The 3-5-3 Structure of Scrum
The Scrum Framework is simple, and it follows the 3-5-3 structure: 3 Roles, 5 events, 3 Artifacts. These elements are crucial to the success of doing Scrum and nothing is optional. Disregarding even a single aspect of this structure means you are not implementing Scrum.
Although Scrum gives you freedom in how you implement it within your organisation, there are basic rules that you should follow.
The 3 Roles
The main priority of the Product Owner is the Product Backlog. He/She is responsible for its upkeep and is in charge of prioritising the Product Backlog items according to their value. The Product Owner should have a vision for the product, and he/she should align with the Development Team and the other teams to ensure that it is attainable.
The Product Owner should always be in constant communication with the team. He/She should provide guidance while monitoring the progress of the work, making sure it is aligned to his/her vision and that the team is delivering the correct value. However, the Project Owner should not tell the Development Team how to do the work. Instead, he/she should trust that they have the right skills and knowledge to turn the vision into reality.
Aside from coordinating with the Development Team, the Product Owner should also be responsible for communicating with stakeholders and customers. He/She should gather and assess information and requirements that can help the project. Moreover, the Product Owner could showcase accomplished work so everyone can see it early and often.
The Scrum Master is in charge of ensuring that the team is following the proper Scrum structure. He/She acts as a coach or a mentor, even a defender, of the Development team. When there’s a bottleneck in the process, Scrum Masters will readily and aggressively remove the barrier to make sure that the team’s work goes smoothly.
A Scrum Master focuses on making the Scrum Teams the best they can be. He/She encourages them towards continuous improvement and delivering value. Although a Scrum Master always adheres to the Scrum framework, he/she always looks for creative and innovative approaches on how to work with the team.
Great Scrum Masters understand that the team’s success is their success.
The main concern of the Development team is working on their Sprint Backlog and ensuring that they are done. They own the Sprint Backlog and no changes can be made into the log without the team’s approval. A strong development team should possess self-organising and self-managing individuals who can decide their own processes and the deliverables that they are working on within a Sprint.
They are focused on maximising the value that they are creating. The team can consult with the Product Owner to determine the right work that goes into a sprint to create a Sprint Goal. Development Teams are cross-functional and collaborative, and they do their best work together as a team to continuously produce high-quality, high-value products.
The 5 Events
The core of the whole Scrum framework is The Sprint. It is the time where the Scrum Team creates work and provides value to the business. The length of a Sprint can vary, it can go from a week to a month (ours are normally two weeks), and it offers clear borders for the team. It gives way to a constant feedback loop to ensure that value is provided to the customers continuously.
All the other events in Scrum relies on the Sprint itself. Without the Sprint, the Scrum will lack rhythm, and the flow of the work will be disrupted. It allows the team to have a rapid release of a high-quality product.
Sprint Planning includes the Development Team and the Product Owner. They work together to identify high-value work. During Sprint Planning, they decide what to focus on, and design a plan on how to get their job done efficiently. Sprint Planning is essential because it is a formal agreement on the deliverables and the processes.
The Scrum is a 15-minute daily meeting of the team to discuss the progress so far, and how the next 24 hours is going to be spent. It serves as a status report from everyone on the Development Team. It is not necessary for the Scrum Master or the Product Owner to attend, although it is encouraged in case questions arise. However, the Development Team should discuss their work with each other and not focus on reporting to the Scrum Master or the Product Owner.
Just like the Sprint, the Daily Scrum provides a rapid feedback loop. Because everyone in the team is updated on the progress of each member, it is easier to inspect and adapt in case there are changes needed to achieve the goal faster. When something needs to be corrected, the Daily Scrum is the best time to re-align and make sure that the targets are still met.
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The Sprint Review showcases the work that has been done within the Sprint to the stakeholders. This is done so that their insights can be integrated into the product to make it better and more value-adding. Furthermore, the Sprint Review gets them excited about what has been accomplished, and they will be eager to put the output to use. A bulk of the work that needs to be done in a Sprint comes from the Sprint Review, and without it, the team will be blindly working on the project, not knowing what the stakeholders genuinely want.
Scrum Teams get together to talk about how a Spring went in a Sprint Retrospective. They will discuss ways to improve the next Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective comes in many forms, but the ultimate goal is to identify one or more action items that the team can implement on the next Sprint to improve how the team works together.
The 3 Artifacts
The Product Backlog contains the vision of the Product Owner for the product. It is regularly maintained, and it should provide the right amount of work for the next several Sprints in scope. The backlog should always be kept up-to-date, now work should be listed down if it’s not going to be needed for months. Although it’s essential to plan for the future of the project, it is crucial to itemize prioritised tasks in the Product Backlog. When the Product Owner feels like it’s getting close to a point where the tasks are valuable during that time, it should be added to the backlog.
The Product Backlog is a living artifact. It is updated continuously by the Product owner to ensure that the high-priority, high-value items are on top.
You can consider the Sprint Backlog as the child of the Product Backlog. It consists of tasks that the Development Team thinks can be done in the current Sprint. The Sprint Backlog can be negotiated by the Development Team and the Product owner to make sure that the highest value items are accomplished. The Scrum Master then ensures that the Development Team does not take on more than they can handle. This plan should result in an updated Product Increment.
The end goal of every Sprint is a Product Increment. This is the concrete output of work done, fully inspected by the Product Owner and the stakeholders. It may also be ready to be released into production. However, not all Product Increments are Production Increments. Product Increments should provide the value promised by the Development Team.
What can your business do next?
If you’re looking into implementing the Scrum Structure for your business, April9 provides project management services to help you leverage Scrum’s benefits. We can facilitate a seamless transition by streamlining your whole enterprise. With the help of our project managers and Scrum Masters who specialise in best practices, you can achieve your high-quality, and high-value products for your market.