The Product Owner is responsible for guiding teams to maximize the value of the product. They are the sole owner of the Product Backlog, which is a list of possible improvements or additions to the product. Similar to a to-do list, each item on the backlog is assessed by the Product Owner to determine its business value. Storing improvement ideas in the backlog helps teams move through work in a systematic, prioritized, value-driven way.
Scrum teams operate in set periods of time, called sprints, usually lasting between two and four weeks. Sprint planning is a time dedicated to planning all the work to be done during a sprint.
During this time, teams will decide how to implement the work (taken from the Product Backlog) and will delegate roles and assignments accordingly. Sprint planning helps teams define goals, set expectations, and scope out the work to be done during the sprint.
Sprints contain the following elements:
- Sprint planning, described above
- Daily Scrums – 15-minute meetings in which each team member quickly and efficiently covers progress since the previous standup and brings up any obstacles that are blocking further progress
- Working on projects
- Sprint review and retrospective
Once a sprint begins, its duration is fixed, and the timeframe cannot be altered. During the sprint, teams stay focused on the goals and objectives determined during sprint planning. No changes are made that would endanger the sprint goal. The Scrum Master works to keep the team focused on the sprint goal.
The Daily Scrum is a short, time-boxed meeting where Scrum teams synchronize their activities and create a plan for the day. This meeting is held at the same time and place every day to reduce complexity. The purpose of these meetings is to help teams stay on track for delivering the sprint goal on time and on value.
The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that teams are adhering to Scrum rules, roles, and practices.