If you’ve ever heard of a Scrum but don’t know anything about rugby, odds are you’re thinking of the term in a corporate orIT context. That’s convenient since today we are spotlighting Scrum events, what they are, why they’re needed, and what advantages they bring.
So, let’s huddle together and get ready to tackle the subject of Scrum events. Our goal is to achieve a solid grasp on Scrum events. Alright, enough rugby puns; let’s get started.
What is Scrum?
We begin our understanding of Scrum events by first reviewing what Scrum is. Scrum is a rugby term describing a method of restarting play, where each team’s eight forwards come together in a huddle and push against each other for possession of the ball.
However, in the context of software development and other business applications, who better to define Scrum than the framework's own website? But for those who don’t want to click too many links: “Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”
The Scrum framework consists of Scrum teams and their associated rules, three artifacts, three roles, and five events.
Scrum Events Overview
The Scrum framework contains five distinct, essential events. These events are very specific meetings, each with a set of clearly defined goals, time constraints, and participants. These events are mandatory; without them, there is no Scrum. All these events are time-boxed, meaning it has a set duration. The Scrum Master should ensure that the events unfold in the proper sequence and frequency and stay within the time-box parameters.
This event kicks off the sprint. The developers and the product owners decide which product backlog items (PBIs) will be included in the new sprint. Developers predict how many PBIs they can deliver in this sprint. The event is successful if the participants have created a sprint goal and a sprint backlog that all parties consider achievable and realistic.
The daily Scrum is a means for developers to check in, review and plan their activities over the next 24 hours, and assess the progress towards the sprint goal. The daily Scrum has a 15-minute time-box. Many team members make this event a stand-up meeting, giving everyone incentive to keep the meeting brief and to the point.
The sprint review occurs on the sprint’s last day, giving the Scrum team the chance to show the “done increment'' to the project stakeholders (e.g., management, customers, any other relevant parties). The event offers everyone the opportunity to inspect the working features developed during the sprint and give productive feedback to incorporate into the product backlog and used for subsequent sprints.
This meeting is the final sprint event, and though at first glance it seems to be a rehash of the sprint review, it’s distinct and different. The Scrum team reviews what things can be done better in the next sprint and how they should proceed. That’s because one of Scrum’s central tenets is that no matter how good the Scrum team is, there’s always room for improvement. The retrospective gives the team the means of identifying areas of improvement, discussing them, and planning. The retrospective should include the entire Scrum Team, the Scrum Master, the developers, and the product owner.
Also called the container event, this is a time-boxed period of no more than one month and features all the work and every event occurring during the development period. When the sprint ends, a new one begins. The sprint process repeats until the developers complete the project.
Some sources cite an additional event, the product backlog refinement. This event is also called product backlog grooming. This ceremony has no set frequency or time-box, and it adds estimates, detail, and order to the items in the product backlog. The product owner and the development teams meet and hash out the product backlog details, reviewing and revising as needed.
Alternatively, some teams drop the Sprint from the five events and replace it with the product backlog refinement event.
What Are Scrum Ceremonies? Or, What Are the Different Scrum Events?
Ceremonies are just another way of referring to Scrum events or meetings. There seems to be no record as to why Scrum events and meetings have been called ceremonies. The Scrum Guide has been around for over a decade, and it has no mention of ceremonies.
Perhaps it was a means of attaching more gravitas to a process that already emphasizes structure, adherence to principles, and an “all in” mentality. After all, ceremonies are formal rituals that follow specific rules and order, and you can argue that Scrum shares those characteristics. Ultimately, we may never know.
Why Are Scrum Events Necessary?
People generally accomplish more when they are organized. Scrum events (or meetings, or ceremonies, choose your favorite term) provide a framework for Scrum teams to get their work done in a structured setting. Scrum events help teams set expectations, empower them to collaborate more effectively, and ultimately drive results.
If you skip any of the Scrum ceremonies or drastically change them, you are no longer officially practicing Scrum. Consequently, you’re not a part of the 85 percent of Scrum teams that have witnessed improvements in their work quality and the 62 percent of Scrum teams that have successfully delivered projects using the Scrum framework.
What Are the Benefits of Scrum Events?
Now that we’ve established why Scrum events are necessary, let’s break down the benefits by the specific Scrum event.
- Helps the team agree on the Sprint goal and level of commitment
- Ensures daily sprints are productive
- Offers a platform for communicating dependencies and identifying the team’s capacity of setting and committing to a goal they can meet
- Keeps the team in sync and informed on what’s happening
- Helps identify obstacles and how to deal with them
- Fosters trust between team members
- Encourages the team to organize itself, with members holding each other accountable for meeting their commitments
- Offers the chance for minor course corrections in the sprint
- Provides everyone high visibility of the project’s progress, which is good for morale and incentivizes the team to keep going
- Promotes collaboration and team building
- Maximizes customer responsiveness
- Encourages and facilitates stakeholder engagement
- Increases quality
- Reinforces the team’s sense of ownership and ability to self-manage
- Encourages continuous evolution and improvement
- Confirms the “definition of done” and continuously updates it
- Gives the team incentive to find ways to reach their goals and improve productivity
- Helps the team to reflect on their past performance and processes and agree upon work strategies going forward
Product Backlog Refinement
- Ensures the backlog remains filled with relevant, detailed items that are estimated to the degree that matches their priority
- Helps the team get a better grasp of the product or the project, and its objectives
- Gives the team a forum to ask questions and have requirements approved before planning the next sprint
- Enables the team to break larger stories down into more manageable, smaller stories. This process creates more straightforward estimating and saves time during the next sprint planning session.
We’re not including the sprint event in this list, as it’s the amalgam of the above events, so the listed benefits apply as an aggregate to the overall sprint event. Best we cover the backlog refinement instead.
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How Would You Like to Become a Scrum Master?
Scrums are a valuable tool in today’s development community, but a Scrum is only as good and effective as its Scrum Master. There is a continuing strong demand for Scrum and the process is now the most commonly deployed DevOps framework, there is a correspondingly greater need out there for experienced Scrum Masters. If this is a career that piques your interest, Simplilearn can help you!
Simplilearn’s Agile Scrum Master (ASM) Certification training course is your gateway to learning the most popular Agile project management methodology. This course positions you to become a champion of Agile adoption in your organization and maximize results.
The Scrum Master Certification Online Training course introduces you to the best practices of Agile and the nuances of the Scrum methodology. You will master the Agile Scrum project management approach and enhance your ability to develop and deliver quality products to customers. You will be able to use this popular methodology to maximize business value while mitigating potential risks.
Salary reports that Scrum Masters in the United States earn a yearly average of USD 136,064 as of April 2021. In India, Scrum Masters can earn an annual median salary of ₹1,252,644, according to Payscale.
If you are involved in DevOps and see Scrum as a promising means of improving development, consider upskilling with the certification course. Simplilearn offers a whole menu worth of Scrum and Agile-related courses such as Certified Scrum Developer, Agile and Scrum Foundation certification training, and Professional Scrum Product Owner certification training.
However, if you’re currently not on an application development career track and want to focus instead on Scum mastery as a vocation, Simplilearn can help you too! Check out the courses today!