Scrum Process Terminology

sprints and the scrum processThe scrum process describes a unique approach to software development for developers using the agile methodology. The scrum process enables software development teams to work together as a cohesive group while developing a new product. Close collaboration, ongoing communication and teamwork is emphasized among all team members.

A particularly important part of the scrum process involves an overall emphasis on flexibility to change requests throughout the project.  Developers using the agile scrum process understand change to be a normal part of product development; adapting to change quickly and effectively is at the heart of this unique approach.

The scrum process has grown in popularity among product development teams all over the U.S. and around the country. Those engaged in the day to day scrum process use a special terminology to describe various aspects of the process.  If you are interested in learning more about the scrum process, follow along to learn more about some of the common terms used with this approach.

7 Common Terms to Know for the Scrum Process

As with other software development methodologies, there is a special terminology to describe aspects of the day-to-day practice. The scrum process is no exception. There are a number of unique terms used by software developers engaged in the agile and scrum process including the following:

    1. Scrum Master – The scrum master is at the heart of the scrum process, serving as team facilitator or coach. While scrum masters have many responsibilities, probably one of the most important ones involves making sure that all obstacles are removed so that the product development team can complete tasks as efficiently as possible.
    2. Sprint – In the scrum process, the work involved to develop a product is divided up into a predictable schedule or work flow referred to as a sprint or iteration. Depending on the project, a sprint may last as long as 30 days or it might involve a shorter duration like a week.
    3. Product Owner – The product owner is the person responsible for making decisions on behalf of the customer about the priority of the project requirements.
    4. Velocity – As part of the scrum process, velocity is the amount of product backlog a scrum team can handle during a sprint period. After the team’s velocity is determined, it is used to plan for future projects and estimate completion times.
    5. User Stories – During the scrum process, project work is documented using user stories. Users stories work to document the end user’s perspective. There are different ways to capture user stories but they typically include at least a couple of sentences and sometime entire paragraphs.
    6. Product Backlog – When it comes to the scrum process, the product backlog is typically something that the product owner manages. It details all the work that the team needs to do in order to finish a project from a high level. User stories may be ranked in the product backlog with enough information that a software development team is able to provide accurate estimates in terms of time and resources.
    7. Burn Down Charts – Burn down charts detail daily progress in terms of project work. Burn down charts also detail the remaining work still left to be completed. In the scrum process, burn down charts may be applied to the entire project and/or the progress of individual sprints.

There is a lot of terminology involved in the scrum process and different software development teams may approach scrum in slightly different ways.  As with any approach to product development, it is extremely helpful to understand the key terminology.