The Sprit Goal is selected BEFORE or AFTER the Sprint Backlog is created

Last post 09:40 pm October 2, 2017
by Govinda Keswani
20 replies
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11:16 pm July 10, 2014

Hi all,

The Sprit Goal is selected BEFORE or AFTER the Sprint Backlog is created ?

Thanks

12:28 am July 11, 2014

Hello, Can anyone help on this question ?

Thanks a lot.

02:26 am July 11, 2014

Scrum Guide is quite clear about that. "After the Development Team forecasts the Product Backlog items it will deliver in the Sprint, the Scrum Team crafts a Sprint Goal.". This happends when team's answering the Topic One question What can be Done in the Sprint?

02:40 am July 11, 2014

I agree with you that: After the Development Team forecasts the Product Backlog items it will deliver in the Sprint, the Scrum Team crafts a Sprint Goal.

My confuse is: The activity " forecasts the Product Backlog items " and "create the Sprint Backlog" are SAME or NOT ?

Can i understand that the flow as below ?
forecasts the Product Backlog items -> **create Sprint Goal ** -> **create the Sprint Backlog ** !

Thanks.

02:44 am July 11, 2014

No, it's not the same. Forecast is about PBI only, "The Product Backlog items selected for this Sprint plus the plan for delivering them is called the Sprint Backlog." Thus Sprint Goal is created before.

02:46 am July 11, 2014

In addition, as the defination of "Sprint Backlog" :
= Selected Product Backlog item + **Plan to "done" them ***

That may mean: Sprint Backlog is made at the end of the first session of Sprint Planning meeting, after done some prior activities (including make its Goal)

Can anyone help to clearify about this ?

02:48 am July 11, 2014

Thanks Illya.

So final answer is "Sprint Goal is create BEFORE Sprint Backlog ?

02:52 am July 11, 2014

Sprint Backlog is the output of the "How?" topic of the planning, Sprint Goal is crafted during "What?" part which comes first.

02:56 am July 11, 2014

I clear, thanks so much.

10:45 am July 11, 2014

> So final answer is "Sprint Goal is create BEFORE Sprint Backlog ?

Be careful when you talk about the Sprint Backlog being "created". The Sprint Backlog serves the purpose of meeting the Sprint Goal, and its ability to do so must be improved at every opportunity during the Sprint.

10:50 am July 11, 2014

Well, as I remember Ken saying about that Scrint Backlog is like human - born during the Sprint Planning, emerging and evolving through the Sprint as a human being walking throughout the life.

12:43 pm July 24, 2014

agree!
when you have the sprint backlog created you are ready to start working for the next few days. it would be obselete at that point of time to formulate your sprint goal! goal should be set prior actions...and under that context sprint goal should be defined before your sprint backlog has been created!...

04:14 pm June 8, 2015

The Scrum Guide states "After the Development Team forecasts the Product Backlog items it will deliver in the Sprint, the Scrum Team crafts a Sprint Goal"

10:43 am June 11, 2015

I was confused by this as well when I was first learning about Scrum. I think the product owner should have an idea of what the sprint goal or objective is before sprint planning (Scrum Guide p. 9 "The Product Owner discusses the objective that the sprint should achieve..."). This aids the product owner in preselecting the PBIs to bring to the team for consideration for the sprint (in addition to their value, etc.). It also aids the team in creating the formal sprint goal at the end of the sprint planning session.

01:29 am June 12, 2015

> I think the product owner should have an idea
> of what the sprint goal or objective is before
> sprint planning 

The PO should be able to enter Sprint Planning sufficiently prepared to negotiate an increment of value. This could mean having deas of what a Sprint Goal might reasonably be. It should not be an assumption or pre-condition as to what the Goal actually will be.

04:54 am May 11, 2016

before

10:01 am March 11, 2017

Interesting conversation. While comparing between Sprint Backlog and Sprint Goal, Indeed the Sprint Goal is decided before the Sprint Backlog. In fact, based on my experience it is decided much earlier by the Product Owner  i.e. before the "Sprint Planning" meeting by him managing the Product Backlog Items throughout the product lifecycle. 

This is how it works from my experience with Sprint Planning and as per Scrum Guide:- 

The Development Team first picks up few "top" items from the ordered list of PBI's [which is prioritised by PO and should ideally be meeting the Sprint Goal] to forecasts the functionality that it can deliver during the sprint based on its capacity and past performance.The Product Owner discusses the objective that the Sprint should achieve [based on his "top" few PBI priority list].

The entire team collaborates on the understanding and crafts the sprint goal along with a plan of action for few days to start the sprint. 

The Point is: - The Sprint Goal of what needs to be delivered in the Sprint is actually already been highlighted and managed by the PO by the list of priority items in the Product Backlog [Or Revised Product Backlog including the outcome of previous sprint review meeting if any] "before" the Sprint Planning for the Sprint starts. It's the responsibility of PO to keep this list in correct order to meet the Sprint Goal as deemed by the PO to achieve maximum benefits/ROI. 

Regards,

Rajat

07:52 pm March 29, 2017

The answer is BEFORE.

01:48 am April 8, 2017

Thanks Rajat and Zi Wang.  That is exactly was was required. Short and to the point.

10:08 am September 28, 2017

Actually, that depends a lot in what format you do the Sprint Planning meeting. In the past it was divided into two distinct sections (with 50% allotment of the total time box), but in the current Scrum Guide this has been changed and teams can now discuss "what" & "how" for each PBI one by one and then the Sprint Goal may be crafted at the end. Also, the Sprint Backlog is the forecast - at least its part containing the PBIs - so the answer is not as clear is would seem at first glance. In any case the Goal can't be crafted before it is known what items made it into the sprint. 

10:51 am September 30, 2017

So can we sum up like this - 

PO presents the PBI which are ordered as per his understnding -> Dev Team forecasts what it can deliver in current sprint -> Scrum team then crafts the Sprint goal -> Dev team then prepares a plan to deliver selected items keeping Sprint Goal in mind -> Sprint Backlog is ready when such plan is ready for first few selected items -> Sprint Planning ends and Dev team starts the work and keeps updating the Sprint Backlog till end of sprint keeping Sprint Goal unchanged. 

 

Please let me know if my understanding is not correct.

 

Thanks 

Govind.