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What is Scrum?


ISTQB definition:

Scrum - is an iterative and incremental framework for effective team collaboration, which is typically used in Agile development, the most well-known iterative method.


Human language:

Scrum - is the most widely used and popular agile framework. The term agile describes a specific set of foundational principles and values for organizing and managing complex work. As an agile framework, Scrum provides just enough structure for people and teams to integrate into how they work, while adding the right practices to optimize for their specific needs. The Scrum framework is defined in The Scrum Guide, which was written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. The guide contains the definition of Scrum, describing the Scrum accountabilities, events, artifacts, and the guidance that binds them together. Scrum, was first introduced to the world in 1995 as a better way of team collaboration for solving complex problems. In the Scrum framework, work is broken down into small units that can be completed in a relatively short time, usually between 2 weeks to a month. The delivery of a unit of work is called a sprint. A sprint includes all aspects of development for a particular feature or set of small features. The main idea is working through small experiments, learning from that work, and adapting both what you are doing and how you are doing it as needed. So decisions are based on observation, experience, and experimentation. Ongoing feedback occurs during the Sprint, allowing for inspection and adaptation of the process and what will be delivered. The Scrum Team and other members of their organization, business, users, or customer base, known as stakeholders, inspect the results of the Sprint and adjust for the next one. Scrum has three pillars: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.


The Scrum Team consists of:

A product Owner, a Scrum Master, and Developers, each of which has specific accountabilities. The Product Owner - the person on the Scrum Team who makes sure that the team is creating the most valuable product they can create, and represents the business, stakeholders, and end users; The Scrum Master - the person on the Scrum Team who helps the development team to do their work as efficiently as possible, by interacting with other parts of the organization and dealing with problems. The Scrum Master is not a manager, but a facilitator for the team. Developers - the people on the Scrum Team who work together to create the product. The development teams are small from 3 to 10 people and cross-functional, that is, they include people who perform various roles, and often individuals take on different tasks such as testing.


The Scrum Team takes part in five events and produces three artifacts:

Scrum Artifacts are: Product Backlog - this is an ordered list of what is needed to create and improve the product, that can be filled with tasks, it is the single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team; Sprint Backlog - is the collection of product backlog items selected for delivery in the Sprint; Increments - the collection of the Product Backlog Items that meet the team’s Definition of Done by the end of the Sprint. The Product Owner may decide to release the increment or build upon it in future Sprints. You can deliver as often as needed during the Sprint and are not limited to only one release per Sprint.


Scrum Events are: Sprint - short cycles of one month or less, during which the work is done; the Sprint contains all of the other Scrum events; a new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint;

Sprint Planning - an event dedicated to planning out the work that will take place during the Sprint;

Daily Scrum - A stand-up meeting of typically around 15 minutes is held each day, first thing in the morning, to update everyone with progress from the previous day and plan the work ahead of the event. During the Daily Scrum, Developers inspect the progress toward the Sprint Goal, uncover anything that may be getting in their way and adapt accordingly;

Sprint Review - an event held at the end of the sprint where the Scrum Team and key stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint and what has changed in their environment, and also participants discuss what to do next; Sprint Retrospective - the Scrum Team gets together during this event to talk about how the last Sprint went and identify the most helpful changes to improve its effectiveness.


So the Basic process of Scrum looks like this: At the start of a Sprint, in the Sprint Planning meeting, some features are selected to be implemented and moved to the Sprint Backlog, with other features being put on a Product backlog. Acceptance criteria apply to user stories. Sprint usually takes 2 weeks, during that time the Developers have a Daily Scrum meeting once in the morning with the Scrum Master to get updates on what was done yesterday, what are we planning to do today, and what questions or concerns the teammates have, and one during the day with the Product Owner to give an update of the development progress and discuss all working stuff and question. At the end of the sprint, the Scrum Team and key stakeholders review what was accomplished in the Sprint(Increments) and what has changed in their environment, and also participants discuss what to do next during the Sprint Review. After a sprint completes, a Sprint Retrospective starts to assess what went well and what could be improved for the next sprint.

Conclusion:

So, if you are asked at an interview: What is Scrum? What Scrum artifacts do you know? The best way to answer is: Scrum - is the most widely used and popular agile framework. The term agile describes a specific set of foundational principles and values for organizing and managing complex work.

The Scrum Team consists of:

  • The Product Owner;

  • The Scrum Master;

  • Developers.

Scrum Artifacts are:

  • Product Backlog;

  • Sprint Backlog;

  • Increments.

Scrum Events are:

  • Sprint;

  • Sprint Planning;

  • Daily Scrum;

  • Sprint Review;

  • Sprint Retrospective.

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