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Sprint backlog clarification

Last post 01:05 pm September 1, 2015 by Adona Villena
7 replies
12:13 pm August 31, 2015

So, I have been reading and taking sample exam questions from Scrum Guide, Scrum Training Manual, Scrum Reference Card.

Scrum Guide says that sprint backlog can change. "The Sprint Backlog is a plan with enough detail that changes in progress can be understood in the Daily Scrum. The Development Team modifies the Sprint Backlog throughout the Sprint, and the Sprint Backlog emerges during the Sprint. "

Scrum Training Manual says that "The Sprint Backlog is frozen after the Sprint Planning and the Development eam will focus on delivering an Increment of “Done” based on this plan."

And then there is this sample question in Scrum training manual
"A Product Owner has the authority to replace an item in the Sprint Backlog. "

which was supposed to be false with this reason:
"The Sprint Backlog is frozen after the Sprint Planning. "

and then let's add this explanation as well to this question from scrum training manual
Q: A CEO asks the Development Team to add a new item to the Sprint. What should t
he Development do in response
A: Refer to Product owner because.....
"Sprint Backlog should not change during a Sprint on the one hand, and no one is allowed to set the priority of Product Backlog items except for the Product Owner"

And now, my BIG BIG BIG BIG question...
Can sprint backlog really change during sprint?

This question ("A Product Owner has the authority to replace an item in the Sprint Backlog. ") I THINK should have the explanation that it is FALSE because product owner doesn't own and has no authority over Sprint Backlog. Am I right?

Can anybody help my clarify and give a lengthy discussion about Sprint Backlog? Or point me to more Sprint Backlog reading materials?

Thank you In Advance


06:39 pm August 31, 2015

The Scrum Guide is The Definitive Guide to Scrum

The Sprint Backlog is not just a collection or sub set of the Product Backlog.

It contains the Sprint Goal, PBIs, work to transform the PBIs to potential releasable Increment, and any work the developers add as needed during the Sprint.

Adding or removing the work is a kind of change.

08:46 pm August 31, 2015

There is no such a "frozen" Sprint Backlog in Scrum Guide.

During the Sprint Planning, the Product Backlog items and the Sprint Goal are selected. Then (still during Sprint Planning) Development Team decides how it will build this functionality in a Done increment, i.e. how to convert the selected Product Backlog items into work. During

the Sprint Planning, just enough work to let Development Team forecast what it can do in the Sprint is planned (usually work planned for the first days of the Sprint).

The Development Team will continue 'inspect' and 'adapt' the remaining work during the Sprint.

If new work (not new item!) is required to reach the Sprint Goal, the Development Team will add it to the Sprint Backlog. If some work is no longer required, it will be removed. The key is always 'inspect' and 'adapt'.

There is also the possibility that Development Team over-committed and need to collaborate and re-negotiate with Product Owner (again the key is inspection and adaptation).

The Sprint Backlog is NOT frozen, but the Development Team (and only Development Team) modifies it throughout the Sprint, always with the Sprint Goal in mind.

As Ching-Pei said, the only reference guide is the Guide

I also suggest to search the forum for any doubt. Searching "frozen" will show you this past thread: that should answer to your question

03:13 am September 1, 2015

Posted By A. Ville on 31 Aug 2015 12:13 PM

Scrum Training Manual says that "The Sprint Backlog is frozen after the Sprint Planning and the Development eam will focus on delivering an Increment of “Done” based on this plan."

03:16 am September 1, 2015

How can you trust a "Training Manual" when they are not even able to write properly?
What is a "Development eam" supposed to be?
Not speaking about a statement which is just completely wrong and in contrast to everything Scrum stands for...
Don't let yourself be misled by these 3rd party training manuals.

07:26 am September 1, 2015

Thank you for the replies! I am about to take the certification exam and I don't work in any scrum team, so I am just relying on documents. I want to make clear any uncertainties.

Ludwig , about the "What is a "Development eam" supposed to be? ". sorry that was a mistake on my copy-paste. I deleted extra lines and space and didn't notice I deleted the 'T' -- should be "Development Team will focus... "

07:31 am September 1, 2015

Think of the Sprint Goal as being frozen. The Sprint Backlog is subsequently adapted in order to meet the Goal.

01:05 pm September 1, 2015

thank you for this! I searched with keyword "Sprint Backlog" and came up with a lot of old threads, the one you shared answered my queries as well.

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