September 01, 2021
0 min read

The Scrum Sprint cycle explained

The Scrum Sprint cycle explained.png

Agile teams use Scrum to organize their development process. Scrum is a framework using Agile principles to develop and deliver software projects. Scrum follows three Agile principles: transparency, inspection and adaptation. Software development teams use Scrum as an incremental and iterative tool. Teams using Scrum usually contain three major players:

  • The Product Owner

  • The Scrum Master

  • The Scrum Team

Usually, a Scrum consists of several Sprints. Sprints and time-blocked between bursts of work that last between one and four weeks. The Scrum Team sets the Sprint goals in the Sprint planning meeting. Scrum usually contains a few fundamental components: Scrum Roles, Artifacts and Ceremonies. Let’s take a close look at these three components of Scrum.

Related post: Scrum vs. Extreme Programming (XP): What’s the difference?

Scrum Teams usually have a few key players, these are the Scrum Roles:

  • Product Owner - prioritized the backlog and defines user stories

  • Stakeholders - people outside the team who have an interest in the end product

  • Scrum Master - guides the team’s activities according to  the rules and rituals of Scrum

  • Development Team - developers and designers who create the software

Next, we have Scrum Artifacts. Scrum Artifacts include:

  • Product Backlog - a prioritized list of to-do items and fixes 

  • Sprint Goal - high-level object of the Scrum team

  • Sprint Backlog - tasks the team will complete in the current Sprint

Read more on the differences between Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog.

Finally, we have Scrum Ceremonies. Scrum Ceremonies include the basic meetings of the Scrum process. They usually include:

  • Product Backlog Refinement Meeting - The Product Owner sets priorities and chooses items for upcoming Sprints.

  • Sprint Planning Meeting -The Product Owner and development team decide which items (and in which order)  to tackle in the next Sprint.

  • Daily Stand-up Meeting - a very fast meeting where each team member explains what they did the day before and what they hope to achieve in the coming day. They also identify any obstacles or roadblocks they face.

  • Sprint Review - the team analyzes the Sprint and discusses future adaptations or changes to their process.

  • Sprint Retrospective - the team analyzes their own work. Often they do this with start-stop-continue. They describe what they want to start doing, what they want to stop doing, and what they want to continue doing.

So, what exactly is an Agile Sprint cycle?

Agile Scrum teams break down large development projects into small bursts of activity, called Sprints. A Sprint in Agile is a short, time-boxed period where a software development team completes work. They choose which items and fixes they will tackle in Sprint Planning Meetings. The Sprint cycle sits at the very center of Agile methodology. 

What steps do Agile teams follow in the Sprint cycle?

A Scrum Sprint cycle usually consists of five steps:

  1. First, the Product Owner determines and prioritizes the backlog. 

  2. Next, the Scrum team analyzes the backlog created by the Product owner. They estimate the amount of work they will need to do and how long it will take. 

  3. The software development team then holds a Sprint planning meeting. In this meeting they determine the goals of the Sprint. They choose User Stories that will help them reach their goals. After this Sprint planning meeting the team should have a complete Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Backlog shows all the items and fixes they will complete in the coming Sprint.

  4. Every day of the Sprint the team meets for the daily Scrum meeting (sometimes called daily standup meeting). In the Daily Scrum meeting each team member describes what they completed the previous day, what they hope to complete in the day ahead. The team members also identify any obstacles or roadblocks they face. The Scrum Master and Product Owner then work to remove these obstacles. The Daily Scrum meeting should take only 10-15 minutes. The daily Scrum meeting isn’t  a status meeting. Rather, it’s a way for the team to keep communications open and transparent. 

  5. After the team has completed the Sprint, they have Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective meetings. In the Sprint review they scrutinize their process and note what should change. In the Sprint Retrospective, the software development team takes a look at their own work. They note what they can do better in the next Sprint. Each team member identifies ways they personally could work smarter. Sprint Retrospective meetings are not about blame or shame, but rather about introspection. Teams engage in Sprint Retrospectives with the goal of continuous self-improvement.  

Tips for successful Scrum Sprints

  • Teams should take care to estimate scrum velocity as precisely as possible. They should not take on too many User Stories. An overloaded Sprint will fail. Set the team up for success, not failure.

  • Scrum Masters and Product Owners should make sure the team understands the goals and User Stories they will complete during the Sprint.

  • In Sprint Planning teams should ensure that  they have budgeted time for testing and QA

  • Product Owners should present the team with a well-groomed backlog with priority items listed at the top. Product Owners should note dependencies and tasks that rely on previous work. Learn what are the techniques when prioritizing the backlog.

  • Teams should use Sprint Planning meetings to closely study the details of the User Stories. They should also identify bugs and possible fixes.

  • Teams should maintain focus through the daily Scrum meetings. The goals of the Sprint should remain in focus. Teams must ensure they produce quality work. They should aim to work better, not faster.

  • Though Agile doesn’t require extensive documentation, Teams should ensure they have written out the plan for their Scrums. Teams should describe precisely decisions and the reasons behind them.

  • Teams should understand the scope of their work. They should not take on User Stories that are very large or complex. Scrum teams should not take on a project with many unknown entities. They should understand what they face before they begin the Sprint.

  • Finally, Product Owners and Scrum Masters need to face any concerns or problems brought up by the team members. Ignoring trouble will not make it go away.

