up of smaller technical tasks that achieve a software increment.
All the work that the Development Team has selected to do during the next Sprint goes into the Sprint Backlog.
Thanks to the Sprint Backlog the development team is able to visualize, during each sprint, those items that have not yet started to be developed, those that have and which team members are working on them, plus the items that are pending deployment and those that are fully completed.
In our article “Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog” you can learn more about these two artifacts.
We consider increment to be the result of the sprint: it is the sum of all the tasks that the Development Team has executed during that period of time and that will be offered to the end user in the form of software, providing a business value to the product being developed.
This resulting element must be “finished”, ready to be used, as long as it complies with the definition of “finished” established by the Scrum Team in the Sprint Planning.
Scrum Events are those time blocks that pre-define a maximum duration and are intended to create consistency during the development of the project, avoiding meetings not defined in Scrum.
There are 5 phases defined in Scrum that aim to fulfill the process control:
- Sprint Planning
- Daily Meetings or Daily Scrum
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
But before getting into the subject and defining these 5 phases, it is essential to know the concept of “sprint”.
The sprint is the heart of the Scrum methodology. It could be defined as the container for the rest of the Scrum events.
It is a continuous process that should not change while the product development is in progress.
Thanks to the sprint, it is possible to know the transparency, the state of the project development, the shortcomings of the Scrum Team in order to remedy them and the feedback from the customer.
Learn more in our article “What is a sprint in scrum and what are its phases“.
Here are the 5 phases of the sprint:
It is the beginning of the sprint. It is a meeting in which the entire Scrum Team participates and it is where the sprint objective, the sprint goal, is defined. It will be planned which items of the Product Backlog will be executed, that is to say, it is here when the Sprint Backlog is defined.
Daily Scrum Meeting
It is the daily meeting with the Team, in which the status of each task is detailed to the Scrum Master. They should have a maximum duration of 15 minutes and it is advisable that they are always held in the same place and at the same time to speed up the process.
Also known as dailys, the members of the development team present, on a daily basis, the status of their tasks, taking the opportunity to present problems and provide new solutions.
Three essential points will be presented:
- What was done the day before
- What will be done on the day of the daily
- What problems are there that prevent further progress
More: What is the Daily Scrum Meeting.
The Sprint Review is a meeting in which all the work done by the Development Team is reviewed and serves to inspect the product increment.
Depending on the feedback obtained in the Sprint Review, there may be changes in the Product Backlog, adding new items, modifying existing ones, or even eliminating those that are now unnecessary.
The Sprint Retrospective is another meeting that aims to improve the way the Scrum Team has worked during the sprint.
It shows what works, what doesn’t work and presents solutions, as well as improving interpersonal relationships, processes and the tools used.
We invite you to read our article: the differences between Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective to learn more about these two artifacts.