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Scrum Cycles

In this chapter, we'll cover all of the important meetings and moments that are part of the Scrum process.


In a business or project management context, a sprint is a time-boxed period, usually 1-4 weeks long, during which a team of individuals work on a specific set of tasks, features or user stories that are prioritized in a product backlog. During a sprint, the team works on a set of tasks, aims to complete them within the given time frame, and delivers a potentially shippable product increment at the end of the sprint.

Daily Stand-Up

Every day, there is a short meeting with the whole team. The goal of the meeting is to identify and address any issues or obstacles, plan for the next steps and keep an open communication.

Sprint Planning

During a sprint planning meeting, the Agile team typically works together to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Define the Sprint Goal: The team identifies the primary objective or goal for the upcoming sprint. This helps to ensure everyone is aligned and working towards a common objective.

  2. Select the User Stories: The team reviews the product backlog and selects the user stories or tasks to be completed during the sprint. The product owner explains the requirements and priorities, and the team discusses the feasibility of completing each item within the sprint.

  3. Create a Sprint Backlog: The team creates a sprint backlog that includes all the user stories and tasks that will be worked on during the sprint. This becomes the basis for the team's work during the sprint.

  4. Plan for the Sprint: The team collaborates to create a plan for how the work will be completed during the sprint. This includes identifying dependencies, assigning tasks, and setting goals for each team member.

Overall, the goal of sprint planning is to establish a clear plan for the team to work on during the upcoming sprint. This helps to ensure that everyone is aligned, working towards a common objective, and has a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.

Sprint Refinement

Overall, the goal of sprint refinement is to ensure that the product backlog is up-to-date, well-understood by the team, and ready for the upcoming sprint. This helps to ensure that the team is working on the most important work and has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. The main activities are:

  1. Review the Product Backlog: The team reviews the product backlog, which is a prioritized list of items to be worked on. This helps to ensure that the backlog is up-to-date, and the team has a shared understanding of the work that needs to be done.

  2. Add New User Stories: The team may identify new user stories or tasks to add to the backlog based on new information or changes in requirements.

  3. Remove or Deprioritize Items: The team may also remove or deprioritize items from the backlog that are no longer relevant or have a lower priority.

  4. Refine User Stories: The team may refine or further break down user stories into smaller, more manageable tasks or sub-tasks. This helps to make the work more clear and helps the team better understand the effort required.

  5. Estimate Effort: The team estimates the effort required to complete each item in the backlog, usually using a technique such as story points or hours. This helps to establish a shared understanding of the work required and enables the team to plan their capacity for the upcoming sprint.

  6. Prioritize the Backlog: Based on the estimates and other factors such as business value or customer impact, the team prioritizes the backlog, which helps to ensure that the most important work is completed first.

Sprint Code Freeze

The evening before the internal demo, there is an internal code freeze. From this moment on, there will be no more features taken on for development. The time left in the sprint is kept for quick wins and bugfixes.

Sprint Internal Demo

Before giving an external demo, it is important to have an internal demo to get the team alligned. The internal demo is only meant for the scrum team, the project owner and the scrum master. In this demo, the features promised in the sprint will be demonstrated by one of the team members. Ideally, the internal demo is given in the last week of the sprint. This moment let's the whole team think critically about the implementation of the given features. It leaves room for discussion and feedback that can still be implemented before the external demo.

Sprint Demo

At the end of each sprint, there is a demo given to the stakeholders. The demo is always given by one of the scrum-team members. The importance of the demo's is to keep feedback loops very short and to keep stakeholders up to date with the latest status of the project. You can choose to set the demo moment at the very end of every sprint, or in the first week of the upcoming sprint.

Sprint Retrospective