Key Scrum Ceremonies

There are some activities, also known in scrum terminology as “ceremonies” which support the scrum team in delivering on its objectives. All these activities are important to scrum teams and should be fulfilled to ensure team performance is at its peak. They are:

Sprint Planning

This ceremony is usually conducted on the first day of the sprint and it involves getting the team to commit to the volume of high-value work that can be completed during the next sprint. The scrum master typically facilitates the sprint planning activity, identifies any capacity constraints and key dates, while the product owner refines/prioritises the product backlog so that the user stories needed can be defined before the commencement of the next sprint.

The product owner at this ceremony, would also answer any questions the team may have regarding the user stories. The development team works with the product owner to understand the user stories, break down the work required into tasks and estimate the size of the user stories.

Daily Stand-up

At this ceremony, the team inspects its progress and blockers related to the sprint goal. It is not a status update session and should focus on the headlines.

The product owner does not typically attend the stand-up. Though the scrum master is an optional attendee, the scrum master may facilitate the daily stand-up to keep the meeting focused, completed within 15 minutes, and may take discussions offline, if needed. The development team also focuses on answering questions related to what they did yesterday, what they’ll do on the day, and discuss any blockers, while ensuring the team wall/Jira is up to date.

Sprint Review

The purpose of the sprint review is for the team to demonstrate completed user stories to the product owner. The scrum master facilitates the sprint review on day 10 and is transparent about which planned stories were not completed during the sprint. The product owner provides feedback on the demonstrated stories and decides whether incomplete stories should be continued in next sprint, be altered or cancelled.

Sprint Retrospective

During this ceremony, the team reflects on what is working well and identifies actions for continuous improvement. The scrum master facilitates the retrospective and helps the team agree on smart actions for continuous improvement. The product owner typically does not attend the retrospective as it is a platform for the team to discuss what went well with regards to people, tools, relationship, sprint goals, etc. and also discuss what can be improved in the next sprint.