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What is the importance of a sprint goal in Scrum?

May 14, 2021 | Management
Read Time: 05:00

Sprint goals are an essential part of Scrum. It is that integral element that unites the development team, further helping them to move forward during the Sprint. However, the concept is not discussed that often. This is why we would like to talk about the importance of this component.

In this blog, we will discuss what a sprint goal is and why you need to pay more attention to it.

What is a sprint goal?

A sprint goal can be described as a high-level summary of the product owner’s objectives that they would like to achieve during a sprint. These objectives are elaborated and can be met through the implementation of a specific set of product backlog items.

A sprint goal guides the development team on why the increment is being built. It describes what is to be achieved by the team during the sprint. The component provides the development team with more flexibility as well as coherence when it comes to the functionalities implemented within the sprint.

Importance of a sprint goal in a scrum

  • Provides more flexibility

    A sprint goal provides the development team with better flexibility. How? Things do not always go as planned while working on the development of new & innovative products. However, if the team knows their sprint goal, the members can simply re-group & work on achieving their objectives even with lesser functionality than they had initially planned.

  • Boosts team’s motivation

    People are more efficient when they are fully familiar with their tasks, they tend to work more enthusiastically when they know what they are ultimately contributing to. With a sprint goal, they have a better understanding of their tasks and the product’s main objective, which motivates them to work even better for the common cause.

  • Unites the Development Team

    A sprint goal lets the team know why teamwork is important. It lays the ground for collaborative work, explaining why the team had to work together, as a single unit, instead of working on different initiatives, separately. With a sprint goal, the team has more clarity and unity.

  • Helps manage risks

    You can consider each sprint as a project that has a fixed budget & date. With a sprint goal, the risk mitigated by the scrum team during the current sprint is indicated. This risk can be associated with any element i.e., functionality, human factors, technology, external environment, etc. When the scrum team states the risks in the sprint goal, the development team can take measures to lower or mitigate the risk.

  • Improves focus & decision making

    A sprint goal highlights what is relevant during the sprint. It helps you with decision-making as you can determine if the new task is related to the current sprint goal or not. If it is, then it might get added to the sprint backlog by the scrum team. If not, the task can be postponed. This way, the teams can focus on higher priority tasks first.

  • Manages stakeholder expectations

    A scrum team has multiple tasks on its hands during the sprint and the stakeholders do not need to know every detail of the scrum team’s plan. This is where a sprint goal comes in handy. It is more than enough to let the stakeholders know about the product and what the team would be working on during the next sprint.

How to create a sprint goal?

A sprint goal is written by the product owner and the team, collaboratively, during the sprint planning meeting. Spring goals are generally defined by following the below steps –

  • Ordered backlogs are presented to the team by the product owner
  • The team further discusses & understands the work or tasks for the sprint
  • The team then forecasts and commits to the tasks which can be done
  • The product owner and the team collaboratively write the sprint goal for the current sprint

Final words

Creating a sprint goal is extremely important in the scrum. It supports prioritization, helps the team focus, and facilitates teamwork. Further, enabling the teams to get and analyze relevant feedback. Along with this, it also supports better stakeholder communication.

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