Recap of Scrum Key Concepts

(This is a recap of points you may see as questions in the exam)

Introduction Summary

  1. Remember Scrum is a lightweight framework, that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.
  2. Scrum is founded on Empiricism and lean thinking. It’s not based on empirical-criticism, dualism, criticism, rationalism or anything-else-ism. Just empiricism and lean thinking.
  3. Three pillars uphold Scrum - We need transparency of the information to do an inspection, which allows us to do adaption.
    • Transparency
    • Inspection
    • Adaption
  4. Five Scrum Values - If you see any other values that sound good, do not choose them!
    • Commitment
    • Courage
    • Focus
    • Openness
    • Respect
  5. Five Scrum Events - There are no other official events.
    • Sprint Planning
    • the Sprint
    • Daily Scrum
    • Sprint Review
    • Sprint Retrospective
  6. All Scrum events are timeboxed. (we cannot extend their duration).
  7. All of the events vary in length depending on the length of the Sprint, except for the Daily Scrum.
  8. A Sprint can be a maximum of one month and a minimum of one week. Scrum Teams choose this length.
  9. For a 1 month Sprint we have a maximum of
Event max. duration
Sprint Planning 8 hours
Sprint Review 4 hours
Sprint Retrospective 3 hours
Daily Scrum always 15 minutes
  1. Usually, when the Sprint is shorter than 1 month, the other events get proportionally shorter as well.
  2. All Scrum Events, besides the Sprint, can end sooner as long as the purpose of the event is achieved.
  3. Three different sets of accountabilities - There’s no Scrum Team without the Scrum Master or Product Owner. No matter how experienced the Team is. Typically the Scrum Team is 10 or fewer people.
    • Developers
    • Scrum Master
    • Product Owner
  4. There are no Project Managers or Team Leaders within a Scrum Team. The people who create the increment are called Developers, no matter their specialization. We do not have designers, architect testers, etc.
  5. There are no sub-teams or hierarchies within a Scrum Team. If you see a question regarding designers in the Scrum Team, the correct answer would be “there are no designers in Scrum Teams”.
  6. Scrum Teams are cross-functional and self-managing.
  7. There are three Scrum Artifacts and their Commitment.
Artifact Commitment
Product Backlog Product Goal
Sprint Backlog Sprint Goal
Increment Definition of Done
  1. Both Scrum & Agile use an incremental and iterative approach to development. Scrum is Agile but Agile is not scrum. Both use an iterative and incremental approach.
    1. Incremental - “Let’s build some of it before we build all of it.” Think of it as a version of the product. Each new version includes the previous one.
    2. Iterative - In one iteration (Sprint), we go through all of the development processes to create usable increment.
  2. Plan-Driven Development (Waterfall) is about creating one huge increment with one huge iteration.

The Scrum Team Summary

  1. There are three different sets of accountabilities in a Scrum Team.
    • Scrum Master
    • Product Owner
    • Developers
  2. The Scrum Team is cross-functional & self-managing.
  3. The Scrum Team is typically 10 or fewer people.
    1. If the Scrum Team becomes too large, we have to consider reorganizing it into multiple cohesive Scrum Teams.
  4. There are no sub-teams or hierarchies in a Scrum Team.
  5. There are no Project Manager in Scrum Teams!
  6. The entire Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities including…
    1. Stakeholder collaboration
    2. Verification
    3. Maintenance
    4. Operation
    5. Experimentation
    6. Research and development
    7. and more
  7. The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint.
  8. The entire Scrum Team creates the Sprint Goal.
  9. The entire Scrum Team creates the Definition of Done.

Scrum Master

  1. The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness.
  2. The Scrum Master is true leader.
    1. The Scrum Master serves the Scrum Team:
      1. They cause the removal of impediments to the Scurm Team’s progress.
      2. They ensure that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.
    2. The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner:
      1. They facilitate stakeholder collaboration when requested or needed.
      2. They help the Product Owner to find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management
    3. The Scrum Master serves the Organization:
      1. They lead, train and coach, the organization in its Scrum adoption.
  3. The Scrum Master acts as a team coach and teacher. They manage not the people but the process.
    1. They posses what’s called Process Authority and make sure everyone understands and enacts the Scrum theory, values, rules, and practices.
  4. The Scrum Master is NOT a Project Manager.
  5. They can work part-time as well as full-time.
  6. Scrum doesn’t prohibit one person to act as a Scrum Master and a Product Owner but it doesn’t recommend it either. The same applies to Scrum Master and a Developer.
  7. Scrum Master may attend the Daily Scrum, if he works as a Developer.

