A to Z of Scrum
Scrum was developed in the early 90s. The founders have created a great framework to help the developers as well as the business teams by eliminating the waste. Over the years, the guidance has evolved based on best practices and some context-based practices as well. The founders have made small updates in the revised versions of the Scrum guide with the latest one being in 2020. The soul of Scrum is still the same and for the unlearned, the latest guide is a great place to start. The size of the guide is now leaner but the essential parts still intact.
I have attempted to create a Scrum glossary based on the 2020 Scrum guide. This in no way is comprehensive but is just a collection of terms. Anyway, Scrum is easy to understand but difficult to master even after years of practice as they say.
A - Artifacts / Adaptation
Artifacts: Artifacts are needed to enhance Transparency. There are 3 of them viz., Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Increment.
Adaptation: Adaptation is one of the three pillars of Scrum. It helps adjust the direction and focus for the teams.
B - Backlog
Backlog: There are 2 backlogs in Scrum viz., Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog. The former is the single source of truth for all teams working on the Product while the latter is by and for the developers.
C - Cross-functional/ Commitment/ Courage
Cross-functional: Teams are cross-functional in Scrum. This means that no one individual essentially needs to know everything but the team as a collective set can create value.
Commitment: This is one of the values of Scrum. The teams commit to creating usable increments while supporting each other. The commitments for the Product backlog, Sprint backlog, and Increment are Product goal, Sprint goal, and Definition of Done respectively.
Courage: This is another core value of Scrum. The team is courageous enough to do and standby the right things.
D - Developers/ Definition of Done
Developers: These members are a part of the Scrum team. They help create the valuable increment each Sprint.
Definition of Done: DOD helps create Transparency. Quality is ensured by adhering to DOD. It contains the formal description of the set of activities to be done before calling something as Done.
E - Empiricism/ Emergent
Empiricism: Empiricism is one of the founding principles of Scrum. It helps ensure that the decisions are based on experiences and learnings in the past.
Emergent: In the complex world, the requirements are often emergent. The product backlog emerges to help improve the product.
F - Focus/ Framework
Focus: Another core value in Scrum. It aligns everyone in the scrum team to progress towards a common goal.
Framework: Scrum is a framework with each element within serving a specific purpose.
G - Goal
Goal: Scrum talks about 2 goals; Product Goal and Sprint Goal. The Product goal is served by the Product backlog and the Sprint goal is served by the Sprint backlog.
H - How
How: This is the actionable plan for delivering an increment and is addressed by the developers.
I - Impediment/ Inspection/ Increment
Impediment: An impediment causes obstruction to progress and must be addressed. The Scrum Master helps the team by bringing them to the surface and gets them removed.
Inspection: This is another pillar of the Scrum framework. The Scrum team should detect potentially undesirable variances or problems by frequent inspection and correct the course.
Increment: It helps reach the product goal. It is an additive and is inclusive of all previous increments.
J - Jeff Sutherland
Jeff Sutherland: One of the creators of the Scrum framework.
K - Ken Schwaber
Ken Schwaber: Ken is the co-creator of the Scrum framework.
L - Lean thinking
Lean thinking: Scrum is founded on the principles of Empiricism and Lean thinking. Lean thinking ensures the removal of wasteful processes and helps focus on essentials.
M - Measure
Measure: Progress measures and Quality measures are supported by Scrum. Progress can be measured by inspecting the artifacts. Quality measures for the product can be done by inspection of the state of increment.
N - Negotiate
Negotiate: The Sprint goal is sacrosanct for developers when working in Sprint. If there is learning during the course of the sprint’s progression, it’s time for more collaboration. The scope can be negotiated with the product owner but without affecting the Sprint goal.
O - Openness/ Ordered
Openness: Openness is another Scrum value. All the stakeholders should be open about achievements as well as challenges. Learning happens and can be used to plan further based on this.
Ordered: The Product backlog is an ordered list and is done so by the Product owner.
P - Product Owner
Product Owner: The Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the product’s value. There is only 1 Product Owner for a Product.
Q - Quality
Quality: Quality is everyone’s responsibility. It doesn’t decrease. By adhering to DOD, Quality is instilled in the Developers.
R - Retrospective/ Respect/ Review
Retrospective: Retrospective is another opportunity for the team to inspect and adapt. It’s a forum to plan ways to enhance Quality and ways of working.
Respect: Respect for each other is a Scrum value. Members of the Scrum team respect each other and are respected by others outside.
Review: The intention of a Sprint review is to inspect the current state of the increment and plan for the future. It’s a working session in which the Scrum teams and the stakeholders interact and discuss the progress towards the Product goal.
S - Sprint/ Stakeholders/ Scrum master/ Self-managing
Sprint: The heartbeat of Scrum and the event length can be one month or less. It is consistent and Sprints are continuous in nature.
Stakeholders: A product has clear stakeholders. They interact with the Scrum teams and review the progress towards the Product goal.
Scrum Master: A Scrum Master is accountable for Scrum practice in the Organization. S/ he serves the Scrum teams in various ways and ensures the effectiveness of them.
Self-manging: Scrum teams are self-managing. They decide who works on what, how, and when.
T - Transparency/ Timebox
Transparency: Transparency is another Pillar of Scrum. It eliminates waste in the process. Without Transparency, decisions might not yield value, and the risk factor goes up.
Timebox: All the Scrum events are timeboxed and the Scrum teams should respect the timebox. It is a way to minimize the risks associated.
U - User/ Usable
User: A product has well-defined Users and solves a problem for them.
Usable: A Usable increment is the outcome of each sprint. In order to provide Value, an increment should be Usable.
V - Value
Value: Scrum has 5 values. Following them will build Trust and helps create value for the stakeholders.
W - What
What: In Sprint Planning, teams discuss what can be done in the Sprint. The Developers and Product Owner work together to decide what Product Backlog Items can be included in the Sprint.
X - Xperimentation
Xperimentation: Experimentation is a product-related activity and the entire scrum team is responsible for this.
Y - Why
Why: The Sprint goal represents Why. Why a particular sprint is valuable to stakeholders is discussed during Sprint planning.
Z - Zen ;)
Zen: Well, this is not a Scrum term. I’d say the end result will be a Zen moment for all involved.