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Agile Software Development Life Cycle Phases

The trend of digital transformation wherein every firm has been driven to create its own mobile and web application has created an increased demand for fast-paced software development practices in the domain of information technology. This has led to the creation of various SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) models such as the Waterfall model, the Big Bang model, and the Agile model. Out of all these practices, the Agile model in general, and the Agile Scrum model, in particular, has captured the attention of a major chunk of software development teams. This article will explore the Agile SDLC phases with a special focus on the Scrum Model and will posit why scrum master training is an essential professional skill for every 21st-century software development team member and manager.

The Agile SDLC has gained increasing popularity due to the four core principles it follows:

  1. Prioritizing Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools.
  2. Focus on producing working models of Software over just documentation about the software.
  3. Collaborating with the customers over focusing on contract negotiations.
  4. Responding to change in real-time rather than being stubborn about planned processes.

The uniqueness of the Scrum SDLC within the Agile Models:

Even within the Agile SDLC, various management practices such as Extreme Programming (XP), Crystal, and Scrum have been created by different scholars and management gurus. However, the Scrum SDLC, in particular, has gained huge popularity with over 12 million users worldwide as Scrum principles and processes render it to be the closest approximate vision of the Agile SDLC.

Scrum is perhaps the simplest model of Agile SDLC with an increased focus on being iterative, incremental, responsive, and fast. While processes such as Extreme Programming are increasingly focused on the programming end of the SDLC, Scrum focuses on bringing together the principles of transparency, inspection, and adaptation. The Scrum process and training are built upon ensuring that working models of the desired software can be created as fast as possible without alienating the needs of the customers or the product owner while being able to constantly learn from its failures and shortcomings. The Scrum Process is based on dividing the product into multiple small parts such that the team can quickly conquer the smaller parts without losing its focus on the bigger picture, i.e. the scope of the application.

The three Stakeholders of the Scrum Process:

  1. Product owner: The product owner comes up with the requirements of the software and determines the deliverables of the end product. Initially, the product owner also represents the consumers of the business. The product owner is also heavily involved with the creation of the product backlog, which is extremely important as it determines the scope and range of the desired software.
  2. Scrum Master: The Scrum Master is the most important individual in the Scrum process, who needs proper and in-depth scrum training. The Scrum master is also heavily involved in the creation of a sprint schedule, product and sprint backlogs and in charge of bridging the gap between the product owner and the actual product/software development team.
  3. Software/Product Development Team: The software development team is a self-organized team of usually 7-12 experienced individuals, all coming together from diverse fields of training. They perform the actual tasks of the Scrum processes, have to come up with self-set deadlines, and communicate heavily amongst each other in order to ensure the success of the Scrum process. It is extremely desirable for this team to also undergo scrum training.

The Scrum Artifacts:

Before examining the actual life cycle of the Scrum process, it is very important to understand what the Scrum process depends on in order to deliver on its desired outcomes and principles:

  1. Product Backlog: This is created by the product owner in collaboration with the Scrum Master. It is a comprehensive list of all the tasks which must be completed in order to reach the complete and desired functionality of the software. While the product backlog is open to changes during the Scrum process, it is usually very open in the first place so as not to require revisions.
  2. Sprint Backlog: The entire process of Scrum SDLC revolves around short “sprints” which must be completed by the software development team. Each “sprint” focuses on a sub-part of the software while keeping in mind the overarching goal or the bigger aim of the desired software. Therefore, a Sprint Backlog consists of all the tasks that might require completion within that particular sprint. The Sprint Backlog is created by the Software Development team in collaboration with the Sprint Master and requires heavy experience and Scrum training as the entire process depends on the completion of subsequent and iterative sprints.
  3. Product Increment: A product increment is simply the accumulation and addition of the results of every subsequent sprint, which ultimately renders a working and functional software.

The Scrum Process:

  1. Creating the Product Backlog: The first step in the Scrum process is the creation of a product backlog, which is done by the Scrum Master in collaboration with the product owner. It determines the scope of the application as well as its desired functionality. Here, the consumers of the end product are also represented by the product owner.
  2. Sprint Backlog and Planning: The entire Scrum model revolves around various iterative sprints - periods of 1-4 weeks during which certain smaller goals of the entire Scrum process must be met. Sprint backlogging and planning are done by the product development team and the Scrum Master. They set goals daily and weekly, give definitions to various phases of the product, for instance defining when a task is “done” and when a task must be “blocked.” Once a Sprint has been planned, it cannot be altered and it remains the only immovable part of the Scrum process. During the sprints, several working models may be deployed to check the reviews of the customers.
  3. Daily Scrum: The daily scrum is a 15-minute meeting between all the members of the software/product development team wherein it discusses the progress, problems, and impediments that the tasks or the product are facing. The daily Scrum is extremely important to the overall health of the project and requires heavy Scrum training.
  4. Sprint Review: Once the sprint is over, a review is conducted by the product management team in collaboration with the Scrum Master, the product owner, and the customers. This gives the team the opportunity to analyze the success or failure of its product and carry over the constructive feedback to the next sprint cycle.
  5. Sprint Retrospective: The product review team also conducts a “sprint retrospective” wherein it considers what it could have done differently during the sprint and applies the modifications to the subsequent sprint.


The Scrum process incorporates the best practices of various SDLC models and renders the closest in-practice approximation of the Agile SDLC process. And while the process itself is simple to understand, its implementation requires a lot of training if perfect execution is to be achieved. Additionally, with the increasing popularity of the Scrum SDLC and Agile SDLC processes, its demand is also likely to grow among software development firms and their clients as their role has significant importance under the Scrum model. Lastly, more localized innovations of the Scrum process are likely to come about in the future with its increased application. All these trends point to the fact that scrum training becomes an essential requirement for the 21st-century software development professional. And the best way to beat the curve is to stay ahead of it - by finishing professional scrum training as soon as possible.

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