How Scrum & Scrum Teams Work

by Scrum Alliance

Basic Scrum Project Team Roles


The ScrumMaster helps the Scrum Team perform at their highest level. They fully understand the underlying principles of Scrum and can effectively apply them in complex, real-world situations. They ensure that goals and scope of projects are clearly understood and work to remove impediments to progress.

Product Owner

The Product Owner role is typically for those who are closest to the “business side” of projects. They are expected to do the best possible job of satisfying all stakeholders, maintain the Product Backlog, and ensure that everyone knows the priorities.

Development Team

Development Teams are structured and empowered to organize and manage their own work. The resulting synergy optimizes the Scrum Team’s overall efficiency and effectiveness.

The Scrum Framework

Product Backlog

The Product Backlog is the organization of items that guides what’s most important to focus on and build next. The Product Backlog is constantly being updated and refined.  


At the heart of Scrum is the Sprint, during which a usable and potentially releasable product increment is created. Sprints are usually one week to one month in length, and happen one right after the other to keep projects moving. There are three events (ceremonies) that happen with each Sprint:

Sprint Planning

The team decides what to work on for the current time-boxed period.

Sprint Review

The team collaborates about what was done and adapts the Backlog as needed.

Sprint Retrospective

The team discusses what went right, what went wrong, and how to improve.

Daily Scrum (or Daily Stand-up)

Daily Scrum (think “daily update meeting”) is the pulse of the framework. Daily Scrums highlight and promote quick decision-making, and they improve the Scrum Team’s level of transparency and knowledge. The Daily Scrum is short — averaging about 15 minutes — so the team tends to be highly focused.


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