When Should a Sprint Goal Be Created?

Within the Scrum framework, Sprints delineate short time-based periods that help teams break down complex projects into actionable tasks. Each of these periods will have a goal–a Sprint Goal. 

If you’re wondering when should a Sprint Goal be created, the answer is simple–any time there is a Sprint. Here’s how it all breaks down. 

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What is a Sprint Goal?

While Product Goals articulate the current strategic direction, Sprint Goals collectively provide the incremental steps to get there. Essentially, it creates a tangible objective to be accomplished in a Sprint––which generally lasts one to four weeks. 

Depending on the industry, Sprint Goals can vary widely in form; however, they’re always SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

Sprint Goals may:

  • Identify pain points in the UX on your website
  • Determine top-selling products on the homepage
  • Find international supply partners

Why Do We Need a Sprint Goal?

Product Goals, which can take up to a year, are naturally complex, requiring many different teams and projects to complete. Sprint Goals provide the scaffolding through which your teams can tackle smaller (more in the weeds) initiatives. 

A key component of Sprint Goals is its organizational function. By providing your teams with incremental steps towards the ultimate Product Goal, you can ensure that each of your actions is meaningful. You’ll also increase the ability to track your progress and adapt to problems that arise along the way. 

When Should a Sprint Goal Be Created?

A Sprint Goal is created during the Sprint Planning process, and this allows different team members to collaborate effectively beneath one shared mission. While the Sprint Goal represents a commitment by the Scrum team, it provides flexibility, allowing individuals to figure out how they can best achieve the goal. 

Most importantly, the Sprint Goal gives your team focus and clarity. By making the Sprint Goal clear and transparent for all to see, there are no questions about the task at hand. During the Daily Scrum, your Sprint Goal will be the main topic of conversation as you create day-to-day plans to achieve it all the while inching closer to the overarching Product Goal. 

How the Sprint Goal and Sprint Backlog Work Together

In the same way that the Product Goal represents a commitment to the Product Backlog, Sprint Goals must be a commitment to the Sprint Backlog. 

The Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, constantly updated picture of the Scrum Team’s work, one that allows team members to inspect their progress during the Daily Scrum. Alternatively, the Sprint Goal represents a smaller incremental effort within the backlog. 

Let Us Help

At its core, Scrum provides organized steps with which teams can creatively and productively deliver products of the highest value. With its flexible and adaptive structure, organizations have the ability to quickly pivot and mitigate any issues during the process. 

With that said, simply reading this article or six isn’t going to cut it. Those who effectively use Scrum are trained, experienced, and already know when a Sprint Goal should be created (no offense). Don’t worry, we can help. 

Responsive Advisors has a long track record of helping organizations (and leaders within them) transition to more nimble and sustainable practices. We create courses that instills basic knowledge about Scrum in the most non-boring way you can imagine. 

By auditing your existing teams and stakeholder interactions, Response Advisors can build organizational awareness and best practices of Scrum, ultimately driving better company outcomes.

Greg Crown

Likes baking, craft beer, whisk(e)y & beaches.
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