Scrum Terms


We know that Scrum can be a little overwhelming, so we wanted to make it easier to understand with this glossary of Scrum Terms. Don’t see something that you think should be here? Contact us at!

3-5-3-5 (occasionally 3-5-3)
An easy way to remember the basic components of Scrum.
Scrum has 3 Roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Developers.
Scrum has 5 Events: Sprint Planning, Sprint, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.
Scrum has 3 Artifacts: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Product Increment.
Scrum has 5 Core Values: Courage, Focus, Commitment, Respect, and Openness.

th Minute
(Parking Lot) 

An unofficial extension of a meeting that often follows The Daily Scrum. The members of the Scrum Team that are required to reach the resolution can discuss in-depth issues, impediments, or topics that go beyond the scope of the Daily Scrum.



One of the three Scrum Pillars. After inspection, if one or more aspects of a product deviates outside of the acceptable limits, the resulting product will be unacceptable. The work must be adjusted.

Acceptance Criteria

A term used to describe what needs to be done for the Product Backlog Item (PBI) to be considered complete. This helps teams estimate, test, and accomplish their work.


Items which represent work or value.



An ordered and prioritized list of work, created by the Product Owner (PO), to be done by the Scrum Team.

Backlog Item
An item that represents a piece of work to be done by the Scrum Team.

Backlog Refinement
The ongoing process of estimating, adding detail, and ordering items in the Backlog. Backlog Items can be updated any time at the Product Owner’s discretion.


A pattern for allowing emergent work or interrupts to be brought into the Sprint and worked on as it comes in. The Scrum Team sets an amount of story points or capacity to a buffer based on Yesterday’s Weather.


Cross-Functional Team

A team with all the competencies needed to accomplish work they are given without outside help. A cross-functional team is proven to be more flexible and productive than a team that specializes in only one of the competencies needed to get the work done.


One of the five Scrum Values. People personally commit to achieving the goals of the Scrum Team.


One of the five Scrum Values. The Scrum Team members have the courage to do the right thing and work on tough problems.


Daily Scrum

One of the 5 Scrum Events. This meeting has a timebox of fifteen minutes and happens every workday at the same appointed time and place. The information needed to assess progress is presented, and any impediments are noted. 

Dependency Board

A visualization of any dependencies, collaborations and events that will impact the teams during the Sprint. It provides a way to manage the flow of work within a Scrum of Scrums and should be reviewed and updated daily.

Definition of Done

A term that represents the organization’s formal definition of quality for all Product Backlog Items (PBIs). If an organization does not have one, the Scrum team should set its own.

Definition of Ready

Information needed by the team in order to understand and complete a Product Backlog Item.

Development Team

Also known as, the Team, consists of people who work on Sprint Backlog Items. It acts as one team and should have all the skills needed to produce a working, tested increment each Sprint.



A foundation of Scrum. The belief that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known.


The act of predicting how much effort will be needed to complete work on a Product Backlog Item. Most commonly occurs during Product Backlog Refinement.


Fibonacci Sequence

A series of numbers starting with 0 or 1 where each subsequent number is the sum of the prior two numbers. Often used as a way for Scrum Teams to estimate the amount of effort it will take to complete each Product Backlog Item.

One of the five Scrum Values. Everyone focuses on the work of the Sprint and the goals of the Scrum Team.







Anything that slows the Team down or prevents them from completing work. The Scrum Master helps the Team remove impediments they can’t remove on their own.

(Potentially Shippable Product)

The value delivered for the Customer via the Product Backlog Items completed during a Sprint. Each Increment should work with prior Increments and stand alone as an addition of value to the Product.


One of the three Scrum Pillars. Scrum users must frequently inspect Scrum artifacts and progress toward a Sprint Goal to detect undesirable variances. Inspections are most beneficial when performed by skilled inspectors at the point of work and at Scrum events.

Interrupt Buffer

A Scrum pattern. A method of allowing emergent work or interrupts to be brought into the Sprint and worked on as it comes in. The Scrum Team allocates a set amount of Sprint capacity to a buffer.

