In this article, you will learn about the development procedures, processes, structures, and team roles in Scrum, a type of Agile framework for software development.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a software development methodology centered on rapid development in collaboration with a team. Under the Scrum approach, software development is carried out in short cycles called iterations.

Scrum is a framework for Agile development that is widely used in both product development and system development around the world.

The history of Scrum dates back to 1986, when Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka published an article titled “The New New Product Development Game” in the Harvard Business Review. In it, they borrowed the rugby term “scrum” to describe a fast, flexible approach to product development driven by the interactions of cross-functional team members rather than rigid, pre-defined processes.

In 1993, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland adapted the Scrum model to software development in the article “SCRUM Development Process.” With the rise of Agile methodologies in the early 2000s, Scrum gained popularity, and in 2010 Schwaber and Sutherland publ;ished the first official Scrum Guide.

Scrum overview diagram

Scrum wraps existing practices or may eliminate them altogether. By visualizing the relative effectiveness of current management, environment, and working techniques, Scrum makes it possible for improvement. 2020 Official Scrum Guide

What is the Scrum Guide?

The Scrum Guide documents the official rules and guidelines for Scrum, including definitions, theories, important values, team roles, events, and artifacts. It was created by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber.

While first created exclusively for software development, the Scrum Guide has since been adopted by product management and development professionals in many other industries.

We created Scrum in the early 1990s. In 2010 we wrote the first version of the Scrum Guide so that people could understand Scrum worldwide. Since then, we have evolved the Scrum Guide, always enabling improvement. Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland

The 3-5-3 structure of Scrum

The Scrum Guide outlines a simple yet effective structure known as the 3-5-3, consisting of three roles, five events, and three artifacts that are central to the Scrum process. This framework is designed to facilitate collaboration, maximize efficiency, and optimize the results of the development team.

The three Scrum roles ensure that responsibilities are clearly divided among team members, providing structure and accountability. The five events create regular opportunities for assessment and adjustment, helping the team to stay on track and adapt to changes quickly. The three artifacts provide tangible benchmarks of progress, ensuring transparency and ongoing alignment with project goals.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

The three Scrum roles

In typical Scrum setups, work is done by small teams focused on product goals, consisting of a few key roles within the Scrum team: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developers. The key to success in Scrum is to establish and maintain clear team structures. Each role within the team is an expert responsible for either managing the product backlog, developing the code, or supporting the rest of the team.

Scrum team structure and roles diagram

Product Owner (PO)

The Product Owner determines the direction of development, a crucial responsibility for increasing the value (ROI) of products and services. They act as the primary liaison between the stakeholders and the development team, ensuring that all efforts align with customer needs and business objectives. The PO also manages tasks like the backlog in software development projects.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is primarily responsible for leading and supporting communication within the team. They also facilitate Scrum events such as daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives, ensuring that the team adheres to Scrum processes and practices effectively.


In Scrum, developers are responsible for creating products or services and updating them in line with sprint goals. They collaborate closely to solve problems, integrate their work, and ensure high-quality outputs by the end of each sprint.

The five Scrum events

Scrum events, also known as ceremonies, are integral components of the Scrum framework that help ensure regular progress, facilitate transparency, and enable continuous improvement throughout the development cycle. These events are specifically designed to structure the workflow and include Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, and the Sprint itself.

Sprint planning

Sprint planning is based on the priorities decided on in the product backlog, one of the three Scrum artifacts. In this step, developers and the Product Owner decide on tasks to be done during the Sprint period based on backlog priorities.

Daily scrum

The daily scrum is a daily meeting that lasts up to a maximum of 15 minutes. Its main purpose is to provide an opportunity for members to share their progress on sprint tasks and to alert the team about any blockers they are experiencing.

Sprint review

The sprint review is a meeting held at the end of the sprint. Typically, all stakeholders, including customers, attend to see demos of developed features. It is also a phase to decide on the direction of product or software functionality.

Sprint retrospective

The sprint retrospective (also known as the retro) is a Scrum-team meeting conducted at the end of the current sprint. Unlike the sprint review, the retro focuses on reflection about the success or failure of the team’s processes and to brainstorm improvement points for the future.


