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Why Should We Care About the Sprint Goal?

December 27, 2023
Why should we care about the sprint goal?

The Sprint Goal is essential for maintaining focus, collaboration, alignment, motivation, adaptability, transparency, and progress measurement, ultimately leading to more successful Sprint outcomes.

The Scrum Team should care about having a Sprint Goal because it provides valuable benefits. It provides a basis for making decisions during the Sprint, allowing the Scrum Team to respond effectively to changes, adapting their work as they discover more information while still aiming to meet the Sprint Goal.

1.     Sprint Goal as a guide for Sprint Backlog creation: 

Once the Sprint Goal is established, the Developers select the Product Backlog items that align with the goal and that they believe they can complete in the coming Sprint. This selection is made based on the team's understanding of their capacity, past performance, and the complexity of the items.

2.     The Sprint Goal helps with the Sprint Backlog adaptation: 

When unexpected obstacles occur, the Developers may adjust the specifics of the Product Backlog items (the Sprint Backlog) in consultation with the Product Owner, as long as these changes support and do not compromise the achievement of the Sprint Goal.

3.     The Sprint Goal as a Commitment for the Sprint Backlog: 

During the Sprint, when the developers have to make decisions about their work, they use the Sprint Goal as a North Star. “Would this endanger our Sprint Goal?” is a question that is asked when unexpected work or any impediment arises.

4.     Sprint Goal used during the Daily Scrum: 

During the Daily Scrum, the Developers inspect the progress made towards reaching the Sprint Goal, they create a plan for the next 24 hours, and adapt the Sprint backlog accordingly.  

5.     Sprint Goal used to measure the success of the Sprint: 

At the Sprint review, together with the Stakeholders, the Scrum Team inspects the Increment. The success of the Sprint is based on the perception and agreement that the Increment is in line with the proposed Sprint Goal.

6.     Sprint Goal becoming obsolete during the Sprint: 

The only reason to cancel a Sprint is if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete, due to any change in business objectives, overall product priority, input from the Stakeholders, the organisation, or external factors. This is the decision of the Product Owner.

The Sprint Goal enhances transparency by making team’s intentions and priorities visible to stakeholders, promoting better communication, and enabling forecasting and assessing how close they are to achieve the desired outcome.

This visibility to stakeholders promotes collaboration and accountability, ultimately contributing to the success of each sprint and the overall product development process.

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