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Scrum ABCs - Basic Scrum Terminology

11 Dec 2017

Scrum Team Meeting

A, B, C, D, E, F, G… Admit it, you started singing the ABC song. You just couldn’t help it.

The same should happen when you hear the 12 agile principles. We say: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through... and you say: early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

Ok, maybe you don’t have to know all 12 agile principles like the ABC song. However, you should be familiar with them if you want to implement agile and use it properly.

Since we are already discussing the agile principles, let us remind you of another one: 

Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not done - is essential” 

This principle can be applied to the basic Scrum terminology. By dividing it into 3 groups of related terms, it is easier to understand them. Let us introduce you to:

  • The Scrum Team - the Who?,
  • Scrum Events - the When and the How?
  • Scrum Artifacts - the What?


The Who? - The Scrum Team

a self-organizing team consisting of members with different roles


The Product Owner: the person accountable for maximizing the value of the product, primarily by incrementally managing and expressing business and functional expectations for a product to the Development Team.

The Development Team: consisted of a different number of people that manage, organize and do all the development work required to create a releasable Increment of the product every Sprint.

The Scrum Master: a person accountable for coaching, guiding, teaching and assisting a Scrum Team and its environment to properly understand and use Scrum.


The When and the How? - Scrum Events

prescribed time-boxed events used to create regularity


The Sprint: a time-boxed event of one month or less, that serves as a container for the other Scrum events and activities. Sprints are done consecutively, without intermediate gaps.

Sprint Planning: a time-boxed event of 8 hours or less, to start a Sprint. The Scrum Team inspects the work from the Product Backlog that is most valuable to be done next and design that work into the Sprint Backlog.

Daily Scrum: a daily time-boxed event of 15 minutes or less, where the Development Team re-plans the next day of development work during a Sprint. Updates are reflected in the Sprint Backlog.

Sprint Review: a time-boxed event of 4 hours or less, to conclude the development work of a Sprint. The Scrum Team and the stakeholders inspect the Increment of a product resulting from the Sprint, assess the impact of the work performed on overall progress and update the Product Backlog in order to maximize the value of the next period.

Sprint Retrospective: a time-boxed event of 3 hours or less, to end a Sprint. The Scrum Team inspects the past Sprint and plans the improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint.


The What? - Scrum Artifacts

artifacts represent work or value to provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation


Product Backlog: an ordered list of the work to be done in order to create, maintain and sustain a product. Managed by the Product Owner.

Sprint Backlog: an overview of the development work needed to realize the goal of a Sprint – usually a forecast of functionality and the work needed to deliver that functionality. Managed by the Development Team.

Increment: a piece of working software (or any other product) that adds to previously created Increments where the sum of all Increments, as a whole – forms a product.


Definition of Done: a shared understanding of expectations that a Product Backlog item or an Increment must fulfil in order to be releasable into production. Managed by the Development Team.


An extra term to learn- VivifyScrum: the best backlog scrum tool available :)

We’re getting there, right? These are just the basic Scrum terms, but they should give you an insight into Scrum – who is involved, what are their roles, what are the stages of work when using Scrum, etc. You can also check out our online Scrum course if you want to find out more about this framework – and join the ranks of fellow ninjas!