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The Scrum Guide: Scrum Theory

Scrum Theory

Scrum is founded on empirical process control theory, or empiricism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known. Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk.

 

Three pillars uphold every implementation of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

 

Transparency

Significant aspects of the process must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. Transparency requires those aspects be defined by a common standard so observers share a common understanding of what is being seen.

For example:

  • A common language referring to the process must be shared by all participants; and,

  • Those performing the work and those inspecting the resulting increment must share a common definition of "Done".

 

Inspection

 

Scrum users must frequently inspect Scrum artifacts and progress toward a Sprint Goal to detect undesirable variances. Their inspection should not be so frequent that inspection gets in the way of the work. Inspections are most beneficial when diligently performed by skilled inspectors at the point of work.

 

Adaptation

 

If an inspector determines that one or more aspects of a process deviate outside acceptable limits, and that the resulting product will be unacceptable, the process or the material being processed must be adjusted. An adjustment must be made as soon as possible to minimize further deviation.

 

Scrum prescribes four formal events for inspection and adaptation, as described in the Scrum Events section of this document:

  • Sprint Planning

  • Daily Scrum

  • Sprint Review

  • Sprint Retrospective

©2018 Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Offered for license under the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode and also described in summary form at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/. By utilizing this Scrum Guide you acknowledge and agree that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms of the Attribution ShareAlike license of Creative Commons.