Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

How Leaders can support and leverage the Scrum Artifacts

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp

 

Scrum Artifacts

In our final entry in the Scrum Guide companion for Leaders series (see parts 1, 2, 3, 4) we turn to the Scrum Artifacts.

Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value. They are designed to maximize the transparency of key information. Thus, everyone inspecting them has the same basis for adaptation.

Each artifact contains a commitment to ensure it provides information that enhances transparency and focus against which progress can be measured:

  • For the Product Backlog, it is the Product Goal.
  • For the Sprint Backlog, it is the Sprint Goal.
  • For the Increment, it is the Definition of Done.

These commitments exist to reinforce empiricism and the Scrum values for the Scrum Team and their stakeholders.

What is the Leader’s role when it comes to the Scrum Artifacts? Do they provide input into any of them? Are they involved in maintain them? How can they enjoy the transparency provided by them?

Leaders use the Scrum Artifacts as a window into the work of the Scrum Team. This transparency enables inspection and adaptation at the appropriate level while enabling the team to self-manage. 

Product Backlog

The Product Backlog is an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product. It is the single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team. Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event. They usually acquire this degree of transparency after refining activities. Product Backlog refinement is the act of breaking down and further defining Product Backlog items into smaller more precise items. This is an ongoing activity to add details, such as a description, order, and size. Attributes often vary with the domain of work.

The Developers who will be doing the work are responsible for the sizing. The Product Owner may influence the Developers by helping them understand and select trade-offs.

Leaders respect the accountability of the Product Owner for the Product Backlog. The Product Owner will work with Leaders as stakeholders. They will make sure the Product Backlog is available and clear. The Product Owner and Scrum Team will be open to ideas from Leaders and other Stakeholders and will also have the courage to remain focused. 

Commitment: Product Goal

The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.

A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users, or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract. The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team. They must fulfill (or abandon) one objective before taking on the next.

Scrum Teams are formed to execute the organization’s strategic decisions. Each Scrum Team’s Product Goal is a key mechanism to ensure this strategic alignment. Leaders are responsible for ensuring that the right conversations take place between Scrum Teams and their strategic stakeholders around the progress made towards the Product Goal and its relevance. Agility at a strategic level relies on the ability to inspect and adapt Product Goals and adjust course as needed. 

Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the Increment (how).

The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers. It is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Developers plan to accomplish during the Sprint in order to achieve the Sprint Goal. Consequently, the Sprint Backlog is updated throughout the Sprint as more is learned. It should have enough detail that they can inspect their progress in the Daily Scrum.

The Sprint Backlog should not be used as a mechanism to control/manage the Developers on the Scrum Team or as a status reporting dashboard. 

Leaders should respect the Developers ownership of the Sprint Backlog and give them space to self-manage their work within the Sprint. They should avoid treating the Sprint Plan as a tool to manage the Scrum Team. The plan is for the Scrum Team and enables leaders to provide feedback. 

Commitment: Sprint Goal

The Sprint Goal is the single objective for the Sprint. Although the Sprint Goal is a commitment by the Developers, it provides flexibility in terms of the exact work needed to achieve it. The Sprint Goal also creates coherence and focus, encouraging the Scrum Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives.

Leaders can use the Sprint Goal as a window towards the Scrum Team’s focus and commitment for the Sprint and should help the team achieve their Sprint Goal if the team reaches out for help. 

Increment

An Increment is a concrete stepping stone toward the Product Goal. Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments and thoroughly verified, ensuring that all Increments work together. In order to provide value, the Increment must be usable.

The ultimate accountability of the Scrum Team is to make incremental progress towards the Product Goal or to learn that is not possible and either reframe the Product Goal or focus on something else. Leaders need to work with the Scrum Team to help them make progress often in spite of the environment that they are working within. They need to support the Scrum Team to work within the technical and procedural and cultural confines of the organization. 

Commitment: Definition of Done

The Definition of Done is a formal description of the state of each Sprint Increment when it meets the quality measures required for the product.

If the Definition of Done for an increment is part of the standards of the organization, all Scrum Teams must follow it as a minimum. If it is not an organizational standard, the Scrum Team must create a Definition of Done appropriate for the product.

The Developers are required to conform to the Definition of Done. If there are multiple Scrum Teams working together on a product, they must mutually define and comply with the same Definition of Done.

