Scrum is a framework for teams to approach complex problems and generate a product in an optimized way. Scrum artifacts are part of the Scrum framework. These are documents that help the Scrum team to achieve the Sprint Goal (the result of a Sprint). A Sprint is a block of one to four weeks of planning, that guides the development of a product or a product’s feature.
Scrum helps teams simplify the process of developing products that can be anything from an entire company to a specific software tool. Scrum uses several tools to achieve this; one of them is artifacts. The Scrum artifacts help people from the Scrum Team achieve every goal set in the different Scrum events.
The Scrum Artifacts also help the Scrum team to fulfill the three pillars of Scrum, which are: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. The artifacts are designed to maximize communication between team members and the clarity of the process.
The Scrum Artifacts give information about the activities, the development of the product, the aspects to consider a product is “Done,” and about the plan to be executed.
According to Scrum’s official guide, there are three Scrum artifacts:
One of the members of the Scrum Team is the Product Owner. The Product Owner is the only one responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Each product has to have a Product Backlog, which is dynamic since it continuously changes along with the development process. When the product is reviewed, the Product Backlog receives feedback and grows so the product can adapt to the market correctly.
Therefore, a Product Backlog is a prioritized list of items or features needed in order to reach the final product. High priority items are given more details in the Product Backlog and features that are further down the list have fewer details.
All the items in the Product Backlog should be “Done” at the end of the Sprint. The features that aren’t complete at the end of the Sprint will be analyzed and added to the next Sprint’s Backlog according to the Product Owner’s criteria.
As previously mentioned, the Product Owner is responsible for managing the Product Backlog, this includes being sure the items in the list are clear and transparent, correctly prioritizing items to optimize the process, and making sure everyone in the Scrum Team understands the items in the Product Backlog.
Another part of the Scrum Team is the Development Team. The Development Team is a group of five to nine people that work together as an entity to achieve the Sprint Goal. They decide the number of items of the Product Backlog that can be done in a Sprint. This is called the Sprint Backlog.
The Sprint Backlog is a list of the Product Backlog’s items that can be “Done” in the Sprint, that has a detailed plan of how these are going to be achieved.
The Sprint Backlog is detailed enough to understand what has to be done on a daily basis. Only the Development Team can modify a Sprint Backlog, they do so when items in the list are finished and unnecessary items removed. The Development Team also keeps tracks of the Sprint Backlog so as to know if they are going to reach the Sprint Goal and to adjust it accordingly if impediments are recognized.
The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog’s items completed during a Sprint. If at the end of the Sprint, the Sprint Goal satisfies the Scrum Team’s definition of Done, then is considered and increment. The increments represent the goals that were achieved during each Sprint. At the end of each Sprint, the Increment must be usable, and then the Product Owners decide if it is going to be released.