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The Sprint

Sprints are the heartbeat of Scrum, where ideas get turned into value. They are fixed length events of one month or less designed to create a consistent delivery and feedback cadence for the team. All the work and events necessary to achieve the Sprint Goal (including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective) happen within the Sprint. Each new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous one.

Estimated time for this course: 5 minutes
Audience: Beginner
Suggested PrerequisitesScrum Framework

Upon completion you will:

  • Understand how the Sprint enables the Scrum Framework
  • Know how the Sprint focuses the Team
  • When to interrupt the Sprint
  • Qualify for Scrum Alliance SEUs and PMI PDUs. See FAQ for details
Sprint Overview:

Sprints are fixed length events of one month or less to create a consistent delivery and feedback cadence for the Scrum Team. The shorter the Sprint length the faster the feedback loop. For example, Scrum Inc. works in one week Sprints.

The Sprint is a container of all other events. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous sprint, and each Sprint typically begins with Sprint Planning and ends with Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective. During each day of the Sprint, there is a short event called the Daily Scrum which serves to keep the team aligned and to uncover impediments the team encounters related to making progress on the Sprint Backlog. All the work and events necessary to achieve the Sprint Goal, including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective, happen within Sprints.

The regular Sprint cycle serves to:

  • Focus delivery on the Sprint Goal. Each Sprint the team should develop a potentially shippable increment of software, a useable iteration of a hardware product, or ultimately: distinct customer value.
  • Give the Team regular, high-quality customer feedback on value delivered. The Team can then inspect and adapt both their process and their product based on real and actionable customer input.
  • Measure Team output over a consistent and recurring period. This measurement of output is called the Team's Velocity. The Team can use Velocity to forecast their ability to deliver work over time, and create realistic sprint plans based on historical data.

Sprints enable predictability by ensuring inspection and adaptation of progress toward the Product Goal at least every calendar month. Shorter Sprints can generate more learning cycles and limit the risk of cost and effort to a smaller time frame. When a Sprint's horizon is too long, the Sprint Goal may become invalid, complexity may rise, and risk may increase. Each sprint may be considered a short project and can be canceled if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete. Only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel the sprint.

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Patterns
These patterns can be found on the open Google site dedicated to PLoP

The Sprint

The Scrum Pattern Language of Programming (PLoP) codifies well known Agile practices that have been successfully implemented many times.

Learn Scrum Online

Scrum Startup for Teams is the best way to learn Scrum online. The curriculum and content was developed in collaboration with the co-creator of Scrum, Dr. Jeff Sutherland. Learn the fundamentals of Scrum in empirically-based lessons informed by the latest research and real-world experience. This is online training from the source.

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