How Scrum Works – A software tester perspective!


In my last three projects I got the opportunity to work on scrum. So, I will share my experiences of working with agile process scrum methodology.

Scrum is an agile process that allows us to focus on delivering the highest business value in the shortest time. It allows us to rapidly and repeatedly inspect actual working software (every two weeks to one month). The origin of the scrum is Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. They presented it in 1993.

Scrum is a very efficient and result oriented as compared to traditional methodologies. It focuses on individual and Interactions over process and tools. This means that in scrum, individuals are more valuable as compared to processes. This goes will with famous notion that processes are made for us and not the vice versa. Under this methodology, subject matter experts of each domain are defined and they interact with each other. Everyone take the ownership to complete the tasks. The dependency on tools and processes is reduced. In scrum, changes are responded instead of following long written test plans.

The Scrum model consists of Roles, Ceremonies and Artifacts. There details are as below:

Roles/Actors: The following three are the main actors of the scrum.

Product Owner defines the product’s user stories or the features/requirements of the product to be developed

Scrum master is considered a coach for the team, helping the team do the best work it possibly can. He runs the daily scrum (explained below) and make sure that everything is on track and process is being followed.

Team consists of the resources involved in designing, developing and testing the product. The ideal scrum team is always 6 or 7 people and not more than that.


Following are the main ceremonies in scrum process.

Sprint planning: The Sprint Planning Meeting is done at start of every sprint. This is actually the sprint kick off meeting. A scrum master leads this meeting the user stories of the sprint are picked up from the product backlog (explained in later part). The team member’s ideal hours are calculated and all the stories and its sub task are estimated. The team members then take the ownership of the stories to complete within the sprint.

Daily Scrum: The daily scrum meeting is actually a daily stand up meeting for 15 minutes. Again the scrum master leads it. In this meeting all the team members have to answer the following three questions.

  • What did you do yesterday
  • What is your plan to do today
  • What are the issues you are facing in your accomplishing your tasks?

The product owner and stakeholders can participate in the meeting as chickens and they don’t speak anything and they just listen.

Sprint Review: This is held in the end of the sprint. In this meeting achievements of the sprint are discussed in the form of the demo. Every one participate in it and stakeholders are must answered their questions.

Sprint retrospective: This is done at the end of every sprint. Its main purpose is to analyze the sprint that what went wrong and what went right and how we can go better in next sprint.

Artifacts: Following are the main ceremonies in scrum process.

Product Backlog: This is a master requirements document in this document all the requirements are written. In scrum requirement are called user stories so all the users stories are written in this document and in every sprint s set of user’s stories are picked from this document.

Sprint Backlog: This is a subset of product backlog and as I mentioned above that in every sprint the user stories form the product backlog is picked up. The selection of the user stories depends on the available resources to complete the user’s stories. User stories are prioritized in the sprint backlog.

Burn down Chart: This is also known as sprint status chart. It is just a graph that shows how much time is left in project vs how much work is left to be done. Burn down charts provides a method to track your progress on a daily basis. The axis on the left shows the remaining effort required to complete the iteration and the axis on the bottom contains the number of days until the iteration deadline. The remaining effort is determined by summing the time estimates for incomplete tasks.

Burn up Chart: This chart shows how much work has been completed, and what the total amount of work is. This chart is an also a line chart the axis on the left .shows the work which has been done and axis in the bottom shows that how much is the total task.