How Sprint Goals help your Scrum Team deliver more customer value?
What are the sprint goals?
Sprint goal represents what you as Scrum Team want to achieve during the sprint. It must be the focus of the iteration. Think about them as a taxi company that must take its clients from the hotel to the airport. At the beginning of the trip, the taxi driver does the itinerary. Think about the route plan of a taxi driver as the equivalent of your sprint planning. In most of the trips, the taxi driver would follow the itinerary set. But there will be situations in which (s)he must find alternative routes.
What will happen if you’ll simply give the path to follow to the taxi driver? (S) he’ll follow it and nothing more. (S)he will not even think about finding ways of optimizing the trip and make your trip more enjoyable.
Now, what if you give an explicit goal to your taxi driver? It is exactly the same in the case of the Scrum Teams. They need to do a sprint plan at the beginning of the trip that most of the time will help estimate if they can make it or not to the destination. And will enable the Scrum Team to find alternative ways to get to the destination if the scrum team members consider is needed.
Why doing all the user stories of the sprint is NOT a Sprint Goal?
Here’s the thing: years ago, we were doing waterfall project management. We were spending a tremendous amount of time in requirements and trying to reach a state of the art product. The products were lasting longer. With the digital revolution, speed matters. Nowadays, businesses cannot afford to invest in the perfect requirements. Here is where Agile helps teams to deliver quicker and learn quicker. You create better products by getting direct feedback and not by creating the best specifications.
Sprint goals represent the business added value.
Benefits of using sprint goals:
- The Sprint Goals enable the team to understand the business for which they deliver a solution. That helps, in the end, the business owners because the answer is coherent without spending a tremendous amount of time in specifications and exhausting testing.
- The Sprint Goals make the team find alternative ways of implementing a solution and gives them the power to adapt and recover the delays. By following the requirements as is, there is absolutely no room for adjustments, and it also adds time lost with change requests.
- Sprint Goals involve the team. Designing a solution, creating your product is rewarding. Everyone wants to do a fulfilling job.
- Enables the team to go the extra mile and find ways to get you to the same way. It is like a taxi driver: if you arrive late because there is an accident, you expect him/her to take another route to get you on time to catch your plane, isn’t it? It is the same with your Agile team.
Sprint Goals are a way to measure team predictability:
- goals are not only used for delivery but also predictability
- having a constant pace helps you predict the future. Let’s take exam examples — if you perform up to 75% during your test exams, then you are confident you can take the exam. Same for marathons, for the sportspeople. In business, we follow the same principle because it works. That’s why a predictable team is a powerful team
What to take into consideration when measuring goals and performance and predictability?
- The Scrum Team is constant. The moment you change the composition of the team, you add new elements into the picture, and it is hard to keep the predictability unless you drop the bar.
- The Scrum team is dedicated. Fluctuations in the Scrum Team members’ availability will result in non-consistent predictability.
- A team is as predictable as the management can resolve impediments. A team focuses on delivering, and the management and the scrum master’s role is to enable the team to deliver.
- Measure the performance of the sprint the same way every iteration.