Here at Blocshop, we understand the power of Scrum and Agile. We organize our teams to harness the best of what they offer to deliver our projects on time and under budget. If you would like to learn more, please do get in touch.

Learn more from our insights

June 20, 2024

Generative AI used for data conversions and reformatting

How to use generative AI for data conversion, addressing integrity, hallucinations, privacy, and compliance issues with effective validation and monitoring strategies.

DALL·E 2024-05-30 09.37.01 - An illustration suitable for an article about ISO 20022. The scene should feature a modern, sleek representation of the ISO 20022 logo in the center. .webp
May 28, 2024

ISO 20022 Explained: A Comprehensive Guide for Financial Institution Managers

What is ISO 20022? How does it affect companies and institutions in the fintech and banking industry and how to prepare for its adoption? All explained in this article.

DALL·E 2024-05-22 20.55.08 - A detailed and high-quality DSLR photo of a person using a laptop to shop online, showing personalized product recommendations on the screen. The back.webp
May 16, 2024

Key AI Trends in E-commerce and Overview of AI integrations for E-commerce Platforms in 2024

Transform your e-commerce platform with AI tools for personalization, analytics, chatbots, search, and fraud detection. Boost sales and improve customer experiences.

eIDAS mark.png
May 09, 2024

Digital Identity and Payment Services in the EU in 2024: Key Updates

eIDAS 2.0 and PSD3 are set to enhance how digital identities and payment services are managed across the European Union in 2024. Here’s an overview of how each framework contributes to the digital landscape of the EU, what to expect, and how to prepare.

eIDAS 2 in fintech and open banking EU market.png
May 06, 2024

What is eIDAS 2.0 and EU Digital Identity Wallet and how will it change the EU digital market

Learn how eIDAS 2.0 and the EU Digital Identity Wallet will transform digital transactions and identity management across the European Union.

best large language models for ERP systems.png
March 31, 2024

Language Models Best Suited for Integration into ERPs

Four prominent large language models stand out for their compatibility and effectiveness in ERP system processes and automation. See what they are.

PSD3 in open banking Blocshop.png
April 23, 2024

PSD2 vs. PSD3: The Evolution of Payment Services Regulation

What is PSD3 in open banking? See how PSD3 compares to PSD2 and what should banks and fintech businesses do to ensure regulatory compliance in the EU market.

April 14, 2024

Enhancing ERP Systems with AI Chatbots

Explore how AI chatbots can transform ERP systems, enhancing efficiency, decision-making, and user interaction.

eIDAS in fintech and open banking EU market.png
April 29, 2024

eIDAS: The regulation helping secure Europe's digital future

See how eIDAS enhances EU digital transactions with secure identity verification, supporting e-commerce and public services across Europe.

hybrid ERPs.png
March 21, 2024

Hybrid ERP: An Innovative Approach to Enterprise Resource Planning

Hybrid ERP is a blend of cloud and on-premise solutions. With expertise in both, Blocshop is uniquely positioned to help you with hybrid ERP development and implementation.

0-4 cover.png
October 03, 2023

IT Staffing: Individual Hiring vs. Specialized Developer Teams

Should you hire individual developers or go for a specialized, custom-built developer team?

July 17, 2023

ChatGPT-3.5: An Overview and Limitations

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT-3.5, providing you with a comprehensive overview of what it can do and what its boundaries are. So, let's delve into the inner workings of this large language model.

gpt4 vs gpt3-5 and the key differnces.png
June 15, 2023

A Deep Dive into GPT-4 vs GPT-3.5 Differences and Ability to Revolutionize Software Development

There are key differences between ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4 that software developers and companies procuring software solutions alike should be aware of. Let's see how these differences affect the output generated by these models on specific examples.

May 09, 2023

AI-powered software development: What CTOs need to know in 2023

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace in 2023 and beyond, CTOs must stay ahead of the curve by utilizing predictive analytics, automated testing processes, and deployment solutions.

May 05, 2023

How Artificial Intelligence is changing web development

AI technology is now being used in many different industries, including web development. It’s important to understand the impact that AI can have on web development as it can help companies to create more efficient and user-friendly websites.

May 05, 2023

How AI-powered software development is changing the role of the CTO

As AI-powered software development becomes increasingly commonplace, CTOs must prepare themselves to take on a new set of responsibilities that require more than just technical know-how.

April 17, 2023

How to build a minimum viable product (MVP)

The MVP is the version of a new product that allows Blocshop and your team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort. The essence of your core idea is delivered as a barebones solution. The solutions is, however, sufficient for usage by early adopters. As a product, it has tangible qulities that express a look and feel.

March 21, 2023

10 AI tools for developers you should know about in 2023

For developers, programmers, and data scientists, AI coding solutions can free up thinking time, allowing such professionals to focus on the fundamentals of their projects, and complete such projects much faster.

February 14, 2023

17 Ideas for Web Apps in 2023

Gazillions of web apps and ideas for web apps are floating around the metaverse - so creating one that properly represents a unique brand is a huge challenge. Our list provides a number of areas of simple app ideas to help businesses transform their online presence through a web app.

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2023.png
December 06, 2021

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2022

What exactly do we mean by micro SaaS? Micro Saas solutions use a web browser or mobile app interface. Micro SaaS solutions usually come about through the effort of an individual or very small team. It aims to solve precise problems. Micro SaaS projects have small budgets and overhead. Customers use Micro SaaS solutions on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. Micro SaaS projects target a small niche of the consumer market.