Scrum

Scrum is an agile project management framework that helps (design) teams manage their daily work. Like other agile frameworks, Scrum uses principles such as learning through experience, being a self-organized team, and continuous improvement.

Updated on August 27th, 2023

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As a UX designer, you're very likely to work in a Scrum environment as it is a very common way of working in software development.

The difference between Agile and Scrum

Scrum is a framework, while Agile is more of a philosophy. Scrum is a framework within the Agile way of working; its job is to help your team apply that Agile way of working using Scrum principles.

How to work Scrum as a UX designer

Working as a UX designer in a Scrum environment can be very challenging. That's because Scrum is mainly used for software development.

If you look at the official Scrum Guide, there's no mention of UX. Furthermore, with UX working cyclical and Scrum incrementally, it can be difficult for UX designers to fit in.

Work one sprint ahead of your developers

When you work in a Scrum team, you're doing two-week sprints. Every two weeks, you add value to your product or service.

Working together with developers on the same feature during the same sprint will likely cause problems; you can run out of time or discover something that needs to be redesigned, for example.

Instead, work one or more sprints ahead of your developers. If you know your developers need your design work by sprint four, make sure you start working on that design work at least in sprint three.

Include UX in the definition of done

Scrum uses product backlog items, or user stories, to manage tasks. To determine when a task is completed, your team sets up a definition of done.

Make sure to include UX requirements in your definition of done. For example, each task needs to follow design system guidelines and requires a user test.

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Useful resources

What is Scrum? - Scrum Alliance

What is scrum and how to get started - Atlassian

The Ultimate Scrum Guide for UX Designers - The Designer's Toolbox

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