Product Owner

  1. The Product Owner is a value maximizer.
  2. They are accountable for effective Product Backlog Management, which includes:
    1. Creating and communicating a Product Goal & Vision.
    2. Creating and explaining Stories.
    3. Ordering the Product Backlog.
    4. Making sure the Product Backlog is transparent.
  3. The Product Owner is one person, not a committee.
  4. To succeed, everyone in the organization must respect his or her decisions.
  5. Only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel a Sprint.
  6. The Product Owner is extremely knowledgbeable about the marketplace of the Product.
  7. During Sprint Planning the Product Owner brings a business objective based on which the Scrum Team collaboratively crafts the Sprint Goal.
  8. During Sprint Review, the Product Owner seeks feedback from key stakeholders.
  9. The Product Owner must be available to answer any questions the developers have.
  10. The Product Owner reviews Done items.
    1. If he has written Acceptance Criteria for the stories, they make sure the conditions are met. Writing Acceptance Criteria for the stories is NOT mandatory. (but the Definition of Done is).
  11. If two Products are being developed, there can be one person acting as a Product Owner for both Products. As well as, there can be two Product Owners, one for each Product.


  1. The Developers are the people who create a usable increment each Sprint.
  2. They create the plan for the Sprint, this is the Sprint Backlog.
  3. The developers choose the number of Stories to select from the Product Backlog to the Sprint Backlog.
  4. The Developers are responsible for sizing the stories and the techniques they would use to turn stories into a usable increment.
  5. Developers are required to participate in Daily Scrum and come up with an actionable plan for the next day.
  6. Developers are required to conform to the Definition of Done.
  7. If there are multiple Scrum Teams working together on a Product, they must mutually define and comply within the same Definition of Done.
  8. Both the Developers and the Product Owner do Product Backlog Refinement.
  9. The Developers hold each other accountable as professionals.

Scrum Events Summary

The Sprint Summary

  1. Sprints are the heartbeat of Scrum, where ideas are turned into value.
  2. The purpose of the Sprint is to create usable increments.
    1. We can consider Sprints as short Projects.
  3. The Sprints happen one after another. There are no pauses or other events.
  4. The maximum duration of the Sprint is one month.
  5. Typically, when the project is riskier, shorter Sprints are preferred, so we can generate more learning cycles.
  6. The Sprint can be canceled when the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete.
  7. Sprint cancellation is bad for the team, and it requires regrouping of the team, a new Sprint Planning event, as a result, resources are lost.
  8. During the Sprint quality goals do not decrease, and score might be re-negotiated as more is learned.
    1. The Scrum Team does not make changes that would endanger the Sprint Goal.

Sprint Planning

  1. During Sprint Planning, the PO ensures that attendees are prepared to discuss the most important Stories and how they map to the Product Goal.
  2. During Sprint Planning we answer three important questions:
    1. Why is this Sprint valuable?
    2. What can be done this Sprint?
    3. How will the chosen work get done?
  3. The entire Scrum Team attends and collaborates on creating the Sprint Goal.
  4. The Developers decide how many Stories to select for the Sprint Backlog.
  5. The Developers decide on the practices they would use to turn Stories into a usable increment.
  6. The more the Developers know about their past performance, upcoming capacity, and Definition of Done, the more accurate forecasts they would be able to do.
  7. The Sprint Backlog is created during Sprint Planning and it’s a combination of 3 things.
    1. The Sprint Goal, the selected Stories and a Plan to deliver them.
  8. The Scrum Team may invite other people to attend Sprint Planning to provide advice.
  9. Sprint Planning is 8-hours for a 1-month Sprint and it gets proportionally shorter for shorter sprints.

Daily Scrum

  1. The purpose of Daily Scrum is to inspect progress towards the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog if needed.
  2. Daily Scrum is a mandatory event for all Developers of the Scrum Team.
  3. The SM ensures that Daily Scrum takes place, but the Developers are responsible for conducting the event.
  4. During Daily Scrum, the Developers plan the work for the next day.
  5. The SM and PO are allowed to attend Daily Scrum.
  6. Daily Scrum is always 15 minutes (regardless of the length of the Sprint and the number of Developers)
  7. Daily Scrum is held at the same time and place every working day of the Sprint to reduce complexity and eliminate waste.
  8. Developers choose the structure of the Daily Scrum event.
  9. The focus of the event should be:
    • Progress towards the Sprint Goal
    • An actionable plan for the next day
  10. Daily Scrum improves:
    • communication
    • identifies impediments
    • promotes quick decision-making
    • eliminates the need for other meetings
  11. The developers are allowed to adjust their plan to achieve the Sprint Goal outside Daily Scrum as well. Often, they meet throughout the day for more detailed discussions.

