An Experimenter’s Guide to SCRUM

This post covers some Scrum vocabulary and processes that product teams use and how they align with the process experimenters’ use.


What is Scrum?

My exploration started with reading this post on the SmoothApps blog which curated a treasure trove of other resources. The blog linked to the Scrum Guides which contains the definition of Scrum and explains each element of the framework in a straight-forward jargon-free manner. Many of the sections below have been picked up directly from the Scrum Guide since I didn’t want to lose the essence in translation.

Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:

* A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.

* The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint.

* The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.

* Repeat

The Scrum Team is a cohesive unit of professionals — one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers — focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal. The Scrum framework is purposefully incomplete, only defining the parts required to implement Scrum theory. So, rather than provide people with detailed instructions, the rules of Scrum guide their relationships and interactions.

How can experimenters align with Scrum?

Let’s examine each of these pillars.


The emergent process and work must be visible to those performing the work as well as those receiving the work. With Scrum, important decisions are based on the perceived state of its three formal artifacts —

  • Sprint Backlog
  • Increment.
Experimentation Artifacts


The Scrum artifacts and the progress toward agreed goals must be inspected frequently and diligently to detect potentially undesirable variances or problems. To help with inspection, Scrum provides a set of events contained in a sprint.

Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts and are specifically designed to enable transparency.

Events are used in Scrum to create regularity and to minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum. Let’s look at each of these events and how they align with the experimentation process.

Scrum Events


If any aspects of a process deviate outside acceptable limits or if the resulting product is unacceptable, the process being applied or the materials being produced must be adjusted. The adjustment must be made as soon as possible to minimize further deviation.

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