The 4 Scrum Events

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

In Scrum there are 4 set meetings or events, also known as ceremonies, that are followed to manage a Sprint. They are:

Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective

This is a quick reference guide on how to setup the Scrum events, who should attend, how long it goes for, what occurs during the event. It is particularly useful if you are new to Scrum, or if you are setting up a Scrum Team for the first time.




SPRINT

Firstly, what is Sprint? A Sprint is the Scrum Team cycle, a regular time-boxed period, used to complete a defined amount of work (Sprint Backlog). In generic Agile terminology, a Sprint is called an Iteration. In Scrum terminology, it is called a Sprint. 

A Sprint is considered a project in itself and should be no longer than 1 month. The time period of a Sprint is set at the start of the project in the first Sprint Planning session and the length of the Sprint will depend on the team’s Scrum maturity, the complexity of the Product and frequency of change. As soon as one Sprint finishes, the next Sprint begins.

Sprints are done in short periods so that teams can ship work faster and more frequently while incorporating valuable feedback. It also allows for flexibility to change the way the Product is being developed as when building something new, not everything is known at the start. Each Sprint needs to have something working to release at the end of the Sprint which is demonstrated in the Sprint Review event. 

Each Sprint encompasses all 4 Scrum Events which are explained below. 


SPRINT PLANNING

Aim: To set up the team for a successful Sprint

Required: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developers

Optional: SMEs or others with technical or domain knowledge to advise on PBI complexity

Duration: 2-hour meeting for a 1-week Sprint, 4-hour meeting for a 2-week Sprint,

8-hour meeting (max) for a 4-week Sprint.

**We recommend starting Sprint Planning (and therefore the Sprint) on Wednesdays or preferably midweek as the most common days off and public holidays are at the start and end of the week. Also, people are more focused midweek compared to coming straight off a weekend

Prior work: Product Owner needs to have a prioritised and managed Product Backlog

During the event: Like viewed in the course, there are 2 essential parts to Sprint Planning; aligning on what to achieve during the Sprint and how we are going to achieve it. The Product Owner will explain each Product Backlog Item (PBI) which the group collectively estimates. The Developers will then decide which items from the Product Backlog they can complete in the Sprint, which will become the Sprint Backlog. The Scrum Team also decides on a Sprint Goal which explains what this Sprint is about, why they are building this increment. 

Outcomes: A Sprint Goal. A Sprint Backlog. A plan on how it is going to be delivered. 


DAILY SCRUM

Also called the Daily Stand-Up in generic Agile terminology.

Aim: To quickly inform and align the Scrum Team on what is going on daily and how we are tracking. 

Required: Developers, Scrum Master

Optional: Product Owner

Duration: Maximum 15 minutes. Daily. Typically morning.

During the Event: The Scrum Master ensures the meeting takes place and keeps to 15 minutes, but the Developers own the event. Each Developer answers questions such as the following:

  • What I completed yesterday

  • What I am working on today

  • What are my blockers or work I need help with

SPRINT REVIEW

Aim: To demonstrate and inspect the working increment and integrate feedback from the stakeholders.

Required: Developers, Scrum Master, Product Owner

Recommended: Project stakeholders (invited by Product Owner)

Duration: 30-60 minutes. Maximum 4 hours for a 4-week Sprint. 

When: At the end of a Sprint 

During the Event: This is an informal meeting where the Developers review and demonstrate what they have achieved during the sprint. They also articulate what went well, what issues they had and how they solved them. The Product Owner explains what Product Backlog Items have been and not been completed and projection on likely future delivery dates based on progress to date. The Scrum Master manages the timebox, ensures the event takes place, and that everyone understands the purpose. The Team reviews if anything has changed in the market that might change the future Sprints and to decide which items to deliver next. The timeline and budget are reviewed. 


SPRINT RETROSPECTIVE

Aim: To inspect how the team performed together during the Sprint and how they could improve.

Required: Developers, Scrum Master, Product Owner

Duration: 1 to 2 hours. Maximum 3 hours for a 4-week Sprint. 

When: At the end of a Sprint after the Sprint Review and before Sprint Planning.

During the Event: To review the last Sprint regarding people, relationships, processes and tools. Identify and order the things that went well and potential improvements on how the Scrum Team works together. Create a plan for implementing those improvements. The team may adapt its definition of ‘Done’.  





FURTHER READING

If you are looking for tools and techniques to run your Scrum Events, take a look at our Scrum Events Facilitation Tools article.


The Scrum Guide – Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland

Where the Scrum Events originate. 

Scrum and XP from the Trenches – Henrik Kniberg

This book goes into detail on how to run events well. 





RedAgile are Australia's leading Agile Scrum training provider certified by the Scrum Alliance. As Australia's best Scrum training provider we offer Agile Scrum training courses and consulting services both online and in-person. Our training portfolio includes: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) as well as our new Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) courses.



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