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Change Sprint Backlog Items during Sprints

Last post 01:34 am August 18, 2016 by Marcio Ellis Brant Chamone
4 replies
04:03 pm August 15, 2016

Hi All,

Sprint Backlog Itens can change during Sprints?

What should consider for the exam?



02:25 pm August 16, 2016

If the items on the backlog cannot change, would the team be able to react to things that they learn, or uncover, during development? What does the Scrum Guide say on this matter?

05:07 pm August 16, 2016

Scrum Guide say: "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."

In other source i find:

"Items selected from the Product Backlog: we don’t change them after the Sprint Planning.
Tasks created by breaking down the items: they are always changing. Tasks are referred to as “work” in the PSM I exam and Scrum Guide.

The tasks (aka work defined in the Sprint Backlog) is changing all the time. However, the Scrum Guide is not clear about the items in the Sprint Backlog. Jeff Sutherland believes they shouldn’t change, and old writings from Ken Schwaber say that the items are frozen after the Sprint Planning. The only exception is that when you’re done with all items, you will pick the next item from the top of the Product Backlog."

Well, i will assume this above.


07:23 pm August 16, 2016

When preparing for PSM I, I would recommend that you use the latest version of The Scrum Guide for your source of truth. Of course, other materials will also be beneficial especially for advising on some of the techniques that can be used, but the rules of Scrum are as defined in The Scrum Guide.

From the Sprint Goal section:

> If the work turns out to be different than the Development Team expected, they collaborate with the Product Owner to negotiate the scope of Sprint Backlog within the Sprint.

There are of course reasons why a team would not want to change their plan, and as such they will likely want to do what they can to help protect against that, but when things don’t work out as they anticipated, scope can be negotiated. The Sprint Goal, however, is generally accepted as being immutable. In other words, it should not change.

01:34 am August 18, 2016

Alright, thanks for the explanation.