Scrum: Activities

Our experience shows that Scrum teams that incorporate these four practices into their work always improve their performance.

  • Manage work in process to some level anyway
  • Use explicit policies
  • Have work be visible
  • Include management

Basic life-cycle

The life-cycle of Scrum begins with the product vision, runs through a process to gather and prioritize overall requirements and then iteratively develops and releases product so that the Business can realize value quickly as they learn more about what the customer needs.

Planning and re-planning is done continuously along the entire value stream from vision to support. Depending on size and complexity, organizations may use a multi-tier approach to manage their overall portfolio of products, projects and programs.

Lean-Agile principles help Scrum to focus this by driving all effort to delivery Business value.

As shown in the figure, here are the normal steps of Scrum.

Getting to ready to pull

A Product Owner creates a prioritized product backlog of features getting them ready for the team to pull into iterations. This includes clear acceptance criteria so both Product Owner and team knows that the feature is “done.”

Iteration 0

At the beginning of the release cycle (usually quarterly), the Product Owner and team leads conduct a pre-planning event called “Iteration 0” to be sure everything is ready.

Here are the activities in Iteration 0:

Iterative development

The team plans the iteration. During iteration planning, the team and the Product Owner agree together on what can be developed during the iteration and the team commits to this work.

The team decides how to implement this work within the iteration. An iteration is usually two weeks. The team meets regularly (usually daily) to assess progress in a (Daily) Stand-up Meeting.

On the last day of each iteration, the team must assess what work will be carried over to a future iteration.

Here are the activities in iterative development:

  • Prepare
  • Maintain the team’s project environment.
  • Daily Stand-ups. See Daily Stand-Up Checklist and Daily Stand-Up Ground Rules in Checklists.
  • Development of code that meets acceptance criteria
    • Work with Product Owner and analysts to implement Acceptance Test-Driven Development
    • Work with the Developers to ensure code is tested and that code passes all Types of Tests.
    • Facilitate the team in using continuous integration including tools, process, and usage
    • Stories are Done-Done-Done. Stories are completed when they are done-done-done. This means:
      • The system runs on the developer’s computer as expected.
      • The system is verified by running unit tests on a common machine.
      • The system is validated as being of deliverable quality with functional tests.
    • Swarming with other team members on stories and task as needed
    • Controlling Work-in-Process (WIP)
    • Continuous Integration
    • Testing that satisfies all Types of Tests and addresses issues of quality including Acceptance testing, automated testing, and impediments to progress and quality

End of iteration

At the end of the iteration, the team demonstrates the product to the Product Owner and stakeholders, reviews how the iteration went in a “team retrospection,” and then plans the next iteration.

Here are the activities in iterative development:


The Product Owner and team are also coordinating with release management to prepare the product for release.

See the Release Checklist in Checklists.

Improving continuously

All members participate in the Daily Stand-ups.

Resolve impediments to progress. See ideas in of Issues in Quality.