Agile Ceremonies Defined

There are multiple agile ceremonies practiced in both Scrum and Kanban. These ceremonies define activities performed by agile teams to improve communication and delivery. Each ceremony serves a different purpose throughout the sprint. However, the overall goal remains successful delivery.

Ceremonies List

  • Backlog Grooming – The stakeholders review the user stories in the backlog to shape the request and provide acceptance criteria. The team orders the backlog according to the value the user story represents.
  • Sprint Planning I – Capacity Planning – The development team determines the number of points to commit to. This number derives from past performance and current capacity. The team then assigns a point value to each user story on the backlog determined by the level of effort required to complete it.
  • Sprint Planning II – Prioritization – The stakeholders and the development team select the user stories to commit to in the current sprint. The team begins selecting user stories with the highest value. They continue until they have no more points capacity available in the sprint. Once complete, the team commits to completing the selected user stories within the sprint.
  • Stand Up – Each day at the same time the team meets around their Kanban board to ask three important questions of each team member: What have you accomplished since the last meeting? What are you working on today? Is anything standing in your way? This keeps every team member updated and issues surface before they have time to impact the sprint.
  • Demo – After all of the work days for a sprint the team meets to demonstrate the work they have completed to the stakeholders. The stakeholders review the completed work and either accept or reject it as ready for production.
  • Retrospective – The final sprint ceremony affords the team opportunity to reflect on what went well and what should change in future sprints. The retrospective does not seek to point fingers or assign blame. The purpose of the retrospective is to improve the performance of the team.


Which agile ceremonies does your team use? Leave a comment below to let me know.

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