What is a good Sprint Goal? How do you write a good Sprint Goal?

AUTHOR: Malene Marie Bendixen Jacobsen, Agile Coach

To answer this question, let us first look into the reason behind the Sprint Goal..

From the official Scrum Guide: “The Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint that can be met through the implementation of the Product Backlog”

The outcome of Sprint Planning is the Sprint Goal and a Sprint Backlog. The Goal explains the WHY we are doing what we are doing, the Sprint Backlog is like a to-do list or a plan of WHAT we are planning to do to archive the goal.

Why is a Sprint Goal important?

Some of the multiple reasons why a Sprint Goal is important:

  • It drives the WHY for the team, it gives the team purpose and with purpose, the team’s motivation grows.
  • It gives the team direction and clarity on the focus of the Sprint
  • It enables flexibility and changes in the Sprint Backlog. An antipattern often seen, is that people believe they commit to a Sprint Backlog and it cannot change in a Sprint. The truth is that the team forecasts the functionality that will be developed during the Sprint. With the Sprint Goal being the objective that the team agrees on achieving, the road to get there can change, however the Sprint Goal remains.
  • It creates a common goal for the team in which they can work together towards achieving.
  • It fosters the right behavior at Daily Scrum. Another antipattern seen in teams is that the Daily Scrum turns into a status meeting of what did you do yesterday, what are you doing today. The Daily Scrum should be used to focus on inspecting the progress towards the Sprint Goal.

For all these reasons it is time for us to have a look at how to write a good Sprint Goal?

How to write a good Sprint Goal?

Remember a Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint – WHY is it we are doing what we do?

Weak Sprint Goal

Good Sprint Goal

Improve performance

Decrease server downtime by x %

Improve user experience

Implement integration for VISA payment gateway

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A good Sprint Goal unifies a team behind a common purpose and should be specific and achievable. Great Scrum Masters always take time in Sprint Planning to write not just good but great Sprint Goals.

Good luck on your journey.

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