What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together. Much like a rugby team (where it gets its name) training for the big game, scrum encourages teams lớn learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses khổng lồ continuously improve.

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While the scrum I’m talking about is most frequently used by software development teams, its principles & lessons can be applied to all kinds of teamwork. This is one of the reasons scrum is so popular. Often thought of as an agile project management framework, scrum describes a mix of meetings, tools, & roles that work in concert khổng lồ help teams structure and manage their work.

In this article, we’ll discuss how a traditional scrum framework is comprised with the help of the Scrum Guide và David West, CEO of Scrum.org. We’ll also include examples of how we see our customers stray from these fundamentals lớn fit their specific needs. For that, our own Megan Cook, Group Product Manager for Jira Software and former agile coach, will give sầu tips và tricks in our Agile Coach video series:

Article Sprints A sprint is a short, time boxed period when a scrum team works lớn complete a mix amount of work.

Article Sprint Planning

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Article Four agile ceremonies, demystified

Learn how lớn facilitate great agile ceremonies like sprint planning, daily stand-ups, iteration review và retrospectives.

Article The product backlog: your ultimate to-vì menu

What is a hàng hóa backlog in agile or scrum? Learn about the best practices for managing & prioritizing a healthy product backlog.

Article Three steps khổng lồ better sprint Review

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Article Standups for agile teams

Learn how standups contribute to lớn a healthy agile program và some tips và tricks for you và your team.

Article What is a Scrum Master?

Learn what a Scrum Master is (and what they are NOT), & how the role supports and works with other members of an agile team.

article Agile retrospectives: Use the past to lớn define the future

A retrospective helps teams perkhung better over time. See what the agile community is saying và learn how khổng lồ run your own retrospective meetings.

article Agile Scrum Roles

Learn about the responsibilities & activities associated with the three major agile scrum roles: scrum master, product owner, và development team.

article Scrum of scrums

Scrum of scrums is a scaled agile technique that offers a way to connect multiple teams who need khổng lồ work together to deliver complex solutions. Learn how lớn scale scrum with examples from baoboitoithuong.com và others.

Tutorial Learn scrum with Jira Software

A step-by-step guide on how to lớn drive sầu a scrum project, prioritize & organize your backlog into lớn sprints, run the scrum ceremonies & more, all in Jira.

Try this tutorial

Product Feature From silo to lớn cohesion with Jira Scrum Boards The Jira Scrum Board is the visual display of progress during the development cycle.

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People often think scrum và agile are the same thing because scrum is centered around continuous improvement, which is a core principle of agile. However, scrum is a framework for getting work done, where agile is a mindphối. You can’t really “go agile”, as it takes dedication from the whole team khổng lồ change the way they think about delivering value khổng lồ your customers. But you can use a framework lượt thích scrum to help you start thinking that way and khổng lồ practice building agile principles inkhổng lồ your everyday communication and work.

The scrum framework is heuristic; it’s based on continuous learning and adjustment lớn fluctuating factors. It acknowledges that the team doesn’t know everything at the start of a project & will evolve sầu through experience. Scrum is structured khổng lồ help teams naturally adapt to lớn changing conditions and user requirements, with re-prioritization built inkhổng lồ the process và short release cycles so your team can constantly learn & improve.


While scrum is structured, it is not entirely rigid. Its execution can be tailored khổng lồ the needs of any organization. There are many theories about how exactly scrum teams must work in order to be successful. However, after more than a decade of helping agile teams get work done at baoboitoithuong.com, we’ve learned that clear communication, transparency, & a dedication lớn continuous improvement should always remain at the center of whatever framework you choose. And the rest is up to lớn you.

Scrum artifacts

Let’s start with identifying the three artifacts in scrum. Artifacts are something that we make, lượt thích a tool lớn solve a problem. In scrum, these three artifacts are a product backlog, a sprint backlog, và an increment with your definition of “done”. They are the three constants in a scrum team that we continue lớn revisit and invest in overtime.

Product Backlog is the primary list of work that needs lớn get done maintained by the sản phẩm owner or sản phẩm manager. This is a dynamic danh mục of features, requirements, enhancements, and fixes that acts as the input for the sprint backlog. It is, essentially, the team’s “To Do” list. The hàng hóa backlog is constantly revisited, re-prioritized & maintained by the Product Owner because, as we learn more or as the market changes, items may no longer be relevant or problems may get solved in other ways.
As you can tell, there are lots of variations, even within artifacts, that your team can choose khổng lồ define. That’s why it’s important lớn be remain open lớn evolving how you maintain even your artifacts. Perhaps your definition of ‘done’ provides unvị bao tay on your team, and you need khổng lồ go baông xã và pick a new definition.

