Creating Sprint Goals: 4 Traps to Avoid

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Successful agile teams start their sprints by determining the goal for the iteration, and then adding only the tasks and stories that further that goal. Starting with a desired outcome adds clarity and focus, and allows the team to work in the same direction with the same purpose and intention. If the team knows what they are trying to do, they can make the little decisions along the way that lead to a better outcome.

 

Sprint goals are not meant to be the same as product visions or overall mission statements; it’s unlikely those things are achievable in the span of a single sprint. So rather than attempting to create "the best application" in the market, a sprint goal focuses on achievable, measurable items such as being able to log in, for example, or create an account, or adjust the quantity of an item in a shopping cart. The goal should be easy to understand, which is helpful when considering what belongs in the sprint and what does not, and it should be relatively easy to determine if the goal was met or not at the end of the sprint.

 

Creating the sprint goal is the role of the Product Owner, with the team’s help, as discussed in "Sprint Planning: Are You Doing It Backwards?" But even when the team and the Product Owner diligently create the desired outcome for the sprint, or even go so far as to determine what they …


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"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."

- Dave Barry

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