Scrum Increment + FREE Cheat Sheet

Episode 132 - 06 Feb 2019

Remember to grab your [FREE Scrum Cheat Sheet(

We’ve looked at Scrum as a whole, and now we’re putting each of the elements under the microscope.

TOday, we’re looking at the Scrum INCREMENT.

Here’s the Scrum diagram that we looked at in the first episode.

the Product Backlog provide the inputs to the system

And the increments are the outputs of the system.

Each Sprint produces one Increment

This is just a bit too easy. Better check in with the Scrim Guide.

“The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints.”

The first part of the sentence is straightforward enough.

I’m still wrapping my head a around the second part: … shouldn’t it be the value of all previous sprints… and the current Sprint?? If you’ve figured it out, let me know in the comments. below. If you haven’t… check the comments below!!!

Leaving semantics aside, do you think this episode - the one you’re watching now - meet the criteria for being an “increment”?

I’m not sure it does if you consider it to be a stand-alone episode.

But of you consider this episode to be one of series of videos - what YouTube calls a Playlist - then I think i might.

This epsiode forms part of a Scrum Playlist. The Product Backlog is a list possible video titles, which could relate any part of… what you see here. I selected one of those titles - [Increment] for my Sprint Backlog… and I worked on it during the course of one Sprint. Clearly, I’m still working on it. But the fact that your watching it means that I was able to complete the episode And I hope you’ll trust me that it was completed by the end of the Sprint.

In summary, I took one backlog item… worked on it during the Sprint… and produced one episode. The single episode being the increment.

So far so good …. but lets head back to the Scrum Guide: “At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be "Done," which means it must be in useable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of "Done". Ah yes, Definition of Done. - one or two of you spoitting that thois “Defintion of Done” was missing from the overview video. An unforgiveable mistake!

Time to make partial amends!

Thinking about this episode again. Is it’s definition of done even up for discussion? Well, yes it is.

You’re watchig it now, so the epsiode has been published.

… that’s about as “Done: as I can make it. But other Defintions of Done are possible: Uploaded to YouTube… but not published Video file exported (from Final Cut) but not uploaded Editing complete, but video file not exported.

Are all of these validi definisions on done. Do they resilt in a valid increment

Back to the Scrum Guide

“An increment is a body of inspectable, done work that supports empiricism at the end of the Sprint.

The key word here is “inspectable”. Another key word here is empiricism. Empiricism is about makeing decisions based on what is known… what can be inspected..

These are all inpsectable… although to varying degrees: if I was working with a distributed team, I’d eliminate this one (as it requires direct access to my computer).

The Scrum Guide goes on to say... “The increment is a step toward a vision or goal.

Not sure why that’s here. but Yeah.

“The increment must be in useable condition regardless of whether the Product Owner decides to release it.

Hang on a sec. Does that mean that “Published” is not a valid DoD….

I think it might, and it comes down to ownership.

If the Product Owner owns the decision on or code is released… or whether a video is published...

Then the Development Team’s DoD should stop short of that publish/release step.

Why? Because the Dev Team should be able to achieve its DoD without the input of the Product Owner.


I’ve focused so much on the start of the sentence, that I almiost forgot the start:

“The increment must be in useable condition...

So the firm condition is not that it is released, but that it is releaseABLE.

… Which leads us to the three magic words that you may have waited a long time to say:

The long-hand version of “increment” and it’s this

“potentially releaseble increment”

A reminder that there is a rather lovely Cheat Sheet to go along with this series.

You’ll find a link in the decsription delow.

An email address is required… so that I can send you the next increment

Okay, let’s wrap this up:

the Increment is the output produced by a sCRUM TEAM during the course of a Sprint.

Output that meets the Development Team’s DoD, the key condition of which is that it is Release-able.

A potentially releasable increment.