Don't prescribe exactly when the sprint goal is set during sprint planning
Last paragraph of section "Topic One: What can be done this Sprint?" says: "After the Development Team forecasts the Product Backlog items it will deliver in the Sprint, the Scrum Team crafts a Sprint Goal. "
Change to: "During Sprint Planning, the Scrum Team also crafts a Sprint Goal."
Rationale for the change: No need to prescribe that the goal should be set AFTER deciding which PBIs to deliver. In many cases it will make sense to set the goal first, and then decide which PBIs make sense to achieve that goal. And that's even implied at the beginning of the section
9 commentsComments are closed
Abbas Dar commented
What about not setting a sprint goal? If we have an ordered prioritised product backlog, is the goal not to deliver those PBIs? This has been confusing for me for many years now. I spoke to Mike Cohn recently and he said the Sprint Goal is optional because in early days of scrum their were no PBIs, it was just the Product Owners vision for that iteration and the team would crack code to deliver that vision/ goal just for that iteration. This made sense to me. We no longer use sprint goals in our planning!
Jason Turnbull commented
I personally believe the sprint goals related to navigating a release should be established before the start of the first sprint of that release. They can be changed and modified as you learn more but not once that sprint has been started.
David Sabine commented
I agree to Henrik's suggestion BUT I suggest the alternate language should be written very carefully -- some readers of the guide will be prone to read Henrik's interpretation as permission for the Product Owner to 'set' the Sprint Goal prior to the development team's input with respect to scope.
Nicolas DULMAN commented
Should be completed now as this changed was done in the november version of the Scrum guide
Jeff Sutherland commented
This makes sense.
Alan Larimer commented
What is the purpose of the Sprint Goal? "The Sprint Goal is an objective set for the Sprint." It provides Focus. It was a formal inclusion in 2013: "The Sprint Goal creates coherence in the Development Team’s work that would not be present in separate initiatives without a common goal. Note the formal inclusion of a Sprint Goal." Excluding it in a Sprint can have negative affects on productivity. How can the Sprint Goal be decoupled from the Sprint? It sounds like you are advocating a [InsertSomeOtherTimeframeHere] Goal.
I do like the intent of the proposed change since the Sprint Goal may need to be adjusted as the Development Team does its planning toward fulfilling Topic Two.
gene gendel commented
Sprint goals frequently reflect wider, more overarching strategic goals and can be set before planning, still, with a fluid scope in mind. less prescriptive-ness here would make sense.
Martien van Steenbergen commented
TMO the Sprint Goal for the next Sprint may even be set in the current Sprint. So yes, decouple setting the Sprint Goal from any event. Just make sure you (always?!) have a Sprint Goal, get closer to it every day and evolve it based on new insights.
Robin Dymond commented
Yes and in some cases a goal isn't necessary.