What are Scrum Artifacts?


Scrum Artifacts are an essential part of the Scrum Framework. There are three, the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog and the Increment. Scrum Artifacts are an Agile form of documentation. They are the output of the Scrum Teams that contain all the information and documentation to ensure that it is clear to all what is being delivered and to what standards they adhere to. 


The Product Backlog

The Product Backlog functions as a customers wishlist, the Product Owner drafts it after talking to the stakeholders and discussing the wishes for the Product and the priority for each work item. In Scrum these work items are usually divided into Epics, features and user stories. The Product Backlog is dynamic and should be constantly updated and refined. 


When the Epics and features get broken down into smaller work items, called User Stories they end up on the Product Backlog. As the Scrum Team delivers these User Stories, new ones are created and broken down into smaller pieces of work so they can be selected for the upcoming Sprint.


The Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is like a shopping cart for the current Sprint. It’s a subset of items from the Product Backlog that your team commits to delivering during the Sprint. The Development Team is responsible for selecting these items based on their capacity and the Sprint Goal. Ensuring self-organisation and continuous improvement.


The difference between the Product Backlog and the Sprint Backlog is that the Product Backlog belongs to the Product Owner and the Sprint Backlog belongs to the Development Team. Both are structured based on priority. 



The increment in Scrum is everything that is delivered at the end of the Sprint plus all Increments from previous Sprints. Its the accumulation of all completed User Stories that were selected from the Product Backlog and put on the Sprint Backlog for creation and delivery. The Goal of a Sprint is to create at least one valuable and potentially releasable Increment. 


To sum up

Scrum artifacts provide Clarity and Transparency, they keep everyone informed and aligned with the project goals. The Product Backlog is a living document, constantly evolving as new insights and priorities emerge, this is why it’s at the foundation of implementing continuous improvement within Scrum. Whereas the Sprint Backlog keeps everyone focused on the value delivery to be done at the end of the Sprint. They also contain the requirements and “Definition of Done” so the Development Team knows when a work item is considered as done. 

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