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Scrum Artifacts Best Practices to Boost Agility

Alberto Incisa

Jun 27, 2022

According to Digital AI, 81% of agile teams use some version of Scrum. The scrum framework helps agile teams execute projects with time efficiency and self-organization. This is why teams in agile environments need to learn how to use scrum artifacts.

June is a SaaS platform that allows you to generate charts and benefit from product analyzes as a scrum team member. When building the perfect product with scrum frameworks, June has the right tools you need.

Keep reading if you're ready to learn about agile artifacts in Scrum.

What is Scrum?

Scrum refers to a framework that allows developers to address complex adaptive issues to deliver products with productivity and creativity. The primary aim is to deliver software with the highest possible value.

Teams and organizations benefit from Scrum, generating value for complex problems via an environment consisting of the product, the product owner, the scrum team, and scrum artifacts.

In this environment, the product owner enters the necessary tasks into the product backlog, a major scrum artifact. Then, the scrum team turns this work into a product increment by completing the required tasks during a sprint. Lastly, the scrum team and stakeholders analyze the product and review the user stories, adjusting the backlog for the next sprint.

This process repeats as long as necessary. Scrum is an essential practice that wants accuracy in its estimations and analyses. Teams practicing Scrum benefit from 250% better quality than teams that don't.

What Is a Scrum Artifact?

A scrum framework includes roles, events, artifacts, and ceremonies, each of which aids agile teams in product and software development. Scrum artifacts are the most critical element of this framework regarding product building.

Scrum artifacts are information scrum teams and stakeholders use to describe product development. That information includes:

  1. the actions required to produce the product and
  2. the actions performed by the product development team during the project.

Scrum artifacts add value to a sprint by defining the necessary tasks to be completed. So, these morsels of vital information provide structure and guidelines to the product development plan. In his book "Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice The Work In Half the Time," Jeff Sutherland states that teams can improve their productivity by 300% to 400% with the help of Scrum.

Teams working from home may benefit from this aspect by monitoring a particular sprint's performance on one platform. As a result, all team members are on the same page and can track their progress.

Here are some of the instances in which scrum artifacts are created:

  • Work planning and future goals
  • Task creation for goal achievement
  • Task organization into spirits based on priority and dependency
  • Task execution
  • Product review and analysis

The Seven Scrum Artifacts

The seven scrum artifacts are product vision, product backlog, sprint vision, sprint backlog, the definition of done, product increment, and burndown chart.

Product Vision

Firstly, the product vision refers to the long-term goals the team hopes to achieve with the product. This artifact helps teams define the overall direction of their product, using their product vision as a guide every step of the way.

The product vision needs to be short and precise since the scrum team will need to memorize this by heart.

Product Backlog

The product backlog artifact is essentially a list of the necessary tasks for the project. This list is broken down into items, allowing the product owner to prioritize the baseline requirements for the product's features. Here’s an example from the Scrum Institute:

This list evolves as the project progresses, and the tasks are changed now and then. In addition, technical demands, changes in business environments, marketing conditions, and other factors influence the fluidity of this list.

Scrum teams utilize scrum boards to display the product backlog artifact, containing the user stories, bugs, and tasks. The user stories describe the experience of the product's end-user, while bugs are issues that the product's owner needs to fix. Lastly, the tasks are the actions the scrum team needs to complete.

The more progress the team makes with the project, the more product backlog there is. Changes in the product backlog can also include details such as a priority difference or estimates.

The product's owner constantly needs to work on refining the product backlog at any given time with their team. The refining process can include reviewing user stories and consulting the product owner for solutions. If necessary, the product owner may choose to delete user stories or write new ones.

Scrum teams can benefit from product development templates such as the Feature Audit template from June. This way, each member will be able to track the performance of each feature on one platform.

The next step is to reprioritize the product backlog, estimating the user stories based on how long it takes to complete them. You may also prepare some user stories for future sprints without forgetting the end goal as the backlog grows.

Sprint Vision

Technically, the sprint vision isn't a scrum artifact but an essential element of the Scrum framework. In addition, this vision serves as the blueprint for scrum teams when planning a sprint. Finally, it answers questions of why and how regarding the investment of time, money, and effort.

