The Scrum cycle is divided into five activities to be completed by the Scrum Team in order to meet their commitment to deliver on the work included as part of the sprint backlog.
During the definition phase, the project team (the Scrum Master and the Scrum Team) meets with the Product Owner to determine and agree on the priority of the team for the duration of the sprint. The intent is not to agree on the details during this stage but the high level direction the team will follow. The outcome of the definition stage is to start populating a product backlog.
Planning consists of selecting the high level items from the product backlog and evaluate the value of the various items as well as the estimated efforts to complete the work. As part of a negotiation process between the Product Owner and the Scrum Team, a subset of the product backlog is selected which is then called the Sprint Backlog.
Much happens during the building phase where the development team members select and execute tasks from the Sprint Backlog until all work is completed and a “product” is ready to present to the Product Owner.
At the end of each sprint, the Scrum Team presents the various items that have been developed during the sprint to the Product Owner. This practice has a few clear benefits in that unless metrics can be demonstrated in the application – not on paper or in theory – and shown to provide the expected information, they are not completed.
The final step of the iteration is the retrospection which has a few objectives where the most important one is to allow the team to reflect on the successes and determines which areas need to be improved prior to entering the next sprint. As such, the team collectively assesses its own performance and determine the best way to adapt in order to successfully achieve its next sprint.