By Mark C. Layton

Scrum is a framework rather than a methodology. It provides clarity of responsibilities through roles, visibility through artifacts, and opportunities for inspection and adaptation through its events. Within this structure, scrum is a container for other processes and tools that are appropriate for meeting the specific needs of a team, organization or product.

Basically, a scrum project has a 3‐3‐5 project framework:

  • Three roles

  • Three artifacts

  • Five events

Each of these framework elements fits within the scrum process, which is iterative and incremental. You will incrementally create and improve your product, and you will incrementally improve your process with this basic framework. As you can see, the framework is incredibly simple:

  • Roles:

    • Product owner

    • Development team

    • Scrum master

  • Artifacts:

    • Product backlog

    • Sprint backlog

    • Product increment

  • Events:

    • Sprint

    • Sprint planning

    • Daily scrum

    • Sprint review

    • Sprint retrospective

In the scrum world, artifacts refer to either lists of the work to be done or a work product that has been done and is deemed “shippable.” Unlike archeological artifacts, the scrum artifacts aren’t set in stone. Rather, the scrum process requires a constant review and assessment of artifacts to make sure that you’re digging in the right direction.

Each role, artifact, and event in scrum has a set purpose. This framework, moving through the seven stages of the roadmap to value, will be what you place your project within. But the actual tools and techniques for accomplishing your goals will be your own. Scrum doesn’t tell you how to achieve your goal; it provides a framework within which you clearly see what you are doing.

In concept, scrum is simple. In practice, scrum can be complicated to implement. It’s much like getting into shape physically. In concept, you need to exercise more and take in fewer calories. However, it can be more complex in practice.

To help in this process of application, some common practices to complement scrum are recommended. There has been incredible success with this model (extra elements are in italics):

  • Roles:

    • Product owner

    • Development team

    • Scrum master

    • Stakeholders

    • Scrum mentor

  • Artifacts:

    • Vision

    • Product roadmap

    • Product backlog

    • Release plan

    • Sprint backlog

    • Product increment

  • Events:

    • Project planning

    • Release planning

    • Sprint

    • Sprint planning

    • Daily scrum

    • Sprint review

    • Sprint retrospective

Here, the framework is switched to a 5‐6‐7 formula. It’s still simple, but with additional roles, artifacts, and events designed to smooth the process.