The Definition Of Done makes what it means to be done transparent. It provides a mechanism to clearly communicate what it means to make progress, incrementally towards the Product Goal and therefore deliver value. It often provides a great way for the Scrum Team to set expectations with external groups. Leaders work with Scrum Teams to create and improve appropriate Definition of Done standards for the organization. Improving the organizations’ Definition of Done is a mechanism Leaders can leverage to raise the level of quality, professionalism, and transparency while letting the Scrum Team/s self-manage. Leaders provide support for Scrum Teams that are striving to achieve a more complete Definition of Done.

Subscribe for Email Updates:

Categories:

Tags:

Reading List
ATDD vs. BDD
Continuous Planning
Continuous Delivery
Lean Budgeting
Keith Sawyer
Applying Agile Methodology
Jira Cloud
Limiting Work in Progress
SAFe
Change Management
Agile Techniques
Operational Value Stream
Lean Agile Management
Release Train Engineer
lean agile change management
Acceptance Test-Driven Development
Agile India
Atlaassian
GanttBan
Professional Scrum Product Owner
Risk Management on Agile Projects
QA
TDD
Quality Assurance
Agile Games and Exercises
Effective Agile Retrospectives
Scrum Values
The Kanban Method
Scrum With Kanban
Iterative Incremental Development
Kaizen
chatgpt
BDD
User stories
Process Improvement
Business Agility
Lean Startup
Introduction to Test Driven Development
Legacy Enterprise
Lean-Agile Budgeting
ScrumMaster Tales
Frameworks
Nexus Integration Team
Lean Software Development
Jira
Agile Project
Implementation of Lean and Agile
Achieve Business Agility
Agile Basics
Lean Agile Basics
Jira Plans
Portfolio for Jira
Kanban Basics
Agile Exercises
Hybrid Work
LeSS
ARTs
Video
Agile Marketing
An Appreciative Retrospective
Covid19
The Agile Coach
Implementing SAFe
IT Operations
Lean and Agile Principles and Practices
Manage Budget Creation
Planning
Team Flow
Certified SAFe
Scrum Master Role
Tools
Agile in the Enterprise
Lean Risk Management
DevOps
Rapid RTC
Kanban 101
Agile Project Management
Daily Scrum
Sprint Retrospectives
Presentation
AI Artificial Intelligence
NIT
Webinar
Kanban
Scrum and XP
Pomodoro Technique
Program Increment
Jira admin
ALM Tools
System Team
Agile Program
Managing Projects
Development Value Streams
Nexus
Continuous Integration
agileisrael
Nexus and Kanban
Entrepreneurial Operating System®
Professional Scrum Master
Agile Assembly Architecture
ATDD
Accelerate Value Delivery At Scale
SAFe DevOps
Slides
LPM
Releases Using Lean
Lean and Agile Techniques
Engineering Practices
Agile Testing Practices
ROI
Introduction to ATDD
SAFe Release Planning
Agile Mindset
Risk-aware Product Development
Certification
Legacy Code
Agile Outsourcing
A Kanban System for Software Engineering
Continuous Deployment
Amdocs
Enterprise DevOps
Artificial Intelligence
Agile Delivery
Sprint Iteration
PI Objectives
Scrum
LAB
Managing Risk on Agile Projects
Software Development Estimation
Value Streams
Agile for Embedded Systems
Agile Release Management
Games and Exercises
Large Scale Scrum
System Integration Environments
Perfection Game
Built-In Quality
Scaled Agile Framework
Agile Risk Management
Risk Management in Kanban
Lean Agile
Kanban Game
Agile Games
speed at scale
Software Development
Lean Agile Organization
Agile and DevOps Journey
Spotify
Agile Israel Events
Product Management
Scrum Guide
Principles of Lean-Agile Leadership
POPM
Code
RTE Role
Kanban Kickstart Example
Nexus and SAFe
predictability
Lean-Agile Software Development
Self-organization
Continuous Improvement
Lean Agile Leadership
Kaizen Workshop
Test Driven Development
Atlassian
RSA
WIP
Agile
Product Ownership
SA
Nexus vs SAFe
Story Slicing
Sprint Planning
ART Success
Systems Thinking
System Archetypes
SPC
Scrum Master
RTE
Tips
Agile Development
Advanced Roadmaps
Scrum.org
EOS®
AgileSparks
Agile Product Ownership
What Is Kanban
Coaching Agile Teams
Agile Israel
Scrum Primer
speed @ scale
Agile Contracts Best Practices
Agile Release Planning
AI
Agile Product Development
Agile Community
Agility
PI Planning
Elastic Leadership
AgileSparks
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general

Contact Us

Request for additional information and prices

AgileSparks Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, and stay updated on the latest Agile news and events

This website uses Cookies to provide a better experience
Shopping cart