Though agile coaches insist that teams leverage sprint goals for product development, you do not always need those objectives to define a successful sprint. Mostly, teams have a myriad of tasks that they form together into a single sprint. They have a generic goal statement to cover all the tasks. They do this mostly to comply with existing customer requests and work on new tasks. In this article at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn explores if sprint goals are always necessary for your project.
The Necessity of Sprint Goals
Sprint goals are necessary to keep deliverables on track. When you have various things to do simultaneously, getting lost in the work maze is easy. This used to happen more often when Scrum was newly introduced to the IT world, and Extreme Programming had not launched user stories yet. Sprint goals were then leveraged to review how successful the 4-week sprint was for teams. However, it is not possible to summarize all the tasks in one objective.
What to Do
The best approach is to take the middle path, i.e., to have related or dependent tasks to achieve sprint goals. For instance, a golfer has four shots to put the ball in a cup. The individual will first try to ‘drive from the tee’, then an ‘approach shot’, and so on until the ball reaches its destination. Similarly, your team should mark each product backlog item completion as a milestone to achieve the objective. Go for sprint goals if the team members tend to forget the big picture. It is also necessary to play it by the book if your newly formed agile team is new to the Scrum methodology. However, if sprint goals are not working for you, you can think of it as a learning experience that you can utilize somewhere else.
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