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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

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 November 24, 2020, 3:59 pm

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