Scrum Ceremonies/Events: How to Make the Most of Them

Scrum ceremonies and events are not your typical meeting. During these events, leaders and managers don’t just get together in the hopes that something useful comes out of it. Instead, it is a set of events that are held on a periodic basis aimed at improving team workflow. There are different types of events that are involved here, so it is best to get to know each of them to fully understand their importance.

What Are the Four Types of Scrum Ceremonies?

Scrum ceremonies are structured meetings that are designed to improve the workflow in an organization. These meetings are performed to inspect and analyze various aspects of the organizational processes with the intent of refining and reducing impediments, if any. 

The ceremonies are actually made up of several types of events, each with their own purpose. These events include sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. Take the time to learn more about each of these events to determine how you can benefit from them.

1. Sprint Planning

Sprint planning is when the entire scrum team gets together to discuss the top priority work for the sprint. This is also where the sprint goal is defined. A sprint master will moderate the meeting. 

For example, if there is a new product in development, the product owner presents it to the scrum team. The development team must be ready to answer questions about the product to determine if it meets the criteria for satisfaction and quality. 

As mentioned above, the entire scrum team must be involved in the sprint planning. It should not exceed 8 hours per session. However, you should spend at least two hours to ensure thorough discussion. The typical frequency of sprint planning is at least once a week. This could be divided into two four-hour sprint sessions or one eight-hour sprint session. 

type of scrum event

2. Daily Scrum

This is another type of scrum event that is much shorter than sprint planning. Daily scrums are usually at least 15 minutes long. The idea behind it is to assess and evaluate the progress of the sprint goal on a daily basis. 

Each member of the scrum team must provide a quick update on the status of their respective projects. This is also an opportunity to seek the help of other members, if needed. Each team must also provide an honest and updated progress report to determine if they are on track to meet the sprint goal within the desired time frame. 

3. Sprint Review

A sprint review is one of the events considered as vital tothe scrum ceremonies. Unlike the sprint planning and daily scrum, this is product-focused. It is designed to specifically address concerns and progress reports about a product in development. 

Stakeholders are invited to a sprint review. The goal is to provide the stakeholders with an update on what work was accomplished since the last sprint. A demo may be part of this meeting; however, the product owner has the option to release the functionalities of the product or not.

Like the two events above, all members of the scrum team must be present during a sprint review. Everyone in attendance is given the opportunity to give feedback. In fact, feedback is encouraged. The more feedback, the better the development of a functional product. 

Sprint review sessions are held for no more than four hours at a time. 

4. Sprint Retrospective

This is the last type of event involved in scrum ceremonies. The most distinctive feature of a sprint retrospective is that it is focused on the process. This is when the team will closely inspect what went wrong and what areas could be improved on. The data gathered will be utilized to implement concrete changes and improvements to make the process more efficient. 

Ideally, a sprint retrospective should be held once a week for around 45 minutes on average per session. You can also expand this if you are managing a complex project. 

What is the Goal of Scrum Ceremonies?

Each scrum ceremony has a specific purpose in serving the organization, which is why they are all necessary. The goal for the scrum ceremonies would be to help in the advancement of the goals of the project. 

Scrum events are also designed to cut down on unnecessary meetings that end up being a waste of company time and resources. These events are timeboxed to ensure that teams are not spending more time than is needed for each discussion. 

Further, scrum ceremonies and events maximize the collaborative power of your team. It keeps everyone on the same page and on track towards their shared goal. This also empowers every member of the team while making them more accountable for their role in the project. 

Lastly, it is also the goal of scrum ceremonies to achieve a high level of transparency. Scrum teams are open to discuss the progress and issues of a certain project, while also embracing the feedback from the other members of the scrum team. There is an understanding that information and feedback obtained from these meetings are geared towards the overall benefit of the organization. 

goal of scrum ceremonies

Why are Scrum Ceremonies Important?

Scrum ceremonies and events are important mainly for one reason – value. The goal for any organization is to add or offer value to customers through their products and services. The best way to do this is to assess every action or activity that leads to the delivery of a service or the creation of a product. This is what the scrum ceremonies are designed for.

The scrum team converges on a regular basis for a particular period of time in order to state their plan, analyze what has been done so far, and to identify potential obstacles. All of these activities are done with the sole intent of increasing value. 

The Bottom Line

Scrum ceremonies and events are frameworks in the agile work environment that enable all team members to maximize their productivity. It also promotes collaboration, transparency, and accountability. It makes the team acknowledge that there is no definitive plan in terms of the development of processes or the creation of products; you need to learn and adapt as you go. In turn, it inspires scrum teams to continually seek out ways to improve and learn.