Pro tip

You should be just as agile with your framework as you are with your hàng hóa. Take the necessary time khổng lồ kiểm tra in on how things are going, make adjustments if needed, and don’t force something just for the sake of consistency.

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Scrum ceremonies or events

Some of the more well-known components of the scrum framework are the set of sequential events, ceremonies, or meetings that scrum teams perform on a regular basis. The ceremonies are where we see the most variations for teams. For example, some teams find doing all of these ceremonies cumbersome and repetitive sầu, while others use them as a necessary check-in. Our advice is khổng lồ start out using all of the ceremonies for two sprints and see how it feels. You can then persize a quiông xã retro & see where you might need to lớn adjust.


Below is a danh mục of all the key ceremonies a scrum team might partake in:

Sprint: A sprint is the actual time period when the scrum team works together lớn finish an increment. Two weeks is a pretty typical length for a sprint, though some teams find a week khổng lồ be easier lớn scope or a month lớn be easier to lớn deliver a valuable increment. Dave West, from Scrum.org advises that the more complex the work & the more unknowns, the shorter the sprint should be. But it’s really up lớn your team, and you shouldn’t be afraid to change it if it’s not working! During this period, the scope can be re-negotiated between the product owner and the development team if necessary. This forms the crux of the empirical nature of scrum. All the events — from planning lớn retrospective — happen during the sprint. Once a certain time interval for a sprint is established, it has lớn remain consistent throughout the development period. This helps the team learn from past experiences and apply that insight to lớn future sprints.

Daily scrum or stand up: This is a daily super-short meeting that happens at the same time (usually mornings) & place lớn keep it simple. Many teams try khổng lồ complete the meeting in 15 minutes, but that’s just a guideline. This meeting is also called a ‘daily stand-up’ emphasizing that it needs lớn be a quiông chồng one. The goal of the daily scrum is for everyone on the team to be on the same page, aligned with the sprint goal, and to get a plan out for the next 24 hours. The st& up is the time lớn voice any concerns you have with meeting the sprint goal or any blockers. A common way khổng lồ conduct a stvà up is for every team thành viên lớn answers three questions in the context of achieving the sprint goal: • What did I vì chưng yesterday? • What bởi I plan to vị today? • Are there any obstacles? However, we’ve seen the meeting quickly turn inlớn people reading from their calendars from yesterday & for the next day. The theory behind the stvà up is that it keep distracting chatter lớn a daily meeting, so the team can focus on the work for the rest of the day. So if it turns inkhổng lồ a daily calendar read-out, don’t be afraid to change it up and get creative.

Sprint review: At the over of the sprint, the team gets together for an informal session khổng lồ view a kiểm tra of, or inspect, the increment. The development team showcases the backlog items that are now ‘Done’ to lớn stakeholders và teammates for feedbaông chồng. The hàng hóa owner can decide whether or not khổng lồ release the increment, although in most cases the increment is released. This Đánh Giá meeting is also when the sản phẩm owner reworks the product backlog based on the current sprint, which can feed inlớn the next sprint planning session. For a one-month sprint, consider time-boxing your sprint nhận xét khổng lồ a maximum of four hours.

Three essential roles for scrum success

A scrum team needs three specific roles: hàng hóa owner, scrum master, và the development team. And because scrum teams are cross-functional, the development team includes testers, designers, UX specialists, & ops engineers in addition to lớn developers.

The scrum sản phẩm owner

Product owners are the champions for their hàng hóa. They are focused on understanding business, customer, and market requirements, then prioritizing the work to be done by the engineering team accordingly. Effective sầu hàng hóa owners:

Build và manage the sản phẩm backlog. Closely partner with the business & the team lớn ensure everyone understands the work items in the sản phẩm backlog. Give the team clear guidance on which features lớn deliver next.

Decide when lớn ship the sản phẩm with a predisposition towards more frequent delivery.

The sản phẩm owner is not always the product manager. Product owners focus on ensuring the development team delivers the most value to lớn the business. Also, it"s important that the sản phẩm owner be an individual. No development team wants mixed guidance from multiple hàng hóa owners.

