The Scrum Events and How They Work Together

Scrum defines five events (you may have heard them called scrum ceremonies by some, but we call them scrum events in alignment with the Scrum Guide) that occur inside each sprint: the sprint, sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. To learn more about Scrum and how all of the events work together inside a sprint, we talked to a few of our trainers and coaches.


Mike Cohn, Pavel Dabrytski, and Geoff Watts Talk About How Scrum Events Work

Sprint Planning

What Happens in Sprint Planning?

During sprint planning, the entire scrum team collaborates and discusses the desired high-priority work for the sprint and defines the sprint goal. The scrum master’s role is primarily to facilitate the meeting. The product owner describes the product goal and also answers questions from the development team about execution and acceptance criteria/criteria of satisfaction.  The developers have the final say in how much of the high-priority work it can accomplish during the sprint.

Who Attends Sprint Planning?

Sprint planning involves the entire Scrum team: the development team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master.

How Long Should Sprint Planning Last?

Sprint planning is limited to a maximum of eight hours.

The general rule of thumb is to allow two hours of sprint planning for every one week of sprint length. That means teams should timebox sprint planning to four hours for a two-week sprint and eight hours for a one-month sprint.

Daily Scrum

What Happens in a Daily Scrum?

The development team meets for 15 minutes (or less) every day of the sprint to inspect progress toward the sprint goal. They describe for each other how their own work is going, ask for help when needed, and consider whether they are still on track to meet the sprint goal. This is not a status meeting but is instead an opportunity for the development team to inspect and adapt the product and process on a daily basis.

Sprint Review

What Happens in a Sprint Review?

Sprint reviews focus on the product being developed, specifically on the potentially shippable product increment created during the sprint. During a sprint review, the scrum team invites stakeholders to discuss what was completed during the sprint. They adapt the product backlog as needed based on this feedback. The product owner has the option to release any of the completed functionality. 

Though a demo might be part of this meeting, the primary purpose of the sprint review is the inspect and adapt capability provided by the discussion. 

Who Attends a Sprint Review?

The entire scrum team attends the sprint review. The team invites users, customers, stakeholders, senior managers, and affected departments (e.g., marketing, customer support) to attend and give feedback. Scrum teams are encouraged to invite as many people as the room can hold--diverse feedback is essential for creating excellent products.

How Long Should Sprint Reviews Last?

Sprint reviews are limited to a maximum of four hours.

The general rule of thumb is to allow one hour for sprint review every one week of sprint length. That means teams should timebox sprint review to two hours for a two-week sprint and four hours for a one-month sprint.

Sprint Retrospective

What Happens in a Sprint Retrospective?

Sprint retrospectives focus on the process. During a sprint retrospective, the scrum team discusses what went right and areas for improvement in the sprint. They make tangible plans for how to improve their own process, tools and relationships. 

How Long Should Sprint Retrospectives Last?

Sprint retrospectives are limited to a maximum of three hours. 

The general guidance is to allow 45 minutes for each week of sprint length. So a two-week sprint would cap the sprint retrospective at an hour and a half; a four-week sprint at three hours.

If you have a complex project to manage, please enroll in our free Introduction to Scrum eLearning module.

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