Inspection in Scrum

A small note before we start. If you didn’t had the time to read my previous blog post on “Empiricism explain with the help of Making Pancakes”, it might be wise before continue reading this one, to cover previous blog post first. Inspection is one of the Three Pillars in Scrum and in the previous post I covered what Empiricism actually is, which is helpful to grasp this one about Inspection in Scrum.

Ok, let’s talk about “What is Inspection?” in Scrum. 🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️🕵️‍♂️

Inspection in this context is not an inspection by an inspector or an auditor but an inspection by every- one on the Scrum Team. The inspection can be done for the product, processes, people aspects, practices, and continuous improvements. For example, the team openly and transparently shows the product at the end of each Sprint to the customer in order to gather valuable feedback. If the customer changes the requirements during inspection, the team does not complain but rather adapts by using this as an opportunity to collaborate with the customer to clarify the requirements and test out the new hypothesis.

What does the Scrum Guide describe about “Inspection”? 🕵️‍♂️

“The Scrum artifacts and the progress toward agreed goals must be inspected frequently and diligently to detect potentially undesirable variances or problems. To help with inspection, Scrum provides cadence in the form of its five events.

Inspection enables adaptation. Inspection without adaptation is considered pointless. Scrum events are designed to provoke change.”

In Scrum we inspect the Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, the “Product” Increment and our progress towards agreed goals. We inspect on a regular basis to see if there is something going on, and capture it early on in our work, so that we can adapt appropriately. Something straight out of the Scrum Pocket Guide which I found very valuable as a Scrum Master is the following overview as the Scrum Events are helping us on “What to Inspect?” in which Scrum Event. Feel free to use this image for your own Scrum Teams!

Scrum Events Inspection Adaption
Scrum Events Inspection Adaption

I hope this blog post makes clear on what is meant by Inspection in Scrum. It’s not only reading and learning but try to become a practitioner. One thing you can do already is to look for yourself “How well are you doing inspection in your current Scrum Team?”. Use the above overview as a guide and see what kind of areas you might be lacking, identify small improvements you might want to make to get back on track! Good luck.. 😁👍

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