Agile Framework at a Glance

Agile is a group of delivery methods, principles and practices for effectively delivering software that leverages collaboration and customer feedback.

Agile methodology was developed in response to a problem: software projects were coming in over deadline and over budget.

Old WaterFall Method

Probably the most famous cautionary tale came via Microsoft: Windows 95 was late. Windows 2000 was late. Windows Vista was seriously late. All of these releases were built using a traditional project management method called Waterfall, which consists of:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Delivery

However, just having short iterations where no business or customer value is being delivered at the end of each iteration really doesn’t help.

We need both: An iterative process and incremental delivery of value.

Henrik Kniberg: Iterative Incremental

Also see:


Scrum works by breaking each project up into bite size chunks, prioritizing them and delivering them in short bursts called ‘Sprints’.


The Product Owner

As Product Owner, one of your main responsibilities is to manage the Product Backlog (This is the umbrella terms for all the User Stories mentioned previously). You have to ensure everyone in the business and the Scrum team agree and understand these features.

The Scrum Master

Scrum can be challenging to do well, and a Scrum Master’s job is to make sure the team follows the process they have decided upon. For example, the Scrum Master will schedule the daily standup meetings, ask questions of the development team, make sure meetings don’t go too long, and remove “blockers” that may be preventing developers from proceeding with their work.

The Development Team

The Development Team, which is typically up to 8 individuals, has a simple goal – to work together to develop the product.

4 Agile Ceremonies

Sprint Planning

  • Attendees: development team, scrum master, product owner
  • Purpose: Sprint planning sets up the entire team for success throughout the sprint.
    • Coming into the meeting, the product owner will have a prioritized product backlog.
    • They discuss each item with the development team, and the group collectively estimates the effort involved.
    • The development team will then make a sprint forecast outlining how much work the team can complete from the product backlog.
    • That body of work then becomes the sprint backlog.

Daily Stand-up

  • Attendees: development team, scrum master, product owner
  • Purpose:
    • What did I complete yesterday?
    • What will I work on today?
    • Am I blocked by anything?
  • There’s an implicit accountability in reporting what work you completed yesterday in front of your peers.
  • No one wants to be the team member who is constantly doing the same thing and not making progress.

Iteration review

  • Attendees: development team, scrum master, product owner
  • When: At the end of a sprint or milestone.
  • Purpose:
    • Iteration review is a time to showcase the work of the team.
    • They can be in a casual format like “demo Fridays”, or in a more formal meeting structure.
    • This is the time for the team to celebrate their accomplishments, demonstrate work finished within the iteration, and get immediate feedback from project stakeholders.
    • Remember, work should be fully demonstrable and meet the team’s quality bar to be considered complete and ready to showcase in the review.


  • Attendees: development team, scrum master, product owner
  • When: At the end of an iteration.
  • Purpose:
    • Agile is about getting rapid feedback to make the product and development culture better.
    • Retrospectives help the team understand what worked well–and what didn’t.
    • Retrospectives aren’t just a time for complaints without action.
    • Use retrospectives to find out what’s working so the team can continue to focus on those areas.
    • Also, find out what’s not working and use the time to find creative solutions and develop an action plan.
    • Continuous improvement is what sustains and drives development within an agile team, and retrospectives are a key part of that.

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