Scrum Tools: An Overview

To be successful with Scrum and get as much as you can out of every cycle, these tools can help. In this section, we cover the different types of artifacts and provide examples that illustrate their use.

The Scrum product backlog is a list of features desired for a final product. The product backlog is typically more than can be accomplished in one sprint, and will most likely evolve as teams learn more about the product and the client. Product backlogs usually examine a product’s features and bugs, as well as technical work and knowledge acquisition. This section goes into greater detail about each of these, touching on user stories and giving examples.    

The release burndown chart tracks progress on a Scrum project. The chart itself is updated after each sprint. Teams can measure progress in any unit they choose. For example, you can track sprint progress by story points, days, teams, etc. This section provides a great visual example, as well as an example of an alternative version.  

The sprint backlog is simply a list of tasks to complete during a sprint, though the tasks do revolve around product backlog items. You have options for how to maintain your sprint backlog, including a spreadsheet or tracking software. Usually, the backlog will be updated once a day or so. This section also discusses how teams may tweak the sprint backlog as sprints move forward.

The Scrum task board is something that every member of the team can use and add to over the course of a sprint, and is a visual representation of every task and what phase of completion it’s in. Usually, task boards include columns for stories, to-dos, work in process, things needing verification and items finished. Some teams also include burndown charts, notes and tests. The task board itself might be physical and hanging on a wall, or it might be digital and in a shared network.