What are the four scrum ceremonies? What are the three Scrum Roles? Basically, Scrum ceremonies are important meetings of agile software development. They don’t only put the team together to discuss a subject, but also they improve collaboration among the team members and provide the framework to get the work done effectively. If the scrum ceremonies are not managed in the right way, they can be time consuming and useless meetings. Therefore, these meetings should help to empower the team to collaborate and make decisions. If the team does not see the value in one of the scrum ceremonies they may abandon both the agile principles and the scrum ceremonies. In this article, we will take a look at the four scrum ceremonies: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
Before to start discussing the ceremonies, let’s take a look at the scrum roles for better understanding.
What are the Three Scrum Roles?
Basically, there are two scrum roles which are;
- The Product Owner
- The Scrum Master
- The Development Team
The product owner represents the client who owns the backlog and prioritizes items before to start each sprint. The product owner makes product decisions and ensures that the customer’s requirements are fulfilled in the product.
The Scrum Master behaves like a facilitator or an advocate who facilitates the teams work. He protects the team from outside distractions and removes the obstacles that may slow down the teams progress.
The Development Team is a group of people who actually build up the product. Team members include designers, developer, code writers, etc. The team members should be seld organized and motivated people. The role of the Scrum Master and the Product Owner is to define the requirements and facilitate the teams work while providing the value.
What are the Four Scrum Ceremonies?
Agile is one of the most popular project management methodologies which aims continuous iteration of development and testing at every stage of software development. Scrum is a framework to implement agile which allows us to focus on delivering the highest value to the customer. There are four scrum ceremonies;
- Sprint Planning
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective.
Scrum teams build high quality and woking products by the help of these four scrum ceremonies. Compared with the agile, scrum is easier to implement but difficult to manage. Every project manager like to get things done. However, conducting these meetings without collaboration and communication does not make your team agile.
Let’s discuss the four scrum ceremonies in detail.
The Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development Team attend this meeting. Like other scrum ceremonies, the duration of the sprint planning is related to the duration of the sprint. For example, if the sprint takes one week, the duration of the sprint planning is around 1 hour. If the sprint takes two weeks, the duration of the meeting will be around 2 hours. The sprint planning is a scrum meeting which takes place at the beginning of each sprint. The purpose of this meeting is to meet and review the Product Backlog. After discussions and negotiations, the development team creates the sprint goal which includes all items they are committing to complete at the end of the sprint.
The Product Owner makes the Product Backlog ready before to start the meeting. He should answer the questions of the development team and clarify the requirements, details, and assumptions.
The Scrum Master and the Development Team usually attend the Daily Scrum to define a plan for the daily work and discuss if there is any obstacle. The daily scrum is a short meeting (around 15 minutes) conducted to talk about the teams work.
Typically, the development team members answer the following questions.
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Are there any blocks or obstacles in your way?
Note that the daily scrum is not just a status update. It provides a chance to team members to remove the obstacles on the way.
The Sprint Review is conducted at the end of each sprint to demonstrate what work has been completed during the sprint. The Product Owner, Scrum Master, Development Team and the stakeholders attend this meeting to see the product. It provides a platform to the development team to show what they have done. Typically, it takes around one hour for a one-week sprint or two hours for a two-week sprint.
The sprint retrospective is one of the most important scrum ceremonies which gives a chance to the development team to look back on the completed work during the sprint and discuss the items to be improved.
The Sprint Retrospective is conducted after the Sprint Review. After demonstrating the completed work, the team members ask some typical questions to understand what went good or what didn’t go well. By this means, they criticize the ways to improve the product.
If the team members could discuss the improvements without prejudice and provide their feedbacks honestly, this will drive change.
If the length of the sprint is one week, the sprint retrospective takes around three hours.
Agile focuses on constant improvement and the scrum ceremonies are designed to help the teams to make things better. In this article, we discussed the three scrum roles and four scrum ceremonies. Each scrum role has different responsibilities and each scrum ceremony have different purposes. Scrum ceremonies help the development team to move fast and change quickly if needed. Understanding the main concepts of the Scrum will help you to build up a career in the field of project management.
Kiron Shallow the director of training at Northshire Education. He is experienced in in Lean, Agile, Kanban, SAFe, Scrum, technical Agile practices, design patterns and emergent design.