What are the 4 agile ceremonies?

The agile development method is a project management framework that aims for constant reinvention and improvement of processes to get the best results in software development. An essential part of this technique is the set of agile ceremonies. These are four types of meetings that bring the team together to discuss the project’s progress, and each one of them has a particular goal. 

There are a number of agile methods, like Kanban, which has a visual concept, Extreme programming (XP), and Lean Startup. The ceremonies are a part of the Scrum approach. However, other frameworks have similar characteristics, so learning about them may be helpful across different approaches to the agile manifesto.

Benefits of the agile process

All the techniques under the agile umbrella aim to make the development process more collective, adjustable, and straightforward, while improving self-management. The agile method plays a big part in these objectives. 


The ceremonies take place in the Scrum framework, which divides  projects into so-called sprints, or cycles with a limited period of a month at most. The shorter the period, the more dynamic it gets, which can help to minimize long time risks. 

Central to this method is the presence of one or more Scrum masters, responsible for organizing the process, leading the team in a way that gets the best out of everybody, making sure the schedule is followed, and applying Scrum procedures. 

Sprints establish lesser objective goals which, together, add up to form the overall project goal. This division creates learning cycles, which increase the quality of the final result by refining processes at the end of each sprint. Making sure the team stays on track also increases cooperation between team members, as well as general productivity.  

The four agile ceremonies occur in a specific sequence in each sprint:

Sprint Planning

Every sprint starts like this. The meeting brings together all developers, the Scrum master, and the product owner. The goal is to project all the premises necessary for the sprint. The team should present specifications, challenges and alternatives to the owner. This is also the time to address doubts and define each member’s route. 

We recommend using a flow chart maker to document the timeline of the upcoming sprint. This meeting should last about an hour per week – so if you’re working with month-long sprints, they should last at least four hours.

Daily Stand-Up 

As the name suggests, this is repeated every day during a sprint, and is the first, brief appointment (about fifteen minutes) during a workday. The goal is to keep everybody informed about the project’s progress. 

Usually, it begins with a quick summary of what took place the previous day and what each member is currently working on. It is also the perfect time to highlight a problem which someone else, usually the scrum master, can assist with. 

Sprint Review

This agile ceremony should be held after all the sprint tasks are completed, with the Scrum master presenting all the progress and the results obtained during the sprint to stakeholders. Reviews also serve as a mediator, and facilitate communication between developers and clients when answering questions and providing feedback on the project. 

This is important for aligning expectations and noting which aspects should be improved or corrected going forwards. Other agile methods use a similar approach. 

The main difference in Scrum is that it takes place at the end of each sprint; while in Kanban, for example, it happens at the end of the entire project. The duration follows the same logic as sprint planning, with meetings lasting an hour for every week of work.

Sprint retrospective

Like reviews, retrospectives are also used in Kanban, but at the end of every project rather than every sprint. This meeting should be held right after the review, so everyone can open up and share their impressions and feedback on how the sprint went. 

It is crucial to understand what went wrong in order to make improvements, while highlighting good practices and significant advances, to maximize them in the next sprint. 

The whole team should be present, so everybody gets an overview of the project. It serves to wrap up the sprint and motivate everybody to do better next time, since regular enhancement is key to agile ceremonies. The retrospective should last approximately forty-five minutes for every week of the sprint.

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