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The Elements of Scrum

The Elements of Scrum - The 4 Major Scrum Elements

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The Elements of Scrum - The 4 Major Scrum Elements

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Scrum Master Certification program.

Elements of Scrum is a popular term and explains the basics of all the features of this framework.

  1. Scrum roles
    1. The development team
    2. The Product Owner
      1. Stakeholders
    3. The Scrum Master
    4. Scrum Team
  2. Scrum artifacts
    1. The Product Backlog
    2. The Sprint Backlog
    3. The Increment
    4. The Sprint Goal
    5. Definition of Done
    6. The product vision
    7. The Burn-Down Chart
  3. Scrum events

Scrum includes the following elements:

  • Roles
  • Events
  • Artifacts
  • Rules

Scrum roles

The roles are the people who participate in Scrum. They are called roles because everyone has a specific "role", does certain things, and "is responsible" for certain matters.

Scrum has three roles:

  • Development team
  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master

There are no other roles in Scrum. These roles do not interfere in any way with the official positions of the people in the organization.

The development team

The development team combines the developers. It only includes people who work to complete the tasks. It's rare, but developers can play the role of Product Owner or Scrum Master. This approach is not recommended.

The development team may include people of different competences, skills, and positions. These can be programmers, designers, architects, engineers, quality control, business analysts, and anyone else who actually works on the product.

The Product Owner

The Product Owner is the role that represents the voice of the stakeholders and is responsible for ensuring that the team delivers value to the business.


Stakeholders can be clients, directors, consultants, employees. These are people who have some interest in the product.

The client or senior management has an interest in the product. Still, other people in the organization may also be interested if they are going to use the product in their work.

The Product Owner role prioritizes all items in the Product Backlog list by their "business value" for the product.  This role comprises high product and field knowledge, holding consultations with stakeholders, and giving individual judgment to each task or idea. The Product Owner role can informally confirm that the currently developing product will satisfy everyone, and most likely, the increment will be approved.

The Scrum Master

The most important role of the Scrum Master is to make sure that the Development team works by following the values ​​and practices of Scrum. It also seeks to create comfort, remove barriers, teaches and educates the team on productivity, self-organization, responsibility, and discipline.

Scrum Team

The Scrum Team is a generic term that includes all the Scrum Roles: Development Team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master.

When we talk about the Scrum Team, we always have in mind all the Scrum roles combined.

Scrum artifacts

Scrum artifacts are several physical elements. They are used in Scrum daily, as well as in product work generally. The Scrum team and other non-team stakeholders often pay attention to these artifacts to know how product development, activities, and everything else is progressing.

The official Scrum artifacts are:

  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Product Increment

BVOP adds a few more essential artifacts to this list that underpin every product development:

  • Sprint Goal
  • Definition of Done
  • Product Vision
  • Burn-Down Chart

The Product Backlog

Product Backlog is a trendy term in product management, Agile environments, and Scrum framework.

Product Backlog is a whole bunch of ideas, items, and development proposals that are accumulated and compiled into a list.

The Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog is a work and task list that is a sample of the entire Product Backlog list.

Sprint Backlog is the "list" of "tasks" that the Development Team must complete during a specific sprint (period).

All the ideas, requests, and tasks that come in the form of a large list are called Items. Product Backlog Items are the content of the Product Backlog. They are called items because their form can be very different. Something can be written down as an idea, another as a task, third as a defect, fourth as a suggestion for improvement, fifth as a User story, sixth may be just a graph or a diagram, etc.

The Increment

The increment is the current version of the product under development. This current version contains all the previously done work on the product, plus the work done in the current Sprint.

By "work done" we mean finished Product Backlog Items from the Sprint Backlog list.

The Sprint Goal

Sprint Goal is an abstract and common goal for the current sprint. A sprint can have many "tasks" from the Sprint Backlog list, but the overall "goal" is a summary of them all.

The Sprint Goal can be defined in free text. The team decides how long the goal text is and what exactly it should contain. While reading the goal, it is crucial to understand what needs to be developed.

In real life, many Scrum teams do not record their goals. The reasons may be a lack of creativity or just unwillingness.

Definition of Done

Definition of Done is a set of criteria that must be met by all Product Backlog Items so that they can become part of a Product Increment.

