Sprint goal

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…just before starting a new sprint.

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An energized, focused group of people makes the right choices.

The sprint goal is by far the most powerful and most underrated thing in scrum.

Your sprint goal doesn’t have to cover all PBIs. Ask yourselves: what is the one thing we want to achieve this sprint.

A sprint goal:

  • is aligned with the product vision and product goals;
  • moves you closer towards your product vision or release goal;
  • gives focus and direction;
  • overarches individual aspects, items and tasks;
  • is the unity of purpose for the squad for this sprint;
  • is what squads really commit to;
  • offers an opportunity;
    • to pace yourself;
    • to tap into a source of intrinsic motivation;
    • to build trust and cooperation; and
    • to self-organize;
  • gives appropriate tension—Sun Tzu, The Art of War:
    • The troops are strong and the officers weak. This is called the ‘bow unstrung’.
    • The officers are strong and the troops weak. This is called ‘dragged down’.
  • is set by the product owner, often collaboratively with whole squad;
  • gives every sprint a unique experience;
  • gives every sprint meaning;
  • sparks a great desire in the squad;
  • gives satisfaction when achieved—pat on the back;
  • in short, feels good;
  • does not imply that all items of sprint backlog need to be done—you fail when having all items ready to ship but missing the sprint goal;
  • must be smart so that you know when you've reached it;
  • is constant (i.e. does not change) during the sprint;
  • will probably change estimates and the way how you achieve the goal.


Set a clear goal for every sprint and pull in work that helps reach that goal.

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Consider adopting objective & key results to express you sprint goals.

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At the end of this sprint, we have:

  • Business improvement
    • Increase conversion rate by 10%”.
  • Released a feature:
    • Get the reporting feature ready for general release.
    • Users can log-in to the site, retrieve a forgotten password, and manage their own profile.
    • Implement basic shopping cart functionality including add, remove, and update quantities.
    • Checkout process: pay for an order, pick shipping, order gift wrapping.
    • Customers can pay with bank transfer”�
    • Autocomplete on last names.
    • 100% of all information indexed.
  • Improved systemic quality:
    • The system has doubled transaction processing performance.
    • Time to first byte on the landing page is less than 0.7s
  • Increased buy-in and confidence from stakeholders:
    • Management is impressed with a working console.
    • We will get praise and encouragement for our progress on the product catalogue.
  • Enabled dependent groups:
    • The content team can get started, using a basic content page and agenda.
  • Tested an assumption, e.g. about user interaction:
    • Will users be willing to register before using the product features?
  • Addressed a technical risk or debt:
    • Does the architecture enable the desired performance?”
    • Refactored cluster map optimization algorithms.



We have no precise plan, only a clear sense of direction. If we make an all out attempt and fail, that will tell us what to do next.
Dee Hock

To do

Facts about "Sprint goal"
Goaldirect and align everyone +
PearlSprint +, Sprint goal +, Scrum +, Product vision +, Product goals +, Release goal +, Unity of purpose +, Squad +, Squads +, Product owner +, Sprint backlog +, Ready to ship +, Smart + and Objective & key results +
SoSet a clear goal for every sprint and only pull in work that helps reach that goal. +
ThemeAgile + and Scrum +
WishAn energized, focused group of people makes the right choices. +