Sprint Goal — a simple explanation for people new to the scrum framework
One of the key concepts in Scrum is the sprint goal, which is a clear and specific objective that guides the team’s work during a sprint.
So, what exactly is a sprint goal? Simply put, it is the reason why the team is working on a particular set of tasks during a sprint. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, and aligned with the product’s vision and goals.
A Sprint Goal typically focuses on –
- Experimenting with assumptions relating to bigger development projects
- Handle risks by resolving issues, modifying and adding architecture components
- Develop new features and add new functionality as requested by customers
It is defined at the start of the sprint planning meeting and by the Scrum team members. It should provide a shared understanding of what the team is working towards and help everyone stay focused and motivated throughout the sprint.
The sprint goal should also be used to guide the team’s decision-making process. If a task does not contribute directly to achieving the sprint goal, it should be reevaluated or potentially removed from the sprint backlog. This helps the team stay focused on what is most important and reduces the risk of scope creep.
Scope creep occurs when changes are made to the project scope without any control procedure like change requests. We don’t want a rigid change management process to control scope creep, but transparency is needed to manage scope creep. Sprint goal helps improve transparency and negotiate scope in the event of uncontrolled scope change for a sprint.
In addition to guiding the team’s work, the sprint goal also helps the team measure their progress toward completing the tasks in the sprint backlog. At the end of the sprint, the team should review their progress against the sprint goal and determine what they did well and what they can improve on for future sprints.
The sprint goal should differ for the primary and later sprints. The sprint goal is specific for the sprint but common for the team. For example:-
- The purpose of the initial sprint should be to validate assumptions, improve the user experience, or set up the platform. To determine the right goal, you need to decide which risk might have consequences that might be hard to repair.
- The subsequent sprints must focus on frequently producing a potentially releasable increment or monetizing the product.
- Nothing is foolproof. Sprint goals will be subjected to failure. Fail first and learn fast should be your motto.
So, the sprint goal is a critical concept in Scrum that helps teams stay focused and deliver high-quality products quickly and flexibly. By defining a clear and specific objective at the start of each sprint, the team can remain aligned with the overall vision and goal of the project and measure their progress toward completing their tasks.
We hope this blog has helped you understand the importance of sprint goals in Scrum. Thank you for reading!