Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
The Scrum Guide co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland contains the definition of Scrum, which consists of Scrum’s accountabilities, events, artifacts, and the rules that bind them together. In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:
- A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.
- The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint.
- The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.
Scrum implements the scientific method of empiricism by which replacing a programmed algorithmic approach with a heuristic one, with respect for people and the self-organization of teams.
Various processes, techniques and methods can be employed within the framework. Scrum makes visible the relative efficacy of current management, environment, and work techniques, so that improvements can be made. The below graphic represents Scrum in Action.
Scrum is founded on empiricism and lean thinking. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is observed. Lean thinking reduces waste and focuses on the essentials.
Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and to control risk. Scrum engages groups of people who collectively have all the skills and expertise to do the work and share or acquire such skills as needed.
Scrum combines four formal events for inspection and adaptation within a containing event, the Sprint. These events work because they implement the empirical Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
Successful use of Scrum depends on people becoming more proficient in living the five scrum values. These values give direction to the Scrum Team with regard to their work, actions, and behavior.
When the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone. The Scrum Team members learn and explore those values as they work with the Scrum events, roles and artifacts.
People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team members have courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems. Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders agree to be open about all the work and the challenges with performing the work. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.
The Scrum Glossary is meant to represent an overview of Scrum-related terms. Some of the mentioned terms are not mandatory in Scrum, but have been added because they are commonly used in Scrum.
To learn more about the Scrum framework, to identify which of these terms are required elements of Scrum and to understand how the mentioned elements are connected, reference The Scrum Guide. To learn more about terms specific to software development teams using Scrum and agile software development techniques, reference the Professional Scrum Developer glossary.