Scrum at a Glance

Reading this quick overview you will get familiar with the essential elements of Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide 2020 and will better understand when others in your environment are talking about Scrum.

Scrum is a simple process model that is mainly used in software development. It focuses on people, collaboration and self-managing. Reflecting, learning and adapting play an important role. The goal is to deliver usable product increments regularly, to deal with unpredictability, to solve complex problems and to become better and better. Scrum is based on specific values, principles and practices. Below you will find an overview of the Scrum Framework with its Roles, Artifacts and Events.

Scrum Framework Overview Scrum Guide 2020
The Scrum Framework as described in the Scrum Guide 2020

The Scrum Framework

Scrum is simple and consists only of a few elements. However, these must be applied consistently for Scrum to be successful. In the above overview you can see the essential elements of Scrum, which are also briefly described in the Scrum Guide. These are then described in a summary below but in detail in the in my comprehensive book about Agile Project Management and Scrum.

A Scrum project is carried out in successive, short work cycles (iterations) with the same duration of a maximum of 30 days. These cycles are called Sprints in Scrum. In Sprints, requirements from the Product Backlog, which is the prioritized collection of all requirements, are converted into a potentially shippable Product Increment. This means that every Sprint produces executable, tested and documented software that is of benefit to the customer..

Before the Scrum project can start, the requirements for the first Sprints must first be defined. The requirements are usually described in user stories and each user story then represents a Product Backlog Item (PBI). These are then filled and prioritized in the Product Backlog. New requirements can be added to the Product Backlog at any time during project execution, existing requirements can be changed or omitted.

At the start of each Sprint, the Sprint Planning is carried out. The Developers select so many of the high prioritized items from the Product Backlog that they can implement in a Product Increment in the Sprint. These requirements then define the Sprint Backlog. Then the Developers start and realizes the requirements in the Sprint. The Daily Scrum takes place every day at the same time and at the same place. This is a short meeting where the Developers exchanges ideas, coordinates the work and identify impediments.

At the end of the Sprint, the results are reviewed by the Scrum Team and the stakeholders in the Sprint Review and future adjustments are defined. After the Sprint Review, the Sprint Retrospective takes place, in which the Scrum Team reflects on the collaboration, workflows and impediments and defines improvement measures for the following Sprints.

The 3 Roles in Scrum

Scrum defines three roles, their tasks and accountabilities. The roles are:

  • Product Owner
  • Developers
  • Scrum Master

All three roles together are called Scrum-Team. In addition to these three “official” Scrum roles, there are other important roles or stakeholders: Users, management, business and IT representatives.

The 5 Scrum Events

Five events are defined in Scrum. These are activities and meetings related to the Sprint. The following events are listed in the Scrum Guide:

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

With the exception of the Sprint, which serves as a container for all other events, each Scrum event is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something. These events are specifically designed to enable critical transparency and inspection.

The 3 Scrum Artifacts

Besides the three roles and five events, Scrum also defines three artifacts. Artifacts are products that are developed as intermediate or final results in software development. In Scrum, the purpose of these is to provide maximum transparency about the key information in the project and to structure the collaboration. The artifacts represent business value or work. They will help the Scrum Team and all participants in the project with gaining the same understanding of the information. These artifacts are the:

  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Shippable Product Increment

Besides the three artifacts described in the Scrum Guide, there are others that have proven themselves in Scrum practice. These are, for example:

  • Product Vision
  • Release Plan
  • Taskboard
  • Impediment Backlog
  • Burndown Chart
  • Team Backlog
  • Velocity Chart
  • Rules for Collaboration
  • Themes and Parking Lot

In the Scrum Guide, you will find the chapter “Artifact Transparency” with the “Definition of Done”. This is about the transparency of the defined artifacts regarding information, decisions, quality and completion (Done).

Transparency is not an artifact, but an element of “Empirical Process Control” such as “Inspection” and “Adaption”.

Learn More About Scrum and Agile Project Management


The above text was a short introduction to Scrum. Would you like to learn more about how to make your agile projects even more successful? My book How to Successfully Apply Agile Project Management and Scrum takes you an important step further!

The book is based on the latest Scrum Guide from November 2020 and the Scrum@Scale Guide from 2019.

This book is an essential supplement to the Scrum Guide and deepens all topics and also contains a comprehensive chapter on Scrum for large projects based on Scrum@Scale.

Have a look at a book preview or order it directly at Amazon