Scrum Words and What they Mean

Scrum Words and What they Mean

Scrum is a framework for agile working, but if you’re new to the world of scrum, it can seem hard to pin down.

Scrum is neither a process, nor a technique, but it does involve rules and guidelines. The scrum framework is empirical, meaning that it is experienced-based in how it progresses.

The language of the scrum framework reflects its specific values and the theory underpinning them.

In this blog, I look at scrum words, and what they mean. This isn’t designed to be a comprehensive list of all the terms used in scrum. I’ve focused on the main ones, especially where these words are very specific to the scrum framework.

Artifacts Events and Roles

In scrum terminology, artifacts are specific scrum features used in the scrum framework.

Events are things that take place as part of the scrum process.

Scrum roles are the parts different individuals play within the scrum framework.

Daily Scrum

This is a scrum event, consisting of a 15 minute team gathering held each day during a sprint (see below). The development teams attend it and plan their work for the next 24 hours. During the daily scrum, a team will look at what work it has done since its last meeting, and look ahead to forthcoming work.

Development Team

Within the scrum team, the development team accounts for managing, organising and carrying out development work.

Definition of Done (DoD)

The shared expectations of a given increment to enable its release into production. The development team manages this. When work in a sprint is done, the product owner accepts it.


This describes a completed increment within a sprint.


The increment is central to how the scrum framework operates. Each increment represents completed work the development team has carried out during a sprint.

Product Backlog

This is a work-list, which can include both new items and changes to existing items, or other activities and changes. The team consults the product backlog to check what it needs to do when working towards a specific outcome.

Product Owner

The product owner is responsible for the product backlog, and has a central, multi-disciplinary role in the scrum framework, managing and delivering outcomes.


This is process which involves the product owner and development team regularly reviewing, refining and updating items in the product backlog.

Scrum Master

The scrum master has a crucial role in supporting the product owner, development team and the entire scrum framework. The scrum master champions scrum theory and interacts with scrum team members as well as representing it to external interests. It is the equivalent of a coaching role.

Scrum Team

The scrum team consists of the product owner, development team and scrum master.


The sprint is a fixed-length scrum event, which contains other events and activities. The scrum team carries out sprints consecutively, without gaps in between them. Each sprint is a controlled burst of activity.

Sprint Backlog

This list provides an overview of the development work the scrum team will require to realise the goals of specific sprints. The development team manages the sprint backlog.

Sprint Goal

This is the object set for the sprint, which the scrum team will work towards by implementing items in the product backlog. The idea is that product backlog items will deliver a coherent function,  which can be the sprint goal.

Sprint Planning

At the start of every sprint, the scrum team must plan the sprint. This is a two-part process. First, the development team estimates which product backlog items they can complete (as done) by the end of the sprint. Next the development team identifies how they will achieve this.

Sprint Retrospective

This is a self-inspection process, in which the scrum team reviews the processes it has used during a sprint.

Sprint Review

Occurring at the end of each sprint, this is a process where the product owner reviews the product backlog items that the development team has completed in its done increment. The product owner will decide whether to accept them or not. Items they do not accept are returned to the product backlog for rescheduling. The product owner will invite the scrum team and may invite other relevant stakeholders to the review.

The Scrum Framework and the Agile Approach The scrum framework supports agile approaches to working and managing organisational change. For more information about how this could help your business, please contact Simple Progression.

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