Understand the sprint goal and its relationship to the wider product roadmap“It’s important to see the sprint goal as a stepping stone for the product to reach the next milestone on the roadmap” Click To Tweet
A sprint feature is the list of items you’re taking into the sprint. The sprint goal is the reason you’re taking these features in this iteration, for example; improving user registration by 5%. It is a stepping stone along the product roadmap and there are different ways this can be achieved.
By keeping this in mind, you can spend time during sprint planning negotiating how you achieve this (the features). This lets the team share insight into more effective ways to achieve a sprint goal without blindly completing tasks that may or may waste valuable business time and attention.
Remember that the team work together iteration after iteration, which can make it difficult to maintain intrinsic motivation. One way to keep this up is to make the sprint goal relevant and meaningful to the team. Think about what benefits the end user–if it resonates with them, it will resonate with the team.
It’s always useful to understand the wider product roadmap. It’s also useful to set a mini purpose for the duration of the sprint to keep all parties on the same page. When the purpose of the current iteration is clear, it inspires the team and stakeholders alike. Some example purposes include the following:
I hope the video and tips above help you to create sprint goals that are relevant and meaningful to the whole team, keeping them invested in each iteration as you work your way along the product roadmap. Refer back to this page whenever you need a refresher. If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, leave a comment below or send me a message through the website. Thanks for reading. See you next time!
Here’s the full transcript:
-Hi, Georg here, helping you unlock your team’s genius.
Welcome back to another episode in the series
Power of Three, where I’m spending three minutes
to share my top three encouragements for any particular subject.
In this video we are going to focus on the sprint goal, or the iteration objective, the iteration goal.
And with that, let us put three minutes on the clock.
Right. So, first and foremost I’d like to clarify that the sprint goal is not the lists of each individual item
that you’re agreeing to take into the sprint.
Those are the features, those are the individual increments, the products that you are dedicating the iteration to.
That is not the sprint goal.
The sprint goal is the Why, it’s the purpose of how come you’ve chosen those particular features for this particular iteration that you are working in a team.
So when it comes to then working out the sprint goal, it is also very very important to bear in mind that the
sprint goal is set for the duration of the iteration and it is a stepping stone to get the team closer, for the product to reach the next milestone on the road map.
And, as such, sometimes you might work out that you can achieve that goal in different ways, and that’s why the sprint goal has to be somewhat negotiable.
And that is what you dedicate a proportion of the planning meeting, at the beginning of the iteration, to.
So the Why of the sprints, the sprint goal, the purpose of the sprint, of the planning iteration, that is of course set by the product manager or the product owner, but How, that has to be negotiable.
Because in the planning conversation with the team, you might come up with very simple yet effective ways of achieving a sprint goal, rather than loading up the print with too many things that you don’t end up needing in order to satisfy the sprint goal, right?
So, it is also quite important to ensure that you
pick a sprint goal that is very meaningful.
So if you imagine, for a team that is working together, iteration after iteration after iteration after iteration, we want to ensure that we have consistent, intrinsic motivation for the team.
Intrinsic sense of purpose for every single planning period that the team is working in together.
Therefore you want to pick a goal that is truly meaningful, not only for the product, but really resonates with people.
If it resonates with the user, it is very likely that it resonates with the team.
So make sure that the goal is truly meaningful.
And that again comes back to the purpose, right?
With the sprint goal you can set a mini purpose for each planning iteration, and when that is very clear that what it is doing for the product is very inspiring as well for the team, and of course the stakeholders.
For example, that purpose can be, we need to test our
most strong assumptions, our biggest assumptions at the beginning of the product lifecycle.
Or, a little later on, we want to grow our user base and therefore we are gonna do this, and that is the goal for this planning iteration.
Or we want to launch a new, bigger feature for the benefit of the user, and that is the goal of this sprint.
So, these were my top three encouragements for your sprint goal.
Thank you very much for your time today.
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And of course, please share your thoughts on this video, and any ideas for future videos, in the comments.
Thank you very much. Bye bye.
A leadership team development specialist, International Coach Federation - Professional Certified Coach, with global product management experience since 2000, employing Agile & Lean since 2010, Georg Fasching helps digital creative agencies’ leadership teams delight their clients, fulfil their people, and improve their prosperity.
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