Scrum Ceremonies and Artifacts

By Jimi Fosdick  |  Posted 2009-11-20 Print this article Print

Scrum ceremonies and artifacts

The Scrum process itself prescribes only four meetings: Sprint Planning, the Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. In addition, Scrum advocates face-to-face collaboration among team members and with various stakeholders. The planning artifacts include the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, as well as the Product (or Release) and Sprint Burndowns for tracking progress.

The Product Backlog

In the simplest terms, the Product Backlog is a list of features, functionality, technology and issues. The Product Backlog is:

1. Emergent: At any given time, the Backlog is only partially complete; additional features are added as they are discovered and features that are determined to be low-value are removed.

2. Prioritized: By definition, every item in the Backlog has a priority determined by its position in the list, with the highest priority backlog items appearing at the top.

3. Estimated: Each item in the Backlog is estimated by the people doing to work in terms of effort.

There is one Product Backlog for multiple teams, which is maintained and posted visibly. Anyone can contribute to it but only the Product Owner determines priority. Very often, the Product Backlog is derived from a business plan or vision statement.

Jimi Fosdick is a Certified Scrum Trainer at CollabNet. With more than 14 years of experience in product development, Jimi has worked in a wide range of industries, including publishing, software, advertising, and the public sector. As one of the Certified Scrum Trainers on CollabNet's ScrumCORE team, Jimi conducts dozens of public courses around the world each year, helping organizations to surface dysfunction and improve processes through Scrum. Before joining CollabNet predecessor Danube in November 2008, Jimi spent four years advocating agile approaches to project managementÔÇöfirst as a program and project manager, and later as an independent agile and Scrum consultant. During this time, Jimi worked with companies such as CIBER, Avenue A | Razorfish, MTV Networks, and Microsoft, helping them transform to more agile ways of working using Scrum. Prior to these consulting engagements, Jimi spent a decade working in various capacities in software, including as a program manager of software product development and solutions architecture at the Riverside Publishing Company, and as a senior staff developer at Polycom, Inc. Jimi is a PMI-certified PMP, and received his MBA in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. As an undergraduate, Jimi studied mathematics and computer science at Loyola University in Chicago. For more of Jimi's thoughts on Scrum, visit his blog at He can also be reached at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel