Scrum Life Cycle

TScrum is an Agile framework with a lightweight, iterative approach to software development. It is best when in complex projects. Scrum is easy to understand but can be challenging to master.

Getting yourself acclimated with Scrum requires understanding Scrum life cycle. Having the right team members to fulfill the necessary roles you need for Scrum is crucial to run Scrum successfully.

The flow of Scrum life cycle consists of the following parts:

  1. Product Backlog
  2. Sprint Planning
  3. The Sprint Backlog
  4. Sprint
  5. Daily Scrum
  6. Sprint Review
  7. Sprint Retrospective

Product Backlog

The product backlog is a list of things your team needs to do for a project. It is also a wish list since the product owner would ideally like all items in the list to be worked on. Moreover, the product backlog is similar to listing out requirements and specifications for a project. Subsequently, the product owner prioritizes the list and breaks it out into tickets with details that could be technical or in the form of user stories. Also, the product backlog changes over the course of the project as the product owner adds, modifies, or deletes requirements. The product owner is responsible for keeping the product backlog current.

Sprint Planning

Sprint planning is a meeting that is between the Scrum Master, Product Owner and the rest of the Agile team. It is usually no more than an hour and the team members meet to discuss and plan the tickets that the team will work on from the product backlog. Additionally, they discuss acceptance criteria and estimate the effort the team needs to perform. They usually plan top priority tickets first and if there is room for lesser priority tickets, they add them after. What the team takes on is dependent on the length of the sprint, the team’s capacity, and velocity. The final tickets that they agree on will go into the sprint backlog.

Sprint Backlog

The list of tasks/tickets that have been agreed on by the Scrum team to be completed within a sprint is the sprint backlog. These define the size of the sprint backlog based on the commitments from the Scrum team. During a sprint, the product owner tracks and updates the backlog regularly with any new information pertaining to the work the team is doing. Sometimes, too much or too little work can be planned for a sprint backlog. When this happens, someone either needs to be remove or add tickets to the backlog to balance the sprint.

Sprints

A sprint is a timeboxed period of time in which work needs to be completed and ready for review. In Scrum, the length of a sprint is usually based on the way a team works and how quickly they need to provide working pieces of software. Sprints can be as short as one week and as long as four weeks. The Scrum Master usually determines the length of a sprint with agreements from the team. Once the Scrum Master sets the length, it should be continuous for all future sprints.

Daily Scrum

Daily scrum or daily stand-up is a fifteen-minute time-boxed meeting. A daily scrum meeting happens every day at the same time and location. This is an opportunity for the development team to discuss what they did the day before, what they will be working on for the day and what obstacles are impeding their progress. Generally, the Scrum Master is the facilitator. The meeting is meant for all team members to share their input on the sprint and get a clear understanding on what the team worked on, what issues need resolving and what is left to do. This will give good insight into the progress of the sprint and give an early indicator on if the commitments and sprint goal are being met.

Sprint Review

At the end of each sprint, the team is responsible for providing a working piece of software that is potentially shippable. Because of this, sprint review meetings are usually held for the team to demonstrate what they did during the sprint and to get feedback from the product owner and other stakeholders. The final result is weighed against the initial sprint goal and the team can use this time to provide their suggestions on what was accomplished. Sprint reviews should not be extremely long and should fall anywhere between one to two hours maximum.

Sprint Retrospective

A sprint retrospective is an internal meeting for the Scrum team. Chiefly, an opportunity for the team to reflect on how they did in the sprint and determine ways in how they can improve. Retrospectives should also be time-boxed but still, give all team members the ability to give their input. There are different ways in which you can carry out retrospectives. One way is to use the Start, Stop, Continue technique where each team member, based on their experience in the sprint, suggests what the team should start doing, stop doing and continue doing. Retrospectives are the very last step in Scrum life cycle and happen at the very end.

References:

O’Connell, K. (2017, July 18). Scrum: Advanced. Retrieved September 28, 2017, from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Scrum-Advanced/550574-2.html

O’Connell, K. (2017, March 23). Scrum: The Basics. Retrieved September 28, 2017, from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Scrum-Basics/550619-2.html

Scrum Alliance. (n.d.). Learn About Scrum. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from https://www.scrumalliance.org/why-scrum

Scrum Alliance. (n.d.). The Scrum Guide. Retrieved September 28, 2017, from https://www.scrumalliance.org/why-scrum/scrum-guide

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Donna Raphael-Rene
Donna Raphael-Rene
Project Manager

I have a drive and passion for development, project management, social media and music with career backgrounds in those fields. At Grata, I am the Project Manager who oversees small to large software projects. On my personal time, I have many hobbies such as I enjoy watching international dramas, I produce music, I'm a big movie buff and more.