Purpose of the Sprint

Last post 08:31 pm April 23, 2021
by Daniel Wilhite
2 replies
06:06 pm April 22, 2021

I might be missing something here (or I'm being much too literal) but I'm studying for the PSM-I Certification and I've come across an item that might be a bit unclear (to me) yet asked on the Open Assessment and other practice sites.  

QUESTION:   The purpose of a Sprint is to produce a valuable and useful Increment of working product?  TRUE OR FALSE  (CORRECT ANSWER - TRUE)

While I accept that is a TRUE Statement - no where in the Scrum Guide does it actually state this fact in so many words.

However, I've also seen it stated on my Scrum.org Class Documents as "the purpose of the Sprint is to turn ideas into value" - which can also be considered a true statement.  And so if I chose "FALSE" to the original question because I'm following the written documents given to me by the instructor, should I really be getting the question wrong?    Or should I just conform to the "assumed" purpose EVEN IF the Scrum Guide does not explicitly define it as such?   And why doesn't the Guide Define the purpose of the Sprint? (It does define the purpose of the Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, the Sprint Retrospective) 

Thanks for the consideration and feedback. I'm curious to learn how others view this very small issue as I channel some "courage" to address this forum for the first time. 



07:36 pm April 23, 2021

The Scrum Guide says: "The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint." There's no other accountability shared by all team members which is enumerated in the Guide.

08:31 pm April 23, 2021

The current version of the Scrum Guide does define the purpose of the Sprint.

All the work necessary to achieve the Product Goal, including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective, happen within Sprints.

Sprints enable predictability by ensuring inspection and adaptation of progress toward a Product Goal at least every calendar month.

To add further clarity, every one of the Scrum Events are described as well.  If you read the guide as complete body of work instead of focussing on specific words you can see that the heart of Scrum is to produce working increments of value continuously on at least a Sprint boundary. 

The 2017 version of the Scrum Guide stated this

The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a "Done", useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created. 

The Increment is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints. At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be "Done," which means it must be in useable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of "Done"

The new revision aligns better for continuous integration/continuous delivery by stating

An Increment is a concrete stepping stone toward the Product Goal. Each Increment is additive to all prior Increments and thoroughly verified, ensuring that all Increments work together. In order to provide value, the Increment must be usable.

Multiple Increments may be created within a Sprint. The sum of the Increments is presented at the Sprint Review thus supporting empiricism. However, an Increment may be delivered to stakeholders prior to the end of the Sprint. The Sprint Review should never be considered a gate to releasing value.

Work cannot be considered part of an Increment unless it meets the Definition of Done.

What assessment did this question come from? 

QUESTION:   The purpose of a Sprint is to produce a valuable and useful Increment of working product?  TRUE OR FALSE  (CORRECT ANSWER - TRUE)

I would argue that the correct answer is FALSE and question the accuracy of the assessment.  The purpose of the Sprint is to bring consistency and predictability of the work done by the Development Team to align with the Sprint Goal and Product needs. It always has been.  The creation of a "valuable and useful Increment of working product" is a technique employed and suggested as it has proven to be effective.