agile > chapter 1 the agile approach > 13 scrum


Many persons hate scrum because it's overdone in some organizations. It is one of those "good in theory, not so good in execution". This is due to some people taking Scrum too seriously. This in turn forces the work team to treat agile as a ritual or even a religion.

Scrum is:

Scrum is related to empirical control processes (knowledge is based on experience and decision making is based on empirical evidence). Scrum is thus iterative (repeat until good) and incremental (improve each time).

Elements of Scrum

The following are some common aspects of Scrum:

The Scrum cycle

A sprint is a fixed interval of time in which we complete tasks in order to fulfill requirements. Planning is done at the beginning of each sprint to decide which tasks in the backlog to complete. This means that at the end of each sprint the backlog is updated.

Scrum products

There are three (3) scrum products/artifacts:

Scrum foundations

There are three (3) foundations/pillars:

Scrum values

The scrum values in the Agile Manifesto are:

Meetings in Scrum

Scrum is often identified and even disliked because of its various meetings.

Daily scrum meeting

This is usually 15 minutes in length where the team reflects on the previous 24 hours and plans for the next day. Each team member answers three (3) questions:

Sprint review meeting (aka the demo)

This meeting takes place at the end of each sprint. The team updates the product backlog and evaluate the increase in business value of the product. In this meeting, the team shows the stakeholders the current progression of the product/system. For month-long sprints, the meeting is usually 4 hours.

Retrospective sprint meeting

This is different from the demo in that the work team evaluates the previous sprint with respect to progress in the relationships among people involved, the processes completed and the tools used. Here we can decide on steps that can be taken to improve the efficiency of our work (processes and tools) and the relations with stakeholders.

Roles in Scrum

There are three (3) roles in Scrum:

Product owner

Scrum Master

Work team