In recent years we’ve seen a huge increase in clients adopting the Scrum model to improve both efficiency and overall delivery of products and projects within their businesses. As a result, we've seen a string of common questions come up both from those new to Scrum or those adopting Agile or being inserted into it. To help get some answers, we’ve spoken to our clients and candidates to try to identify the most commonly used Scrum terms and explain exactly what they mean.
So what is Scrum?
Essentially Scrum is a project management framework which works by everyone involved following a set of roles, requirements and responsibilities to get the job done. According to scrum legend Jeff Sutherland, the definition for Scrum is "a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value”.
Artifact: This term refers to anything that is essentially a by-product of the process i.e. the product backlog, sprint backlog or end product.
Cadence: In Scrum terminology, a cadence is the rhythm or flow that the wider Scrum team follow to ensure they understand both what they need to do and when it should be completed improving overall efficiency and productivity.
Daily scrum/scrum meeting/stand up:
The daily scrum is a daily stand up of all Scrum team members, led by the Scrum Master. This meet-up is a chance to reflect on workload from the previous day, discuss workload for the day ahead and to highlight and resolve any potential issues.
Scrum Board: The Scrum Board is a way for the team to see the progress of the project and is drawn from the Sprint Backlog. Typically it will show planned tasks (user stories) as well as the actions needed to complete those tasks.
Nexus: The Nexus Framework allows multiple Scrum Teams to work on one product at the same time and helps strengthen the teams through transparent communication and collaboration.
Sprint Planning Meeting: The Sprint planning meeting takes place for the actual sprint itself and is a collaborative effort usually involving the Product Owner, Scrum Master and entire Scrum team. These meetings are used to outline issues raised in the Sprint backlog and agree on a common goal for the upcoming sprint. The team would then outline steps and assets needed to achieve that goal – who is responsible, what’s needed to get things done etc.
Sprint: Sprint is the scrum term for iteration and in Scrum terms is essentially the basic unit of development; a regular get together to discuss, assess and adjust the way a project is running and typically lasts between one and three weeks.
Sprint Backlog: The Sprint Backlog is basically an itinerary of anything highlighted within the Sprint. This list contains any issues needing to be addressed as well as the steps needed to be able to complete the tasks and estimated time for completion. You may hear people refer to the tasks in this sense as user stories.
Sprint Burndown Chart: This is a way for the team to visually display the amount of time left to complete the tasks allocated from the sprint backlog. It’s often used as an on-going tool throughout the whole project as a way to monitor progress on a daily basis.
Sprint Goals: These goals not only facilitate and encourage team work but also provide focus, specific aims and essentially a common goal for those involved in the Sprint planning meeting.
Sprint Retrospective Meeting: Essentially time for the team to take a look back at the work they have completed so far, analyse what has and hasn’t worked.
Sprint Task: A Sprint task is a piece of work of which members of the Scrum team will volunteer to do (usually small tasks that will take anything between four and sixteen hours) and is documented on the sprint burndown chart on a daily basis to allow for transparency.
Velocity: This refers to how much commitment a team dedicate to one sprint. Once this is clarified, future completion dates and plans can be determined to ensure an efficient, realistic timeline and process for all.
Scrum Titles & Team Members
Scrum Team: A Scrum team is a group of people allocated to work on a project. The team would normally consist of a team member from each relevant department (e.g. Development, UX, Design, and Analytics). This is to ensure that each area of expertise is present at all stages of the cycle. Scrum Team Members include anyone involved in the project working towards the common goal of the Sprint and usually consist of the following people.
The Product Owner: The Product Owner is a leading figure within the Scrum team and key stakeholder within a project. Typically the Product Owner will set the overall direction of a project including product features and priorities.
The Scrum Master: The Scrum Master ensures the more granular details of the process are staying on track and in-keeping with the overall vision laid out both from a user and stakeholder perspective.
If you would like more information on any of the above or would like to discuss more about a career in Agile, Scrum or Project Management, get in touch with one of the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 397 4565.