Skip to main content

Question about missing sprint goals

Last post 01:51 pm September 28, 2015 by Ian Mitchell
3 replies
10:04 pm September 23, 2015

Hi All,

I have a question about missing sprint goals and I was unable to come up with an answer - what would you follow scrum masters do in this situation:

"The PO is very demanding and has to report out to the CEO and the project is on a very tight deadline. There is also a fixed budget and fixed scope. It's looking like the Development Team won't be able to deliver by the intended date. What would you do?"


12:41 pm September 25, 2015

First of all, I'd tell the demanding PO and the CEO that no one can command success. If the team's not gonna make it, nothing will be delivered. Easy as that - clear language that is even understandable for CxO. Better talk to the PO alone. It's his/her job to get this straight.
The SM sort of failed to make sure that Scrum is implemented the right way. He/she should have insisted on a sprint goal. Witthout a goal, it's also questionable that the PO knows the value that's going to be delivered. I'm talking real value - not story points.

Enought said. Let's look at the practical side.

Ask the PO for a definite goal and then reduce some features (sort of 'all features are valuable, but some are more valuable than others' thinking). If the PO can't deliver, than you have a problem. Best you can do is to define a goal yourself and proopose it to the PO. To make the long story short - it's the PO's job to get this straight! Obiously, the team also committed to work it isn't able to accomplish in the sprint.

One more word about a 'demanding' PO. It's the team that decides what can be done in a sprint (of course talking to PO and taking the most valuable backlog items into accuont). No one else. No PO, no CEO, no SM can command what's getting done in a sprint. To me it looks like people are having problems to play their roles according to scrum. Also important - the SM sort of a 'Scrum Ambassador' in the organization. CEO, business units, user groups and other stakeholder must understand how (and why) scrum works ... and play their roles the best they can.


06:27 am September 27, 2015


Fixed deadline, fixed scope and fixed budget. I would say that in this scenario Scrum is really hard to implement.

Questions: Will you deliver a minimum marketable product after the first, second or third sprint? What's the intention of the CEO? Why do you want to use Scrum?


01:51 pm September 28, 2015

> Why do you want to use Scrum? 

I think that's getting closer to the key issue. The problem described is more general than missing Sprint Goals. There does not appear to be a rationale for iterative-incremental delivery at all.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.