TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE:
What is a Sprint?
A sprint is a collection of items from the backlog that is time-boxed to a month or less with the goal of shipping a useable, incremental version of the product.
Sprint is a way of working that uses the scrum framework. Many teams confuse sprint and agile to be the same thing and they are not. To help make it easier to understand, think of agile as a set of principles where you can use scrum or kanban to help your team become more agile. And sprint is at the heart of scrum.
How to plan and run Sprints?
A sprint cycle consits of:
- Sprint Planning
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
Teams who want to run sprints, start with planning for the sprint with a sprint planning meeting. This is a collaborative effort between the product owner, development team, and scrum master to determine what work can be completed within the sprint.
While planning the sprint, the team focuses on the backlog to determine what to work on and how they will complete them before the end of the sprint. Once determined, these work items are called the sprint backlog and the development team will pick up items from the sprint backlog, move them across different statuses based on their workflow, and complete them.
During an active sprint, the team checks-in, usually daily, in a standup or daily scrum meeting to share how they are progressing. This allows every member of the scrum team to stay updated, identify roadblocks, and help overcome them.
At the end of the sprint, the team shows what they completed in a sprint review meeting to all the stakeholders before deploying it to production. Once deployed, the team sits together to identify areas where they can all improve and be better at in a sprint retrospective meeting.
It sounds like a lot, I know. But we’ve written in detail on each phase of the cycle and how you should conduct each scrum meeting (or ceremonies) over here.
Best practices to run Sprints
- Ensure the items you pick from the backlog are not vague before adding them to your sprint.
- Be sure to let your team know what the goal of the sprint is and have them aligned on the goal.
- Having a common theme for all items in your sprint helps your team stay focussed.
- Don’t forget to add tech debts and bugs into your sprint.
- If the user story is too big, be sure to break them down with subtasks.
- Be aware of over-estimating how much work your team can complete.
- Use feedback from your team about past sprints and encorporate them into your current sprints.