The Sprint itself is a time-box of usually 1 to 4 weeks during which the actual work is done. All the other Scrum events are designed to support the process of completing the tasks defined in Sprint Planning.

The three Scrum artifacts

Scrum artifacts provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation throughout the Scrum process. They are essential for understanding the work done and the work that remains. Scrum artifacts include the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Increment.

Product backlog

The Product Backlog is a dynamic list of everything that might be needed in the product, managed by the Product Owner. It helps Scrum teams plan and prioritize sprints based on customer requirements and to communicate development goals with stakeholders.

The Product Backlog is continuously refined and prioritized based on stakeholder feedback and project evolution.

Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is a subset of the Product Backlog that contains the tasks to be completed during the current sprint. It is collaboratively prepared by the development team during the Sprint Planning event.

This artifact lists all the tasks that the team commits to complete by the end of the Sprint, providing a clear picture of the team’s workload and focus.


The increment is a running list of product backlog items completed across all sprints to date. It provides a complete vision of the potentially shippable elements of a product by identifying features that meet the Scrum team’s definition of “Done.”

The Increment is an important part of the Sprint Review event, where stakeholders can provide feedback that may influence future development directions.

Characteristics of Scrum development

The most significant feature of Scrum is that it enhances communication within the team, efficiently moving software or product development forward. In Scrum, development occurs in short, planned iteration cycles called sprints.

Checking the performance and progress of software or products after each iteration is fundamental in Scrum. Communicating about goals, success, and problems is just as important as developing the apps or software.

Scrum uses the principles of Lean Thinking to identify and eliminate tools, processes, and events that waste time or resources.

Based on these features, Scrum development exhibits three core characteristics: transparency, analytical thinking, and adaptability.


Transparency in Scrum involves ensuring that all aspects of the process are visible to those responsible for the outcome. This includes clear communication of project goals, product vision, development progress, and requirements from customers.

By maintaining openness at all levels, stakeholders and team members are kept informed and can make better decisions.

Analytical thinking

Scrum emphasizes continuous evaluation of the development process and the product itself. It is essential to regularly review, assess, and refine every aspect of the project.

This analytical approach helps identify potential issues and obstacles early, allowing for timely interventions and ensuring that the team’s efforts align with the project objectives.


Adaptability is crucial in Scrum, enabling teams to respond flexibly to changes and challenges. Whether adjusting to new customer requirements, adapting to feedback, or overcoming unforeseen issues, the ability to pivot and make necessary modifications is key to sustaining progress and delivering value continuously.

Three characteristics of Scrum

Scrum value standards

In addition to the three major characteristics of Scrum, the latest Scrum guidelines include five value standards. Scrum teams must skillfully utilize and learn these value standards to advance development.

Illustration of Scrum's five value standards


Each team member commits to the sprint goal and the overall product goals.


Success in Scrum hinges on a team’s ability to concentrate on tasks that will help them achieve sprint goals and improve the value of features or products.


Maintaining an open attitude towards stakeholders, sharing ideas freely, and consistently consistently being honest in all communications and interactions is vital for building trust and ensuring that team members are aligned on the project’s goals and challenges.


Respecting all Scrum team members and valuing each other’s ideas are crucial. This respect fosters a collaborative and supportive environment, essential for effective teamwork and successful outcomes.


In Scrum, courage means maintaining an attitude of overcoming problems, bugs, and difficulties with the team.

Differences between Agile and Scrum

Agile and Scrum are often discussed together in the context of software development and project management. However, Agile is a broad philosophical approach to project management, whereas Scrum is a particular method for putting Agile principles into practice.

In other words, Scrum is a framework that you can use to implement the Agile development method.

Along with Scrum, Agile includes other methods like extreme programming (XP) and Kanban. As a distinguishing factor, Scrum emphasizes communication as the top priority.

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As an Agile framework, Scrum helps unify development teams and improve communication by clearly defining goals and values for everyone involved. It offers a structured yet flexible process that adapts well to the dynamic nature of software development.

The best method for software and product development at your organization will depend on your team’s situation and needs, but many organizations use Scrum with great success. It is a proven strategy for managing complex projects in a rapidly changing environment, which can lead to more effective outcomes and higher quality products.