Sprint Goal- Root of Agile Project Success
In Our scrum ceremonies, do we still hear more “I”s than “We”s? Team members are still worried about their respective tasks only, based on their personal preferences or assigned to them. Then, most probably your scrum process might be missing a crucial ingredient called ‘Sprint Goal’.
A sprint goal is a clear and concise statement that defines the purpose and objectives of a sprint.
Who crafts a Sprint Goal?
Each role (Product Owner, Development Team, and Scrum Master) in the scrum plays a crucial role in crafting a good Sprint Goal as outlined below.
- The product owner defines and decides the priority of product backlog items. During the sprint planning meeting, the product owner proposes the objective of the coming sprint and outlines the backlog items that will help to achieve this objective. But this objective cannot be a final sprint goal.
- The development team knows how much they can work on to achieve the proposed sprint objective. They refine this objective further based on their experience, strengths, and weakness and create the sprint increment.
- As a servant leader, the scrum master guides the development team and the product owner to come up with a good sprint goal during the sprint planning meeting.
Why is a Sprint Goal important?
- The purpose of a sprint is to achieve a business outcome. Without a goal, the sprint just becomes the time-boxed period to achieve as many irrelevant backlog items as possible.
- In a sprint without a shared goal, there is no obvious reason for team members to collaborate. Team members will pick up their own items from the sprint backlog and start working on that where self-organization will be limited. Sprint’s goal nurtures team-building by collaborating towards a shared goal.
- A sprint goal guides the product owner in prioritizing the backlog items for the sprint and helps the team to identify the right product backlog items. This will make the sprint a goal-driven one rather than backlog driven sprint.
What are the characteristics of a good sprint goal?
How to craft the sprint goal?
To craft an effective sprint goal, we should keep three important questions in our mind:
Why do we carry the Sprint?:
- Why are we running the Sprint?
What should be achieved?
How do we reach the Goal?
- Which artifact, and validation technique are being used?
Example: Create a batch process, scheduler, and automation test to validate.
How do we know the Goal has been met?
- Measurable, quantifiable, and time-bound metrics.
All internal UAT and External UAT along with the business sponsors should pass and executed.
A good sprint goal acts as a driver for intrinsic motivation, and helps the development team understand the purpose and impact of the work they are doing. As a product’s vision guides the long-term direction of a product, the sprint goal guides the scrum team on why it is building the running sprint.