What are the Scrum Events?

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Scrum is a framework widely used today for software development. It is said to be a framework because it doesn’t prescribe anything, it’s not a process or even a technique, and it’s perfectly adaptable. In Scrum, we can include several techniques used in other processes, that way we can always improve it.

This type of approach is the best alternative for us to improve the prediction of when the product will be delivered and control the risks of the software being developed.

In this article, to learn about Scrum Events and their role within agile methods, you will understand the concept of Scrum events, as well as what is necessary for them to happen, as well as learn in detail about each of the existing events.

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What are Scrum Events?
Scrum events are a way used by this method to establish a routine. These events are always short, with a maximum time limit. At the start of the Sprint, its duration is predetermined and cannot be changed. The other events may end when their purpose is achieved.

Events are used in Scrum to create regularity and minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum.

The remaining events can end whenever the purpose of the event is achieved, ensuring that an adequate amount of time is spent not allowing for waste in the process.

In addition to Sprint, which is a container for other events, every event in Scrum is an opportunity to inspect and adapt something. These events are specifically designed to allow for transparency and careful inspection.

The 5 events

Scrum has 5 events or ceremonies in its framework, all of which are mandatory. These events are all “Time-Boxed”, have a defined maximum time.

Only the Sprint, once its duration is defined, is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened, the other events can be closed earlier, as long as your objective has been reached.

These events serve to maintain the 3 pillars of Scrum, which are transparency, inspection, and adaptation, not performing or performing only part of the events, will harm these 3 pillars.

If the company or the team decides not to hold any of these events, as it deems unnecessary, it should be rethought if the company is prepared for Scrum or people did not understand Scrum, as removing any of these events it is not possible to implement Scrum in the company.  The events are:

  1. Sprint
  2. Sprint Planning
  3. Daily Scrum Meeting
  4. Sprint Review
  5. Sprint Retrospective

Let’s see all 5 Scrum events:

1 – Sprint

Sprint is the main event of Scrum, which literally means sprint, sprint. This event is a development cycle (iteration), which has a fixed time with a day to start and a day to end. This time can range from 2 to 4 weeks but never exceed 30 days. A Sprint starts at the end of the previous Sprint, with no breaks.

The goal of this event is to transform the Product Backlog items (described functionalities) into software or part of it, fully functional and ready to use, within the defined period for the Sprint.

It is recommended that the duration is constant from the beginning to the end of the project, that is, once the Sprint duration is defined, that it is the same until the entire Product Backlog is completed, so it will be easier to calculate the speed of the time and the time of releases to production.

A complete product can have numerous Sprints, as many as it takes until the product backlog is finished (if it ever gets finished). At the end of each Sprint, a software or part of it is released, ready for use, but this does not mean that a final version will be released, which goes to production.

Finally, the Sprint is the central part of Scrum and involves the other 4 events, which are held within the Sprint.

2- Sprint Planning

This meeting is held by the entire Scrum team, that is, Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master, divided into two equal parts, with a maximum time of 4 hours each part (total of 8 hours) for a 30-day Sprint (for sprints shorter than 30 days, usually the meeting time is proportionally shorter) and where two key questions are answered:

A)What will be developed in Sprint?
B)How will it be developed?

A)WHAT WILL BE DEVELOPED AT SPRINT

In the first stage, the Development Team evaluates the functionalities that may enter the Sprint, according to the priority of the items defined by the Product Owner.

Then, the product owner will be able to detail the items so that the development team can understand them and the development team will assess the complexity and how many items will fit in the Sprint.

After the alignment between the product owner and the development team, the complexity estimates for each selected item are then defined. This complexity, usually measured in points, is dated by the Development Team.

It is also in this meeting for the development team to guide the product owner in breaking backlog items into smaller items, if they are too large to be developed in a single Sprint or if they are difficult to understand (smaller items facilitate understanding).

B) HOW IT WILL BE DEVELOPED

At this stage, the development team must decide how it will develop the functionality within the definition of “Done”, that is, which tasks are necessary to build the items in the product backlog, within the project’s ready criteria, that satisfy the needs or requirements described in the user stories.

The important thing is that the Development Team is committed to the selected items and that it performs all the necessary tasks for the item to be considered ready for use.

At the end of the meeting, the development team should be able to present to the Product Owner how it will be to convert the product backlog item into ready-made software increment.

3 -Daily Scrum Meeting

After the planning meeting ends, the activities defined in the Sprint backlog are started, which will be performed to deliver the product backlog item, that is, the development work to deliver the ready-made software is started.

The daily meeting is one of the most important events as it promotes communication, eliminates the need for other meetings, allows for inspection, and identifies impediments that must be removed.

It is the key to inspection and adaptation. Particularly, this is the meeting I like the most and I apply her concept to everything, 15 minutes standing, where people quickly talk about how they are progressing at work and say if they need help.

In short, the daily meeting is a 15-minute event, always held in the same place, at the same time, by the development team to talk about what they did, what they are going to do, and what are the impediments, in which the activities board is updated and the evolution of the Sprint towards its goal.

4- Sprint Review

In this meeting, the items that are “ready” and “not ready” of the Product Backlog are presented. The development team then presents the items that were completed and the difficulties encountered. It is important at this point, that the team presents the system, even if on the developer’s computer.

After the presentation, the product owner needs to give feedback, pointing out what was good, what was not good, if you met the “done” item defined for the Sprint if the Sprint goal was achieved.

During the presentation, it is normal for suggestions, new needs, requests for changes to appear, among others. This meeting also serves to add these requests to the Product Backlog, which will be prioritized according to need and importance to the business.

You see, the product backlog is a living artifact and is constantly changing, and the Sprint review meeting is one of the times when this artifact changes.

The review meeting is the formal Scrum time for communication and interaction between the Product Owner and Stakeholders with the development team.

5 – Sprint Retrospective

Sprint Retrospective is the last event within the Sprint, takes place right after the Sprint Review Meeting ends and before the next Sprint Planning, and is the opportunity to identify lessons learned in the Sprint.

The focus of the meeting is not the product itself, but the process. This meeting is critical to building a more interactive, motivated, productive, and collaborative team.

In this meeting it is important that each team member speaks their perceptions openly and without restrictions, not feeling intimidated by the rest of the team.

After everyone speaks, the priority of actions is then defined by the team itself, to maximize the results of the positive items and to reduce the impacts of negative items, and also define the actions that will be implemented in the next Sprint.

Not all improvements can be implemented at once, or overnight, so it is important to record improvements, actions to improve and prioritize actions. Thus, during subsequent Sprints, these actions can be taken gradually.

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