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Components of the Sprint Goal

Last post 11:14 am February 10, 2015 by Ian Mitchell
8 replies
03:33 am January 30, 2015

Hi at all,

I have a question regarding the definition of the Sprint Goal.

Scrum Guide says:
"The selected Product Backlog items deliver one coherent function, which can be the Sprint Goal. The Sprint Goal can be any other coherence that causes the Development Team to work together rather than on separate initatives. "

What does this mean exactly?

It is clear that the Sprint Goal contains all Product Backlog Items which have been choosen for this sprint.

But what else can be part of the Sprint Goal? Please can you give me some examples for other things which could also part of the Sprint Goal?

And what is with User Stories which belong to the selected Prodct Backlog items? Are the also part of the Sprint Goal?

And has the Sprint Goal also to contain the Definition of Done?

Best regards,

11:26 pm January 30, 2015

> It is clear that the Sprint Goal contains all Product Backlog
> Items which have been choosen for this sprint. 

Why do you think it is a container for these items, and not a purpose for making the choice?

01:08 pm January 31, 2015

At the end of a sprint, the team is supposed to deliver an increment of the functionality. To keep the team focused on delivering this increment, a sprint goal is defined. It denotes exactly what the name says: what will we deliver by this sprint?

Examples could be:
- We will implement the most important functions for user role XYZ
- We will deliver the basic functionality of the software, so the CEO can demo it to venture capitalist.
- We will create some tangible functionality, to show the organization that we can deliver software using Scrum
- We will fix the major bugs that users have reported to be the biggest problem in our product.

The Sprint Goal is defined by the Product owner at the end of the sprint planning. Its purpose is to keep the team focused and to give guidance when trade-offs have to be made.

12:01 pm February 2, 2015

Thank you for your answers. It clarified this definition.

03:33 am February 7, 2015

The Sprint Goal represents the unifying "vision" for the Sprint - sort of like the main plot in a movie. The requirements + tasks in the Sprint Backlog support the Sprint Goal. They reflect how the goal will be met/delivered.

Coherence Example directly related to functionality: Support dynamic interactivity (e.g. in a real-time digital media application).

"Any other coherence" example: Migration (of certain application functions) to a virtualized cloud provider such as Amazon Web services. The majority of this Sprint could be devoted to architecture + infrastructure; with some features/functionality. This might be part of an overall release to move an existing application to a cloud-based infrastructure.

The "Definition of Done" is the criteria used to determine whether the requirements in the Sprint Backlog have been successfully completed. The Development Team uses the "Def. of Done" as an input during Sprint Planning, ALONGWITH the selected Product Backlog Items, to forecast the required work. The "Definition of Done" is NOT part of the Sprint Goal. Its a separate artifact.

03:38 am February 7, 2015

Hello Christiaan,

According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Team crafts the Sprint Goal (page 9, para 3)

12:16 pm February 9, 2015

Hi John,

You are right.

The Scrum team (PO, SM, DT) should agree on a sprint goal. Not dictated by the PO. If the Development Team or the Scrum master disagree, there is not much of a Scrum team or a feasible sprint.

Explain my remark as the PO (as a representative for the stakeholders and the customers/clients) takes the initiative for a sprint goal. Guided by the priorities of the Product Backlog. And to focus the Development Team on delivering value.

07:05 am February 10, 2015

Can there be more than one Sprint Goal? What if, say, two topmost PB items contain heterogenous featres. (E.g., priority 1: implement a screen for redeeming coupons; 2: fix the major bug with page crashing from certain locations). Let's assume their total effort estimate is exactly what would fit into one Sprint. How could these two be summed up to a single coherent Sprint Goal?

11:14 am February 10, 2015

Each Product Backlog Item should have a value, a description, an order, and an estimate. The "value" attribute implies that items do not need to be *uniformly* valuable.

The extent to which planned items are coherent or heterogenous with respect to the Sprint Goal depends on this understanding of value. In the example you give, "coupon redemption in a stable environment" might be a suitable goal if both items are must-haves for release.

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