What is a sprint goal?


What’s a Sprint Goal and Why Does It Matter?

I think it’s essential to ask what a sprint goal is and look deeper into why it matters. 

How does a sprint goal drive progress?

Let me share with you some insights from the trenches of Scrum.

Exploring The Tactical Aspect of Scrum

To begin with, I’d like to stress that a sprint goal is a pivotal component of the Scrum framework.  🎯

So, let’s explore what it is, the changes it can bring, and my top three takeaways from the topic.

Ready to uncover the essence of the sprint goal?

Let’s dive right in!

A Tactical Dimension of Scrum

Understanding a Sprint Goal necessitates a clear perception of the vision and the product goal in the Scrum context.

For those well versed in Scrum, we know that a vision is a strategic beacon, guiding us towards a broader objective.  At the same time, a product goal serves as an intermediate strategic milestone.   They provide a broad direction and a nearer-term aim, respectively.

However, this is where the sprint goal is different.  🎯

This is where we go from strategic to tactical.

Unlike its strategic counterparts, a sprint goal is inherently tactical.  It answers questions such as, “What are we doing right now to make progress towards our product goal and our product vision?”

It deals with the nitty-gritty, addressing what we are doing now to move forward towards our product goal and vision.  It’s the immediate taskmaster that the team needs to focus on in the present.

A sprint goal serves as a very present and actionable guide, highlighting the immediate tasks at hand for the team.  📈

Concrete Nature of Sprint goals

It’s important to understand the sprint goal clearly. 

So, let me explain.

A defining characteristic of a Sprint Goal is its tangibility.

This is a characteristic that sets it apart from all the others.  It must be a goal that stakeholders can evaluate at the sprint review and be able to provide concrete and actionable feedback that should resonate on a practical level.  🤲

Feedback cannot be vague or speculative but rather precise, such as “We like this because…” or “We dislike this because…”.

Therefore, a sprint goal is vital to obtain valuable insights from stakeholders, a feedback mechanism that helps the team understand their expectations better.

A Tactical Objective

The sprint goal in action means living in the Moment and is the sprint goal philosophy.

In essence, a sprint goal, at any given moment, is a tactical aim that your team is actively pursuing.   A sort of snapshot of what your team is striving towards.

It’s a living, breathing objective that changes with every Sprint, reflecting the ongoing tasks that are shaping the journey towards the ultimate product vision.

It’s about what’s happening and how it contributes to the broader product vision and goal.  It provides the team’s immediate focus and helps foster cohesion and motivation.  ⏱️

So, there you have it, folks!

To sum up, a Sprint Goal is more than just a task or a target.  The tactical compass guides your Scrum team through each Sprint, offering a clear and tangible objective that connects the team’s current efforts with the broader product vision and goal.

Want to learn more about setting impactful Sprint Goals and mastering other elements of Agile and Scrum?

Then my Agile and Scrum courses are just the thing for you!

Let’s continue this journey towards Scrum mastery together.

About NKD Agility

Upcoming Training Opportunities

These are the next five classes we have, and you can check out our full public schedule of classes.

Live Virtual Product Backlog Management Skills with Joanna on 14th December 2023
Virtual Traditional
14-15 Dec, 2023
09:00-13:00 CET
2 half-days
Immersive Professional Agile Leadership Essentials with Joanna on 12th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
12 Jan-1 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
8 weekly half-days
Immersive Professional Scrum Product Owner with Martin on 17th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
17 Jan-6 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
8 weekly half-days
Immersive Professional Scrum Master (PSM) with Dan on 17th January 2024
Virtual Immersive
17 Jan-28 Jan, 2024
13:00-17:00 GMT
7 weekly half-days

We can deliver any of our courses as private in-house training over Microsoft Teams & Mural. We also recommend training based on your accountabilities or role, you can go directly to recommended courses for Scrum MastersProduct OwnersDevelopers and Agile Leaders.

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