The Scrum Guide defines three Scrum artifacts. These are
- The Product Backlog
- The Sprint Backlog
- The Increment
Some include burndown charts (especially the Sprint burndown) in Scrum artifacts, however Scrum Guide defines only three above-mentioned artifacts.
Burndowns are a great tool, and I use them frequently, but here we’ll cover the core Scrum artifacts only.
The Product Backlog consists of all the requirements.
It consists of functional, non-functional (unless some of those are put into you Definition of Done), constraints, bug fixes and everything else that the Team needs to work on during the Sprints.
The Product Owner is responsible for managing and ordering the Product Backlog. The Product Backlog is ordered and sized. It’s a living document that keeps changing during the lifecycle of the project.
The Product Owner works with customers, stakeholders and, crucially, with the Team to create, update, maintain and order the Product Backlog.
The Product Owner works with the Team to refine the items and discuss new and missing items. This is called Product Backlog grooming.
The Sprint Backlog consists of the items that the Team has selected for the current Sprint and the Team plan to deliver these items. The plan normally consists of tasks. These tasks are the activities that the team plans to do to turn the selected items to features during the Sprint. These tasks are often small. The Team estimates these tasks.
Initially, the Team creates the Sprint Backlog during the Sprint Planning meeting. As the Team starts working during the Sprint, it changes, adds or removes tasks that make up the Sprint Backlog. The scope of the selected items doesn’t change, but the tasks that Team will undertake to deliver these items do change. So the Sprint Backlog often changes during the Sprint.
Tasks are not assigned to individual Team members, rather the Team members self-organize to pick and complete tasks.
Increment consists of all the items that the Team completes during a Sprint. These are the Done features the Team has delivered. It means they meet the Definition of Done agreed by the Team and the Product Owner.
Every increment should be potentially shippable, i.e. the Product Owner should be able to implement this piece of functionality, if the Product Owner so wishes.
Want to learn more about Agile and Scrum, check out Agile Adoption Mistakes You Must Avoid.