Sprint Review

  1. The purpose of the Sprint Review event is to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.
  2. Attendees of the Sprint Review event are the Scrum Team and key stakeholders.
  3. Sprint Review is not just a demo or a presentation of the increment.
  4. The Scrum Team presents only items that have been 100% done according to the Definition of Done.
  5. If a customer routinely skips this event, the expectations of the Scrum Team and the customer would become misaligned and both parties would not be happy.
  6. The Product Backlog may also be adjusted to meet new opportunities.
  7. The Sprint Review is a 4 hour event for a 1 month Sprint

Sprint Retrospective

  1. The main urpose of the Sprint Retrospective is to plan ways to increase quality and effectiveness.
  2. The Scrum Team inspects how the last Sprint went with regards to individuals, interactions, processes, tools, and their Definition of Done.
  3. It’s a 3-hour event for a 1-month Sprint.
  4. It’s an opportunity to inspect and adapt the process the Scrum Team has been using to build the increments.
  5. The whole Scrum Team attends the event.
  6. During the Sprint Retrospective, we talk about the context, not the content.

Scrum Artifacts Summary

Artifact Commitment Person accountable
Product Backlog Product Goal Product Owner
Sprint Backlog Sprint Goal Entire Scrum Team
Increment Definition of Done Entire Scrum Team
  1. There are 3 Scrum Artifacts. (learn the previous table)
  2. Each Scrum Artifact contains a commiment, to ensure it provides information that enhances transparency and focus. (learn the previous table)
  3. The three commitments are mandatory, they enahnce transparency and focus.

Product Backlog (Artifact)

  1. The Product Backlog is an ordered list of items.
  2. It’s the single source of work, undertaken by the Scrum Team.
  3. The Product Backlog is ordered in a way hat maximizes the value the product delivers.
  4. The Product Backlog is never complete. It’s ever-changing and dynamic.
  5. One Product has:
    • One Product Backlog
    • One Product Owner
    • One Product Goal at any given time
  6. Stories on top of the Product Backlog are clearer, hence smaller than those on the bottom.
  7. A Product is a vehicle to deliver value.

Product Goal (Commitment)

  1. The Product Goal describes a future state of the Product
    1. The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team.
  2. The Product Owner is accountable for creating and explicitly communicating the Product Goal.
  3. We cannot have more than one Product Goal at any given time.
  4. It’s recommended that the Product Goal is clear and concise.
  5. Each increment (Sprint) moves the Product towards the Product Goal.
  6. The Product Goal is measurable, the Scrum Team knows when the goal has been achieved.
  7. The Product Goal can change, but it’s highly unlikely for this to happen during a Sprint.
  8. Refinements to the Product GOal happen during the Sprint Review event.
  9. Generally, the Product Goal is one part of a bigger Product Vision.
  10. Multiple Scrum Teams working on the same Product, share the same Product GOal, the same Product Backlog, and he same Product Owner.

Sprint Backlog (Artifact)

  1. The Sprint Backlog consists of 3 things
    • The Sprint Goal
    • The selected Stories
    • The plan for delivering the increment
  2. The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers.
  3. the Sprint Backlog is highly-visible.
  4. The Sprint Backlog changes during the Sprint.
  5. The Product Owners and the Developers may change/negotiate the scope of the Sprint but this should not affect the Sprint Goal in any way.
  6. We move the incomplete items back to the Product Backlog for future considerations.
  7. The Sprint Goal helps the team stay focused during the Sprint.

The Increment (Artifact)

  1. An Increment is a stepping stone towards the Product Goal.
  2. Each Increment is additive to all prior increments.
  3. The Scrum Team creates one or multiple Increments each Sprint.
  4. All Increments must be verified and usable.
  5. The whole Scrum Team decides when to release the Increment.
  6. Work cannot be considered part of an Increment unless it meets the Definition of Done.

The Definition of Done (Commitment)

  1. The Definition of Done is a formal description of the state of the Increment when it meets the quality measures required for the Product.
  2. The Definition of Done is mandatory and it increases transparency.
  3. If Definition of Done is part of organizational standards, the Scrum Team must follow it as a minimum.
  4. If Definition of Done is not part of organizational standards, the Scrum Team must create one that is appropriate for the Product.
  5. The Definition of Done may be improved during the project, the result would be a higher quality of the work.
  6. If multiple Scrum Teams are working on the same Product, they must mutually define and comply with the same Definition of Done for the integrated increment.