Agile Development

The ServiceNow® Agile Development application is an iterative and incremental process for software development environments. Scrum is one of the most popular methodologies.

Scrum has the following characteristics:
  • A short, fixed schedule of cycles with adjustable scope, called sprints, to address rapidly changing development needs.
  • A repeating sequence of events, milestones, and meetings.
  • A practice of implementing and testing new requirements, called stories, to ensure that some work is release-ready after each sprint.
  • Commonly used roles such as product owner, scrum master, and team member.

Scrum Framework

The scrum framework contains the following processes:
  • Product Backlog: The product owner creates and maintains a product backlog, which is a collection of user stories captured within a scrum product. A product represents a development target of related functionality that is composed of themes, epics, and stories. A product owner typically ranks the stories in a product backlog by order of importance.
  • Release Backlog: A release is a time frame in which several development iterations are completed. The product owner collaborates with the scrum master to determine which stories to target for a release. Stories from one or more products can be targeted to a release. Typically, the decision process is based on the release timescale, the story rank within the product backlog, and the story complexity. Other criteria can be used depending on the nature of the project. The targeted stories form the release backlog. Stories in the release backlog are targeted to a release, but have not yet been associated with a sprint. Throughout the release, the release backlog shrinks as stories are moved into sprints and the product owner can see what remains to be completed.
  • Sprint Backlog: The sprint backlog is a list of stories the sprint team members have agreed to complete for a sprint. During sprint planning, the scrum master collaborates with the scrum team to decide which stories they can commit to delivering in the sprint. Typically, they commit to the top ranked stories first. The team decides which scrum tasks are necessary for each story. The product owner should be present to answer any questions.
  • Sprints: Team members work to complete stories in the current sprint backlog. During daily stand-up meetings, team progress is tracked and members discuss the work completed the previous day, the planned work for the next day, and any blocking issues. The scrum master keeps the team members focused on completing the stories in the current sprint and tries to remove any impediments they face. At the end of the sprint, all the stories should be complete. Any incomplete stories are moved into an appropriate backlog. A review meeting at the end of the sprint, known as a retrospective, allows team members to discuss what went well and what did not, with the goal of improving future sprints.
  • Sprint planning: The next sprint begins with the team importing stories from the release backlog into the sprint backlog.