What is Scrum?

Definition of SCRUM

Scrum has been used to develop complex products since the early 1990s. By Ken Schwaber, who formalized the process for the worldwide software development, Scrum is an agile methodology that delivers software to customer and end users faster, better, and cooler.

It does not matter if we are talking about usage of scrum in software development or not, it is not a process or a technique for building products; rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques. The role of Scrum is to surface the relative efficacy of your development practices so that you can improve upon them while providing a framework within which complex products can be developed.

Scrum, which is grounded in empirical process control theory, employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk. “What is SCRUM” can also be considered through three pillars that uphold every implementation of empirical process control: transparency, inspection and adaptation.

Scrum Legs: transparency, inspection and adaptation

The continued expansion of the global rollout of Scrum in software development is a testimony to the fact that Scrum delivers on its promise.

Scrum framework

The Scrum framework consists of a set of Scrum Teams and their associated roles: Time-Boxes, Artifacts, and Rules.

Scrum Framework


Scrum Teams are designed to optimize flexibility and productivity; to this end, they are self-organizing, they are cross-functional, and they work in iterations.

Each Scrum Team has three roles: 1) the ScrumMaster, who is responsible for ensuring the process is understood and followed; 2) the Product Owner, who is responsible for maximizing the value of the work that the Scrum Team does; and 3) the Team, which does the work. The Team consists of developers with all the skills to turn the Product Owner’s requirements into a potentially releasable piece of the product by the end of the Sprint. More Info


Scrum employs time boxes to create regularity. Elements of Scrum that are timeboxed include the Release Planning Meeting, the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Sprint, the Daily Scrum, the Sprint Review, and the Sprint Retrospective. The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, which is an iteration of one month or less that is of consistent length throughout a development effort. All Sprints use the same Scrum framework, and all Sprints deliver an increment of the final product that is potentially releasable. One Sprint starts immediately after the other. More Info


Scrum employs four principal artifacts. The Product Backlog is a prioritized list of everything that might be needed in the product. The Sprint Backlog is a list of tasks to turn the Product Backlog for one Sprint into an increment of potentially shippable product. A burndown is a measure of remaining backlog over time. A Release Burndown measures remaining Product Backlog across the time of a release plan. A Sprint Burndown measures remaining Sprint Backlog items across the time of a Sprint. More Info


Rules bind together Scrum’s time-boxes, roles, and artifacts. For example, it is a Scrum rule that only Team members – the people committed to turning the Product Backlog into an increment – can speak during a Daily Scrum.

“Scrum Guide”, Ken Schwaber, Scrum Alliance, 2009