Scrum Artifacts in the New ScrumBOK

Don is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years experience specializing in aligning management-driven technologies and initiatives together with business and project strategies resulting in thoroughly planned and comprehensive business solutions. His expertise as a project manager, developer, tester, analyst, trainer, consultant, and business owner has spanned across diverse industries such as finance, retail, health care and information technology

Some substantive updates to the definition of Scrum artifacts--such as the Product and Sprint Backlog outlined in the official Scrum Guide, or ScrumBOK (“Scrum Body of Knowledge”) as I like to call it--may seem like minor clarifications to terms and definitions, but have quite profound implications. For example, one of the changes was to the notion of Product Backlogs being “Ordered instead of Prioritized”. An article on the Scrum Alliance website by Jim Coplien that argues in favor of this distinction resulted in a lot of animated replies and exchanges.

Scrum is infamous for shunning documentation for documentation sake, documents that are prevalent in traditionally oriented formal project management. This is in favor of “just enough” and “just in time” documentation in the form of Scrum artifacts that “represent work or value in various ways that are useful in providing transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation.” What this entails is that those in charge of creating these artifacts need to deeply understand the implications of their decision process in how they order and list their “features, functions, requirements, enhancements and fixes that constitute the changes to be made to the product in future releases.”

In this article, I’d like to discuss the updates and …

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