I.N.V.E.S.T. Criteria

An acronym that details the elements an individual Product Backlog Item needs to meet the Definition of Ready.
Immediately Actionable, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, Testable





Minimum Viable Bureaucracy

Having the least amount of governing bodies and processes needed to carry out the functions of an organization, without impeding the delivery of customer value.

Minimum Viable Product

A version of a product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort.




A Scrum Value. An agreement between the Team and the Stakeholders to be open about all the work and the challenges had while doing it.


Product Backlog

A priority ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in developing the product. The source of requirements for any changes to be made to the product.

Product Backlog Item

A change to be made to the product in a future Sprint. Higher ordered Product Backlog Items are usually more detailed than lower ordered ones.

Product Backlog Refinement

A whole team activity led by the Product Owner. The on-going process of adding detail, estimates, and order to the items in the Product Backlog.

Product Feedback

Stakeholder input that is analyzed to inform the next iteration, and path of a product or service.

Product Owner

One of three Scrum Roles. Responsible for creating a compelling product vision that is executable. Other responsibilities include curating and prioritizing a Product Backlog, spending 50% of their time with customers and stakeholders, and 50% working closely with the team.




The on-going process of adding detail, estimates, and order to the items in the Product Backlog.

Release Planning

A multi-Sprint guideline that reflects expectations about which features will be implemented and when they are expected to be completed.


One of the five Scrum Values. Scrum Team members respect each other to be capable, independent people.


In Scrum there are three roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Team Member. This  structure creates clear accountability while removing unneeded bureaucracy.



Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.


A framework in which a network of teams operating consistently with the Scrum Guide can address complex adaptive problems, while creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

Sprint Board

A tool that makes a Scrum Team’s Sprint Backlog visible and tracks progress of a Sprint. Can take many forms ranging from a digital tool to a three column board labeled ‘Do’, ‘Doing’, ‘Done’.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization.

Scrum Pillars

Scrum is founded on empirical process control theory, or empiricism. The three pillars that uphold every implementation of empirical process control are transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

Scrum Team

The fundamental unit of Scrum that consists of a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and Developers. A collaborative unit of professionals focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal.

Scrum Values

There are five Scrum Values; commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect. When these values are embodied and lived by the Scrum Team, the Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation come to life and build trust for everyone.


One of the five Scrum Events. It is a short, consistent cycle, no longer than four weeks. The goal is to have a Sprint short enough to keep the Team focused, but long enough to deliver a meaningful increment of work.

Sprint Backlog

The set of Product Backlog Items selected for the Sprint. It makes visible all of the work the Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal.

Sprint Cadence

The length of a Sprint and set time and date for all events contained in the Sprint.

Sprint Goal

The Sprint Goal is the singular objective for the Sprint.

Sprint Planning

One of the five Scrum Events and where the work to be performed in the Sprint is planned. The Scrum Master ensures that the event takes place and that attendants understand its purpose.

Sprint Retrospective

One of the five Scrum Events. An opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint. This event occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning.

Sprint Review

One of the five Scrum Events. Held at the end of the Sprint to allow customers and stakeholders to inspect the Increment, give feedback, and for the Scrum Team to adapt the Product Backlog if needed.


A source of feedback for vision, requirements, and Increments. Often are a part of the organization.

Story Points

Used by Scrum Teams in estimation, an abstract measure of the relative effort required to complete a given Product Backlog Item (PBI).


Technical Debt

A term used to describe the cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution over a better solution that would take longer. 


A fixed, maximum length of time for an activity or event. Scrum uses timeboxing for all the Scrum events and as a tool for defining ambiguous tasks.


One of the three Scrum Pillars. Significant aspects of the process and product must be visible to those responsible for the outcome.





A measure of the amount of work a Scrum Team can accomplish during a single Sprint. Velocity is calculated at the end of the Sprint by totaling the points for completed Sprint Backlog Items.


Working Agreement

An agreed upon set of norms, practices, and policies that establish how team members work together.




Yesterday’s Weather

A pattern in Scrum. A method to help Scrum Teams quickly calculate how many Points they will likely complete in the upcoming Sprint. Usually calculated by using a rolling averaging of the total number of completed points over the past three Sprints.


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