The basics

Scrum is an Agile framework for the iterative, incremental development of complex products, services and projects.


Scrum employs an empirical process—a process implementing regular inspections and adaptations—for the iterative, incremental development and delivery of products, service and projects. Scrum is the leading Agile method that was originally formalized for software development, but works well for any complex, innovative scope of work.


The Scrum Guide is the official Body of Knowledge for Scrum. It is maintained by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, co-creators of Scrum. The current version of the Scrum Guide was released in November 2020. Scrum defines how to organize work in short cycles called Sprints, see Figure.

A Sprint’s duration is never more than four weeks and typically takes one to four weeks. Scrum defines following accountabilities within a Scrum Team:

•   ‘Product Owner’ is a one-person player role to connect consumers, stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

•   ‘Scrum Master’ is a one-person player role to assure that the rules of the game are known and understood.

•   ‘Developers’ is the team of people turning functions and solutions from the Product Backlog into Done Increments.


Scrum defines following activities to happen:

•   A Product Owner orders envisioned product functions and solutions in a Product Backlog.

•   At Sprint Planning, the Scrum Team discusses and selects the work from the Product Backlog deemed most needed and feasible for the Sprint in order to create an actionable work plan for that selection, the Sprint Backlog.

•   On a daily basis, at the Daily Scrum, the team of Developers discusses the progress toward the Sprint Goal in order to identify the most important upcoming Sprint work.

•   At the Sprint Review, the Scrum Team and its stakeholders discuss the Increment(s) produced in order to identify the most important work for the next Sprint(s).

•   At the Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team discusses how the current Sprint went in order to identify the envisioned way of working for the next Sprint.

The Scrum Master fosters and facilitates an environment where the above happens.

Target audience

Any member of a Scrum Team or anyone involved in the adoption of Scrum.

Scope and constraints

The scope of Scrum was originally intended for software development, but it is now also used for managing any kind of complex work.



•   Productivity increases (depending on team, experience, tools, environment, organizational impediments, etc.)

•   Minimized time-to-market via frequent releases

•   Continuous improvement and openness for changes

•   Improved relationships between teams, stakeholders and customers

•   Increasing engagement of co-workers


•   The need for automation and modern development tools, practices and environments

•   Does not work well if organizational culture emphasis individual specialization and performance over collaborative, cross-functional collaboration

•   Willingness to revise, add and improve work, management, people and organizational practices around Scrum.

•   The shift from managing individuals to managing the environment