Scrum at a Glance



When I analyze process flows, I like to see them at a glance, in terms of activities and artifacts. 

This helps me compare it with other approaches to find similarities and differences.

In this article, I give you a quick visual of Scrum and then a simple table of the activities and artifacts so that you have a quick map of Scrum you can explore further.

Whiteboard View of  Scrum at a Glance

This is my view of Scrum at a glance.


There are a lot of interesting tools and concepts in scrum.  The definitive guide on the roles, events, artifacts, and rules is The Scrum Guide,by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber.

I like to think of Scrum as an effective Agile project management framework for shipping incremental value.  It works by splitting big teams into smaller teams, big work into smaller work, and big time blocks into smaller time blocks.

I try to keep whiteboard visuals pretty simple so that they are easy to do on the fly, and so they are easy to modify or adjust as appropriate.

I find the visual above is pretty helpful for getting people on the same page pretty fast, to the point where they can go deeper and ask more detailed questions about Scrum, now that they have the map in mind.

Summary Table of Activities and Artifacts

Here is a simple table of key activities and artifacts as part of Scrum:

  Activities Artifacts
Product Backlog
  • Product backlog review
  • Identify user-prioritized stories
  • Identify themes
  • Identify priorities
  • Identify size (T-shirt sizes)
  • Selected Product Backlog
  • Stories
Sprint Planning
  • Identify the sprint goal
  • Identify the sprint duration
  • Break stories into tasks
  • Estimate the tasks
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Duration
  • List of tasks
  • Estimates
  • Sprint View
Daily Work
  • Daily Scrum Meeting
  • Identify what got done
  • Identify what to get done
  • Identify impediments
  • Update Sprint Backlog (time remaining for each task)
  • Update Sprint Burndown Chart
  • Burndown Chart
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Impediment List
  • Story Cards
Sprint Review
  • Present the Sprint results
  • Demo to stakeholders
  • Update product burndown chart
  • Product Increment
  • Demo
  • Release a product increment
  • Product increment
  • Retrospective
  • Identify what went well
  • Identify what to improve
  • Identify actionable improvements with owners and dates (these could become sprint tasks.)


A Simple Walkthrough of Scrum

From the product backlog, you identify a product increment to execute.  For Sprint planning, you identify the goal, the sprint duration, the relevant stories, and the tasks.  To do so, you break the stories into tasks.  You estimate the tasks.

As part of daily work, you have a daily standup meeting, identify what got done, what will get done, and any impediments.  You update the Sprint backlog and Sprint burndown charts.

At part of the Sprint review, you demo the product increment to stakeholders and you update the product burndown chart.

After release, you perform a retrospective, to identify what went well, and what to improve.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how to improve my scannable view, please share.

Many thanks to James Waletzky for review and feedback.

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