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Three Main Important Scrum Artifacts

by Roopesh Janmanchi

February 08, 2019
Category Agile and Scrum


In this article we take you to a journey on the 3 most important Scrum Artifacts. Scrum artifacts are the most common artifacts in a scrum projects and they are not the limited ones.

Scrum Artifacts

Before we move on to understand important Scrum Artifacts, Let us try to understand what one means by artifacts.

In archaeology, the term ‘artifacts’ refer to an object that was made by a human. The Latin roots of the word Artifacts roughly translates to “work of Art”.In other words an artifact is something that we human makes or a tool that solves a problem or a work of art that inspires.

Scrum Artifacts provides vital information to the Scrum team and other key Stakeholders who needs to be aware of the product under development, activities done and the activities being planned in the project.

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Scrum Framework describes three primary artifacts:

Product Backlog - Contains a list of ideas for the product and the order of priority 

Sprint Backlog – Includes a detailed plan for development during the next sprint

Product Increment – Delivering potentially shippable products at the end of each sprint

Scrum Framework - Artifacts

Above three Scrum artifacts share the same goals which is promoting transparency and to promote a shared understanding of the work involved.

Artifact 1:  Product Backlog

Product Backlog

Product Backlog (PBL) is the ordered list of everything that we want the development team to work on the product under development. It is ordered to maximize the value delivered by the scrum team. Development team is solely dependent on the product backlog as it defines what needs to be and in what order.

A single transparent list makes organisations priorities transparent to all internal stakeholders of the product.

It is the single and the main source of requirements for any changes to be done to the product during any stage of product development. It includes list of all features, functions, requirements, enhancement and fixes.

Product backlog is very dynamic is nature. It needs constant changes as the product gets developed over a period of time. Product Back log exists till completion of product. It is an on-going process and product owner and team is responsible for creating a product back log. Scrum team decides when and how refinement to be done.

To create an effective and impactful product backlog, one should follow below points:

  • Prioritizing of items and Estimation of same
  • It should be a High Level list
  • It should be dynamic in Nature. i.e. Evolving on regular basis 

Artifact 2:  Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog

Sprint backlog is basically selecting the list of items from product backlog as per the priority mentioned. It also includes a plan for delivering the product increment and realizing the sprint goal.

Sprint Backlog formation is normally guided by the Sprint Goal. It is a forecast by the development team on what functionality the team will have to work and deliver.

Sprint back log can be changed by the Scrum team as it evolves. Development team can discuss and modify the sprint backlog throughout the sprint. It is highly visible, real time picture of the work that the development team plans to accomplish during the sprint.

In Sprint back log, when elements of the plans are deemed unnecessary, they are removed. Further as the work is performed or completed, the estimated remaining work is updated.

Below is the list of best practices while creating a sprint backlog:

  • Make group decisions
  • Don’t assign tasks
  • Defining Definition of Done
  • Updating Back log regularly
  • Addition of new task if any 

Artifact 3:  Product Increment

Product Increment

Increment is defined as increase or addition. Product Increment refers to the sum of all the product backlog items completed and delivered during a sprint which includes previous increments of the sprints. A product increment is the goal line for each sprint and at the end of each sprint the product must be acceptable to the product owner, should be of high quality.

The new increment which is released must be in a working condition.

Every increment is an addition to all the prior increment delivered and thoroughly tested, ensuring all the increments work together. Every sprint team delivers an increment of product.

In Product Increment,the most important thing is to have a common understanding of the “definition of done “(DOD) which is understood by all.

Product increment is measurable working software that creates transparency to all the stakeholders.

Conclusion:

From the above article we have understood what the 3 most important Scrum artifacts are, who is responsible for which artifacts and the best practices that will create better Scrum artifacts.