So you may be asking yourself, “What in the World is CSM?” According to ScrumAlliance itself, “Scrum is an Agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but it works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum framework is deceptively simple.” In simpler words, Scrum is a basic framework for developing any shippable product.
Let me give you a simple example not involving software development but something we can all understand. Take a bottle of Softsoap for example. Softsoap wants to go ahead and produce 4 new scents for their brand: apple, orange, grape, and pineapple.
Now lets take a look at this ScrumAlliance diagram. In this diagram, the first step is Product Backlog. A product backlog is a list of all the wishes and desires of the stakeholders and the end users of the product. So using the Softsoap example, the business team would list all of their wishes and desires for the product. For example, a container to hold the soap, a nozzle to pump the soap, the ingredients for the soap, different scents, a Softsoap label for the container, etc. A product backlog can also contain items (aka “stories” in the Scrum World) that would be considered impractical in relation to the product itself. For example, colorful confetti to put into the soap. The second step is Sprint Planning. In the sprint planning step, the product owner and his team go ahead and prioritize and estimate everything listed in the product backlog. In this step, the product owner and his team would look at their budget, time span, and what they would consider to be the most important item to produce in the product backlog and this would then lead to the third and final step, the Sprint Backlog. In this step, the product owner and his team would list everything in order of priority and begin developing the product in iterations based on this list. So let’s go back to our Softsoap product. In the sprint planning step, the Softsoap product owner and his team would go ahead and decide what they would consider to be their priority list based on their budget, time span, and what they would consider to be the most important item to produce. If they decide in this step that the first priority would be developing the unscented soap itself, this would then carryover into the next step as the first iteration. In the sprint backlog, they would go ahead and finalize this list and begin developing these items in increments based on priority, and in this example creating the unscented soap itself would be the first item to be developed.
After every item in the product backlog is created using a few weeks’ worth of iteration, the shippable product is ready.