the most important scrum artifact the increment

The most important Scrum artifact: the Increment

An artifact is something that we create. In general, it can be a handmade object, or a result of human activity. For instance, a design, a document, or more in general a project deliverable.

Scrum has three main artifacts: the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Product Increment.

The Product Increment

The Product Increment is the most important artifact. It represents the measure of the progress in order to reach a specific goal.

In fact, the Increment is the sum of all Product Backlog Items that have been completed during a Sprint. Moreover, it contains the value of the Increments of all previous Sprints.

It is important to clarify that the Product Increment is not a document but a working product. In fact, it is a body of inspectable, “Done” work that supports empiricism at the end of the Sprint.

The Definition of Done

In Scrum, the Development Team works to deliver a new Product Increment at the end of every Sprint. To assess when work is complete the team creates a shared definition of “Done”.

The Definition of Done is what guides the Development Team during their work. In fact, it provides transparency about the level of quality of each Increment.

Basically, the Definition of Done provides a checklist which effectively guides the Development Team activities. In addition, the Definition of Done is useful to limit the cost of rework of accepted features.

The Sprint Review

At the end of every Sprint, there is a Sprint Review. During this informal meeting the Scrum team shows to the Product Owner and the stakeholders the Product Backlog items that have been completed during the Sprint, according to the Definition of “Done”.

The goal of this meeting is to receive feedback from stakeholders, in order to update the Product Backlog and define the next Sprint.

Keep in mind

Product Backlog Items are incomplete if they do not meet the Definition of “Done”. Product Backlog items that are not complete do not have to be shown during the Sprint Review meeting. In fact, it is essential to estimate again the incomplete items and execute them in one of the following Sprints.

Francesco Pecoraro

Francesco has extensive experience as a project, program and portfolio manager, project management officer (PMO), digital transformation and strategic consultant. He is also considered a communication, public speaking and leadership expert.

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