December 16, 2021

How the Increment supports Adaptation - Back to the foundations of the Scrum framework (30)

Remember that Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and that adaptation is the third pillar, following transparency and inspection.

Each of the Scrum Artifacts is adapted in one or more Scrum Events in order to minimise deviations to acceptable limits which they have learned during inspection.


Adaptation is making adjustments in order to minimise any deviations to acceptable limits concerning agreed goals.


This also applies for the Increment.


The Increment is clearly adapted during the entire Sprint. Depending your product this is about software development, bridge building, marketing videos, etc. It also does include keeping any needed documentation up-to-date, verifying and validating the product, providing training and coaching to users if needed.

Yet what about the part in the definition that adaptation is "to minimise deviations to acceptable limits concerning agreed goals"?

Scrum provides us with three commitments (i.e. goals, as the Scrum Team commits to achieving its goals) for the team to measure progress against:

- the Sprint Goal: where is the product now compared towards the Sprint Goal? Are we adapting the Increment, our product, towards this goal? Will the value that is expected from achieving the Sprint Goal be made possible?

- the Definition of Done: are adaptations made to the Increment that work towards the required quality goals for the product?

- the Product Goal: where is the Increment now compared towards the Product Goal? Are adaptations to the product being made into that direction?



A product is the vehicle to deliver value. Each Increment is another stepping stone towards the Product Goal. During the Sprint the Developers work towards the Sprint Goal, adapting the Increment to get that step closer towards the product goal, while adhering to the quality goal defined in their Definition of Done.



Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate your adaptations on the Increment:

Is the work - the adaptations on the Increment - getting you closer to

  1. the Sprint Goal
  2. the Product Goal
  3. the Definition of Done


We hope you will find value in these short messages and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

Next week we'll have a look at Adaptation and the Product Owner.


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How does your Increment support Adaptation?