These definitions can be understood as short and understandable requirements and a list of things to do. Once all these requirements and criteria are met, and everything described in them is complete, the Product Backlog Item can be considered done.

The product vision

A product vision can be understood as a "description" of the product. It contains several sections with information such as users, competitors, advantages, promotion methods, ways of distribution, etc. This information is defined at the earliest stages when the product is still just an idea. Product teams use this "vision" as a basis for creating concepts, ideas, and further.

The Burn-Down Chart

Burn-Down Chart is a simple graph that shows the finished work and the remaining time in a sprint. By finished work, we mean completed items from the backlog. Most often, this chart is valid for the current sprint only.

The purpose and application of this graph are simply a quick and easy way to view your progress on the task at a glance.

Scrum events

Scrum events are ordinary events (meetings that have a specific purpose). Certain situations arise at every event.

The official Scrum events are:

  • Sprint
  • Sprint Planning
  • Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

The following issues related to chapter "The Elements of Scrum" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of June 11, 2024, 9:10 am

ID Issue Time Category
0 The Increment 60 sec SM, PO
1 The product vision 60 sec SM, PO
2 The Sprint Backlog 60 sec SM, PO
3 The Product Owner 60 sec SM, PO
4 The Scrum Master 60 sec SM, PO
5 The Product Backlog 60 sec SM, PO
6 The Sprint Goal 60 sec SM, PO
7 The development team 60 sec SM, PO
8 Definition of Done 60 sec SM, PO
9 The Burn-Down Chart 60 sec SM, PO
10 Scrum Team 60 sec SM, PO
11 Stakeholders 60 sec SM, PO

Comments from the BVOP™ community on "The Elements of Scrum"


Scrum involves roles, events, artifacts, and rules. The roles are the Development team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master. Other roles are not part of Scrum. The Development team is made up of people who work on completing tasks and can have various competencies and positions.

The Product Owner represents stakeholders and ensures the team delivers value to the business. Stakeholders include clients, directors, consultants, and employees. The Product Owner prioritizes the Product Backlog based on business value and has a high product and field knowledge. They consult with stakeholders and use individual judgment to approve tasks or ideas. The Product Owner confirms the product will satisfy everyone and the increment will be approved.

The Scrum Master ensures the Development team follows Scrum values and practices, removes barriers, and educates on productivity and self-organization. The Scrum Team includes all Scrum Roles: Development Team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master.

Scrum uses physical elements called artifacts for daily and product work progress. The official ones are Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Product Increment. BVOP adds more essential artifacts, including Sprint Goal, Definition of Done, Product Vision, and Burn-Down Chart.

Product Backlog is a list of ideas, proposals, and items in product management, Agile, and Scrum. Sprint Backlog is a sample of the Product Backlog list, which includes the "tasks" that the Development Team must complete during a specific sprint. The items in the Product Backlog can be in various forms, such as an idea, task, defect, suggestion for improvement, User story, graph, or diagram.

The current version of the product under development is called the Increment. It includes all the work done in the current Sprint, which refers to finished Product Backlog Items from the Sprint Backlog list. The Sprint Goal is an abstract goal for the current Sprint that summarizes all the tasks from the Sprint Backlog list. The team decides how long the goal text is and what it should contain. The Definition of Done is a set of criteria that all Product Backlog Items must meet to become part of a Product Increment. These criteria are short and understandable requirements that must be completed for the Product Backlog Item to be considered done.

Product vision is a description of a product that includes information about users, competitors, advantages, promotion methods, and distribution. It is used as a basis for creating concepts and ideas. The Burn-Down Chart is a graph that shows finished work and remaining time in a sprint. It is a quick way to view progress. Scrum events are meetings with specific purposes, including Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.

Comments on “The Elements of Scrum - The 4 Major Scrum Elements”

  1. Tom Timi
    Hey buddies! Can one Scrum team member perform the functions and duties of another Scrum role? For example, if I am a Product Owner, can I be a Scrum Master substitute temporarily? I work in a team where often our Scrum Master is absent or not full time or working on other projects, and no one will take his job.
  2. Thomas King
    You can temporarily take on another role as long as you don't cause more trouble than good. The Product Owner and the Scrum Master have quite different activities. Also, they have different competencies and even soft skills. It's not good for your SM to be gone so often.
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