4th Mar, 2020
What is a Goal?
The goal is the desired result or an idea of the future. A person or a group of people envision, plan, and commit to achieving the goal. The goal could also be a purpose or a need.
A personal goal could be, "I want to become a healthy and fit person.", or "I want to work towards acquiring skills for my promotion."
An Organization's goal could be "Increase revenue by 15% by the end of the current year.", or "Expand business in the UK market to bring in new customers."
What is the need for a Goal?
Do you remember in school days when teachers and parents ask you about "What do you want to become?" when you have the answer for that question set in mind, the rest of the tasks and activities that you will pan out towards that.
A goal is something like driving from point A to point B. All the plans, tasks, activities, work to be done will be aimed towards reaching point B. The goal is something that remains constant while the strategies to achieve the goal may take different turns due to circumstances. The goal never changes but plans to achieve it may.
Why goal for Sprint?
In Scrum, we use Sprint to achieve something. It could be building a feature, validating a hypothesis, or even prototyping something. If we do not have a goal/purpose, the deviation is inevitable.
Like we saw earlier, goals always keep us focused. The outcome expected out of the Sprint usually becomes the goal.
Scrum is perfectly applicable for product development under the complex domain. In the complex domain, we cannot plan for things that are still not clear. We need a target to move towards and plan things accordingly. Sprint Goal helps the Scrum Team with Focus, which is also one of the Scrum Values.
Crafting a Sprint goal
The Sprint Goal provides a base for the team to negotiate the scope change that may arise during the Sprint. No changes would be made or accepted that would endanger the Sprint goal. The Sprint goal guides the development team on why they are building the Product Increment.
The goal conveys the purpose of the Sprint, which could be,
- What is the value that customers are getting out of this Sprint?
- What are we going to validate in this Sprint?
- What are we going to build in this Sprint?
The Scrum Team works together in crafting the Sprint goal during Spring Planning.
They discuss and understand the purpose of the Sprint. One of the outcomes of Sprint Planning is the Sprint goal. If the team does not have a clear understanding of the goal, then it is not possible to get their buy-in. If the goal is raw, it needs to be refined to come to a clear understanding.
The team then chooses/selects the product backlog items for the Sprint based on the goal. The Sprint goal helps the team in understanding the need for building the product increment. The sprint goal should be crisp, clear, and understandable.
Unclear goals can do more harm than benefits. Please do not choose the Product Backlog items to complete and then design a goal for achieving them; it is always otherwise.
The goal could be something like,
- Make the Credit Card payment feature available for the customers.
- Make the Payments page secure by addressing the vulnerability issues.
- Make the registration page available for customers to self-register