As the most popular agile methodology out there, you might have heard of the term scrum before, you may even be implementing elements of Scrum at your organisation in order to achieve continuous improvement through regular feedback intervals.
Understanding the framework and its artefacts is an essential part of correctly implementing scrum and ensuring that your organisation is working as efficiently as possible towards greater value creation for your stakeholders.
Without an adequate understanding of these components, you could be left dealing with delays and bottlenecks, or you may be left with a methodology that doesn’t resemble the scrum process at all.
This blog post will attempt to break down the scrum methodology framework and artefacts in detail, providing a greater understanding of how to implement the methodology for your projects.
What is scrum?
Firstly, what is this popular agile methodology and how does it work to provide value for organisations?
Scrum refers to a lightweight framework that helps teams work together effectively in order to generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. By describing a set of meetings, tools and roles that all work together, scrum allows teams to generate increased value by improved work structure and management.
Let’s dive into the scrum framework and processes in a bit more detail.
The scrum framework at a glance:
It is very difficult to just “go agile” right away, this requires dedication from the entire team to completely change the way they think about delivering customer value. The scrum framework, however, allows organisations to start thinking about agility and building agile principles into everyday working processes.
The scrum framework is built around the concept of continuous progression and adapting to fluctuating business environments. Scrum is therefore structured to naturally adapt to changes to working conditions and customer specifications. It focuses on short release cycles allowing teams to consistently learn and improve throughout the process of development.
Let’s dive into the tools that make up a usual scrum framework.
In scrum, the artefacts refer to the tools that we use to help us approach problems effectively.
There are three main artefacts described in the Scrum framework:
-\tProduct backlog -\tSprint backlog -\tIncrements
What is the role of each of these artefacts?
In product development, a product backlog refers to a prioritised list of what needs to get done during the project. The backlog usually consists of a dynamic list of features, requirements and enhancements and fixes that is constantly being updated as the market changes.
This is the list of user stories, items and bug fixes that are selected by the scrum team to be completed during the scrum sprint. The team selects a number of backlog items, typically in the form of user stories, identifying the tasks needed to be completed in order to complete each user story.
Increment (Sprint goal)
In agile development, a product increment refers to the finished product at the end of a sprint. The definition of what constitutes a finished increment depends on the team’s definition of done (DoD) (see blog post); some teams choose to release something to their customers at the end of every sprint, however, this is not a realistic expectation for all teams.
To summarise, the scrum framework is lightweight and malleable, engineered to ensure consistent feedback cycles throughout the development of a particular product. Scrum is structured to naturally adapt to changes in the business environment. Scum’s three artefacts; product backlog, sprint backlog and increment help to direct a scrum team toward what they should be focusing on and how they should define their DoD.
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