Skip to main content

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have paused all purchases and training in and from Russia.

A change to the Sprint Backlog during the Sprint

Last post 06:52 pm March 22, 2021 by Srinivas Rao Ramshetty
10 replies
02:11 am May 27, 2014

Hi there,

There's a question in the open assessment which I don't understand:

The Development Team should not be interrupted during the Sprint. The Sprint Goal should remain intact. These are conditions that foster creativity, quality and productivity. Based on this, which of the following is false?

A) The Product Owner can help clarify or optimize the Sprint when asked by the Development Team.

B) The Sprint Backlog and its contents are fully formulated in the Sprint Planning meeting and do not change during the Sprint.

C) As a decomposition of the selected Product Backlog Items, the Sprint Backlog changes and may grow as the work emerges.

D) The Development Team may work with the Product Owner to remove or add work if it finds it has more or less capacity than it expected.

The correct answer for this question was the one I immediately dropped as surely not correct, and it is B.

Really Sprint Backlog does not change during the Sprint?

I can see in the Scrum Guide that the Development Team may negotiate with the Product Owner the scope of the Sprint Backlog within the Sprint.


02:45 am May 27, 2014

Read the question carefully, up to the last word before the question mark ;)


01:42 pm May 27, 2014

As Ludwig says, the question asks you to identify which statement is *false*.

The only one that is false is B, because there is every expectation that the Sprint Backlog will change during the Sprint.


02:06 am May 28, 2014

affff..... :)


09:59 pm May 28, 2014

The Sprint Backlog and its contents are fully formulated in the Sprint Planning meeting

It may be that the Sprint Backlog is fully formulated during the Sprint Planning Meeting, but as I've studied the material, there seems to be an emphasis that the Dev Team need not breakdown every story committed to in the Sprint during the Sprint Planning Meeting. Once there are enough stories broken down into tasks for a few days of work, the Dev Team get start working on those, while other stories are decomposed during the Sprint. You would want to breakdown as many as you can during the Sprint Planning Meeting.


01:20 pm April 6, 2017

yes, the correct answer is B as the questions asks you to select which statement is FALSE


01:01 pm March 19, 2021

I'm a bit confused between B and C.

So what they mean to say here is that you cannot add or remove (or split or merge) user stories in the sprint backlog or change any estimations, but you can do whatever you want with the tasks during this sprint in order to meet the sprint goal?


08:47 pm March 19, 2021

There's no mention of either user stories or tasks. They are just one way to forecast and plan work on the Sprint Backlog, which can be inspected and adapted at any time. Both may therefore change. The Sprint Goal remains intact.


10:21 am March 22, 2021

Wow, I never realised user stories and tasks aren't part of the scrum guide! Clear answer, thanks!

One follow-up question. The Scrum guide says:

"The Sprint Goal, the Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus the plan for delivering them are together referred to as the Sprint Backlog"

So this means, the Sprint goal doesn't change, the product backlog items don't change; just the plan changes (and hence the sprint backlog changes). In rare cases (under/over estimate work) the selected product backlog items might change, but only after agreement with the PO. Right?

 


10:56 am March 22, 2021

So this means, the Sprint goal doesn't change, the product backlog items don't change; just the plan changes (and hence the sprint backlog changes). In rare cases (under/over estimate work) the selected product backlog items might change, but only after agreement with the PO. Right?

Yes, you're getting it. The Sprint Goal is fixed and does not change. It provides guidance, the purpose for carrying out the Sprint, and focus, among other things. If it were to become obsolete, the Product Owner may decide to cancel the Sprint. Then a new Sprint would start.

The Product Backlog items may change, which is usually a negotiation between the Product Owner and Developers. It could be due to over/under forecasting, or something else such as the Developers learned more information.

In complex situations, we can't make a perfect plan in Sprint Planning, therefore it is highly likely the Sprint Backlog will change during the Sprint many times. With Scrum, we choose to make decisions based on facts and on what is known. As we start Sprint that becomes clearer each day, hopefully. Product Backlog items are about the 'what', not the 'how'. The 'how' is the plan and the work to turn the Product Backlog item into a useful, valuable product Increment. Progress towards the Sprint Goal gets inspected and the Sprint Backlog (the plan) gets adapted at least once a day at the Daily Scrum by the Developers. The Sprint Backlog may change any time during as well.

Breaking Product Backlog items into 'tasks' or 'sub-tasks' is optional as well.


01:56 pm March 22, 2021

What I've learnt is we should be careful enough to read the question correctly.  :)