The scrum master

Scrum masters are the champions for scrum within their teams. They coach teams, product owners, và the business on the scrum process, and look for ways to fine-tune their practice of it.

An effective sầu scrum master deeply understands the work being done by the team & can help the team optimize their transparency & delivery flow. As the facilitator-in-chief, he/she schedules the needed resources (both human & logistical) for sprint planning, stand-up, sprint nhận xét, & the sprint retrospective.

The scrum development team

Scrum teams get s*%& done. They are are the champions for sustainable development practices. The most effective scrum teams are tight-knit, co-located, and usually five sầu to seven members. One way khổng lồ work out the team form size is to lớn use the famous ‘two pizza rule’ coined by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon (the team should be small enough to nội dung two pizzas).

Team members have sầu differing skill sets, & cross-train each other so no one person becomes a bottleneông xã in the delivery of work. Svào scrum teams are self-organising and approach their projects with a clear ‘we’ attitude. All members of the team help one another to lớn ensure a successful sprint completion.

The scrum team drives the plan for each sprint. They forecast how much work they believe they can complete over the iteration using their historical velothành phố as a guide. Keeping the iteration length fixed gives the development team important feedback on their estimation and delivery process, which in turn makes their forecasts increasingly accurate over time.

Scrum, kanban, & agile

Scrum is such a popular agile framework that scrum and agile are often misunderstood khổng lồ be the same thing. But there are other frameworks, like kanban, which is a popular alternative sầu. Some companies even choose khổng lồ follow a hybrid model of scrum và kanban, which has acquired the name of "Scrumban" or "Kanplan," which is Kanban with a backlog. Both scrum and kanban use visual methods such as the scrum board or kanban board to lớn traông xã the progress of work. Both emphaform size efficiency và splitting complex tasks inkhổng lồ smaller chunks of manageable work, but their approaches towards that goal are different. Scrum focuses on smaller, fixed-length iterations. Once the time period for a sprint is finalized, the stories or hàng hóa backlog entries that can be implemented during this sprint cycle are then determined. In kanban, however, the number of tasks or the work in progress (WIPhường. limit) khổng lồ be implemented in the current cycle is fixed at first. The time taken to implement these features is then calculated backward. Kanban is not as structured as scrum. Other than the WIP limit, it is fairly open lớn interpretation. Scrum, however, has several categorical concepts enforced as part of its implementation such as sprint Đánh Giá, retrospective, daily scrum, etc. It also insists on cross-functionality, which is the ability of a scrum team khổng lồ not depend on external members to achieve their goals. Putting together a cross-functional team is not straightforward. In that sense, kanban is easier khổng lồ adapt whereas scrum can be considered as a fundamental shift in the thought process and functioning of a development team.

But, why scrum?

The scrum framework itself is simple. The rules, artifacts, events, và roles are easy khổng lồ underst&. Its semi-prescriptive sầu approach actually helps remove the ambiguities in the development process, while giving sufficient space for companies to introduce their individual flavor to it.

The organization of complex tasks into lớn manageable user stories makes it ikhuyến mãi for difficult projects. Also, the clear demarcation of roles & planned events ensure that there is transparency and collective ownership throughout the development cycle. Quick releases keep the team motivated and the users happy as they can see progress in a short amount of time.

However, scrum could take time to lớn fully underst&, especially if the development team is acclimatized khổng lồ a typical waterfall model. The concepts of smaller iterations, daily scrum meetings, sprint reviews, & identifying a scrum master could be a challenging cultural shift for a new team.

But, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial learning curve. Scrum’s success in developing complex hardware & software products across diverse industries và verticals makes it a compelling framework lớn adopt for your organization.

To learn scrum with Jira Software, check out this tutorial.

Claire Drumondis a sale strategist,speaker, và writer for baoboitoithuong.com. She is the author of numerous articles published on the Trello & baoboitoithuong.com blogs and is a regular contributor to various publications on Medium including HackerNoon, Art+Marketing, and PoetsUnlimited. She speaks at tech conferences around the world about agile, breaking down silos, & building empathy.

Tutorial Ready to get started? Try this tutorial.

A step-by-step guide on how to lớn drive a scrum project, prioritize và organize your backlog inkhổng lồ sprints, run the scrum ceremonies and more, all in Jira.

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up next Kanban An introduction khổng lồ kanban methodology for agile software development và its benefits for your agile team.

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