Sprint Backlog

The sprint backlog is part of the bigger picture, which is the product backlog. An easier way to describe it would be a to-do list for scrum teams working on a product in this sprint. Scrum teams break down this sprint backlog into tasks based on priority and duration.

The product owner must develop, test, and document each item on this list, helping the scrum team develop a sprint backlog. In this case, scrum teams may benefit from task board templates, gathering the sprint backlog data on one platform.

Scrum teams may define each task on a status basis, such as to-do, doing, to-verify, and done. Then, of course, the team needs to refine this backlog the same way they would refine the product backlog.

That means it needs to evolve as the project progresses over time, calling for regular discussions at the daily Scrum and modifications to the sprint backlog as needed. For example, teams can add or remove new work requirements if necessary. Since only the scrum team owns the sprint backlog, no one else can modify it along with the project progress.

Definition of Done

When the user story is completed in the sprint backlog, including every aspect, it's called the Definition of Done (DOD). Since the scrum team utilizes one platform to track the product development progress, they must have a shared definition of "done".

This can be decided with the help of checklists that verify whether the product is complete, helping them work on user stories with an end goal in mind. The scrum team must create their DOD during sprint planning, making the sprint backlog more goal-oriented.

However, that doesn't mean the DOD is static or unchangeable; scrum teams can alter the DOD throughout the project.

Product Increment

The product increment is the most critical scrum artifact of all, consisting of all product backlog items Scrum completes during its sprint. First, the product increment must comply with the pre-determined DOD, requiring verification from the product owner.

That's because the sprints create shippable product increments. It's important to note that the DOD evolves with the product's progress and the team's growth and development. As the project continues, the DOD becomes more stringent.

Besides being a collection of all product backlog items, the product increment also contains the value of previously completed sprint increments. This creates a transparent working environment for the scrum team and the stakeholders.

Burndown Chart

From Agile in a Nutshell

The burndown chart is another element that's not technically a scrum artifact but is still an inevitable aspect of the scrum framework. This graphic compiles the team's overall progress, such as the speed of user stories' completion or product backlog items.

In simpler words, it illustrates the total effort the team has put into the sprint. As a result, product owners are able to ensure that the project stays on track and that the end product meets all DOD expectations. In addition, the product also arrives on time.

The velocity of scrum teams' progress is calculated with the number of story points in the user story. However, the burndown chart only showcases the user stories that have been 100% completed, not partially completed.

June for Scrum Artifact Management

June is a SaaS solution for scrum teams looking for tactical and time-efficient ways to implement the scrum artifacts list in their product development. Our platform offers scrum solutions in the form of templates that help scrum teams track and analyze their products to understand where iterations are needed.

Feature Audit

For example, the Feature Audit template allows you to compare your product's features after every task in the product and sprint backlog is complete. With the help of this template, the scrum team and its stakeholders can analyze their finished product on one template. This makes it much easier for each team member to understand the impact of their work.  

In addition, the Feature Audit template allows product owners and scrum teams to focus on the functionality and feature-related aspects of their product, eliminating or adding features as necessary and even increasing the adoption rate.

Feature Release

The Feature Release template from June allows scrum teams to track usage, adoption and retention for each feature in the product. In simpler words, it monitors how much engagement your product is getting from its users.

Scrum teams can track the product-user interaction at the most basic level with this template, breaking down the product to its features for easier analysis. This is particularly useful to understand whether one of the aspects of a new feature needs an iteration or not.

New Users

The New Users template is another SaaS solution for scrum teams, allowing them to track daily, weekly, and monthly new users. In addition, the template allows you to monitor who signed up for your product and what type of audience they belong to. As a result, the product owner is able to verify whether they're reaching their target audience and whether their preferred marketing strategy is working.

Build a Better Scrum Team With June!

Teams practicing Scrum are already benefiting from a boost in productivity due to the framework's efficiency, but they're also looking for newer and easier ways to implement Scrum in their product development.
June provides its templates as the ideal one-stop SaaS solutions for scrum teams. With the help of these intuitive and accurate templates, scrum teams can reach their DODs faster and more often.
Sign up now to enhance your scrum artifact practices with June.


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