This article explores the following topics pertaining to the Scrum lifecycle:
Figure 1 depicts the
Scrum construction lifecycle. The lifecycle shows how agilists treat requirements like a
prioritized stack, pulling just enough work off the stack for the current
iteration (in Scrum sprints are often 2 weeks long, although this can
vary). At the end of the sprint the system is demoed to the
stakeholders to verify that the work that the team promised to do at the
beginning of the iteration was in fact accomplished.
If the sprint is successful, then the solution may be optionally deployed
(not shown), or work may continue on with the start of new sprint.
If the team is struggling the initiative may need to pivot or even be cancelled.
Figure 1. The Scrum construction lifecycle (click to enlarge).
The Scrum construction lifecycle of Figure 1,
although attractive, proves to be clearly insufficient in practice.
Where does the product backlog come from? Does it get beamed down from the
Starship Enterprise? Of course not, it's actually the result of
initial requirements envisioning early in the initiative. You don't only
implement requirements during a sprint, you also fix defects, go on training, support other teams (perhaps as
reviewers of their work), and so on. So you really need to expand the
product backlog into a full work backlog (or just backlog for short).
You also deploy your system into production, often a
complex endeavor although one that is hopefully fully automated.
Figure 2 depicts an agile, Scrum-based project lifecycle.
As you can see this lifecycle extends the Scrum Construction lifecycle of
Figure 1. It adds an Ideation/Sprint 0 phase as well
as a Deploy phase. Phases?
Do agile lifecyles have phases? Yes!
Figure 2. The agile project lifecycle (click to enlarge).
A more comprehensive depiction of the lifecycle is captured in
overviewing the full Scrum-based, agile solution lifecycle.
Figure 3. A detailed agile SDLC (click to enlarge).
This lifecycle is comprised of six phases:
There are very good reasons to go beyond the classic Scrum construction lifeycle of
The following table puts the Scrum lifecycle into context.
No lifecycle is suited for all situations, including this one.
When to Use It