Generally Accepted Scrum Practice (GASP)

generally accepted scrum practice gasp 1 - Generally Accepted Scrum Practice (GASP)

Mike Cohn, who is one of the contributors to the Scrum software development method, came up with the term ‘GASP’. GASP stands for Generally Accepted Scrum Practice. In his blog, Mike describes a Generally Accepted Scrum Practice (GASP) as an activity performed by many, but not necessarily all, Scrum teams. A team that does not perform the practice can still be doing Scrum!

For example, “Work in short, timeboxed iterations no longer than a calendar month” is not a GASP. It is more of a Scrum rule. But at the same time, “Conduct a sprint review meeting at the end of the sprint” is a GASP not a Scrum rule. Can a team really be considered to be doing Scrum if they forego a sprint review meeting? Yes! Many teams do as-needed mini-reviews rather than a big sprint review only at the end of the sprint.

There are several tools used by scrum teams. These tools are used for setting goals and tracking them. Such practice is not part of the core Scrum rules, but are still used by several Scrum teams. Hence using these tools are GASPs and not Scrum rules. These are not part of the Scrum framework but are very common in the Scrum World.

Here are the 4 GASPs you should know,

1. User Stories and Story Points

User Stories help the scrum team capture what users need from the software. This way the scrum team can build it and release it in batches. Story Point is basically a unit for effort. It is a way of figuring out how much effort will be needed to build a user story.

2. Planning Poker

Scrum teams use planning poker to get everybody think through how big each user story is and how it will be developed. The team explains their estimates while they decide the number of story points for each story. This results into an agreement on both the approach for development as well as the estimate.

3. Task Boards

A Task Board is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a board with the list of tasks usually divided into To Do, In Progress and Done. It is a quick and visual way to see what the scrum team members are doing.

If you want to see how a Task Board is used on real life projects, refer to the video here

4. Burndown Chart

Burndown chart helps you figure out how much work is done and how much of it is left. It is again a visual representation helping you figure out as to whether or not you’ll finish the planned work. We have covered Burndown Chart earlier here.

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