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Scrum Artefacts

Scrum Artifacts are critical for the success of any Scrum Team and make visible all the work that needs to be done and the work that is already complete. They are all the information that the team and stakeholders use to describe the product or service being developed, the actions required to produce it, and the tasks to be performed throughout the project.

There are three Scrum Artefacts, each of which is explored in more detail in this article. The artefacts are essentially different categories and comprise the following:

  • Product Backlog

  • Sprint Backlog

  • Product increment

The three artefacts show the progress the Scrum team has made and what steps are needed to be taken next. In doing so, they ensure that the team all have the same level of knowledge and that all progress made by the Development Team remains transparent. Each of the artefacts is explored in more detail next.

The Product Backlog is one of the three core scrum artefacts and helps guide and manage the work as a team. It is a list of all features, functions, and requirements that might be necessary for the product. The Product Backlog is continuously evolving and is updated as new information comes to light. Subsequently, it is sometimes referred to as a ‘live’ artefact. The Backlog is dependent on input sources such as market demands, feedback, and competitor analysis. Keeping the Product Backlog up to date is beneficial as it ensures the team knows what the project requirements are and which ones have priority.

The Sprint Backlog is the list of everything needed in the current Sprint and is composed of a set of Product Backlog Items and the task needed for delivering those items. While the Product Backlog lists everything that needs to be delivered by the end of the project, the Sprint Backlog includes only what needs to be delivered in the current Sprint. It, therefore, has more specific detail on each item than the rest of the Product Backlog. Before each Sprint, the Scrum Team will hold a Sprint Planning Meeting where they decide which items on the Product Backlog should be added to the Sprint Backlog. Consequently, the items on the Sprint Backlog must be delivered during the current Sprint. This artefact is beneficial as it provides an accurate picture of the work the Development Team plans to accomplish.

The Product Increment is the version of the product, or a part of the product, that will be delivered at the end of each Sprint. An item from the Sprint Backlog becomes part of the Product Increment once the Scrum Team sets it as complete. This is often considered the most crucial of the three artefacts of Scrum. And for good reason, as it provides tracking for work that has been delivered by the team in each Sprint. Work cannot be considered part of an Increment unless it meets the Definition of Done. The Team must have a shared understanding of ‘Done’ to assess when work is completed and ensure transparency.

In order to manage Scrum Artefacts effectively, it is crucial to understand the Product Backlog, Product Backlog Items, and the Refinement process in detail. Every individual who has started to work with an agile methodology must know about the practices and processes of the Scrum framework. Consider attending a scrum course to ensure one is up to date and have a complete understanding of Scrum and its way of thinking.

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