In this article, we'll get to know the Scrum artifacts in detail. The term artifact can be a bit confusing, so let's unpack it. An artifact is anything that is created, made or shaped by people that has an artistic feature. In Scrum, an artifact expression is anything that is created, including documents, plans, data, diagrams, and so on.
The Scrum guide mentions three main artifacts, which are central to the Scrum framework:
Increment or product increment
The Product backlog is a prioritized list of work items that the Scrum team must complete to achieve the product target or a long-term goal. It is created and maintained by the Product Owner, who is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and ensuring that the backlog is visible, transparent, and understandable for everyone.
The Sprint backlog is a list of work items to be completed during a single sprint. It is created by the Development Team and is based on the top items of the Product backlog, taking into account the team's capacity and the sprint goal defined by the Product Owner. The Sprint backlog is updated daily during the Daily Scrum meeting to ensure that the team is on track to achieve the sprint goal.
The product increment is the sum of all the completed Product backlog items at the end of each sprint. It represents a new version of the product that is potentially shippable, meaning that it has all the features and quality standards defined by the "definition of done". The increment is reviewed and evaluated at the end of each sprint during the Sprint Review meeting, where stakeholders provide feedback and suggest improvements.
Learning these concepts from the beginning is important to understand subsequent articles related to Scrum. Each of the Scrum artifacts includes commitments, which are agreements made by the Scrum team to achieve the desired outcome. For example, the Product backlog is committed to achieving the product target or long-term goal, while the Sprint backlog is committed to achieving the sprint goal defined for each sprint. The product increment is committed to fulfilling the "definition of done", which defines the quality that the product should have.
Commitment ensures that everyone understands why the work is important and what the desired outcome is. It also helps to create a sense of ownership and accountability within the Scrum team. We'll see the artifacts of Scrum in more detail in our next article, including how they work together to deliver value to the customer and the organization.