Continuing with the Scrum FAQ series, in today’s post we’ll talk about Sprints. We will see what a Sprint is, as it is created and what things shall be taken care of at the beginning, dng and at the end of a sprint.

Scrum as a development process is divided in regular cycles. Sprints are each of these cycles. According to the definition we can find in the post “Learning the Scrum terms – Glossary”, we learned that Sprint “represents a duty cycle in Scrum. This cycle can be of any size, usually 1, 2, or 4 weeks. Sprints should always have the same duration. “On every Sprint, a set of requirements (User Stories) is implemented, resulting in an increase of the product being developed.”

The diagram below represents the Sprint cycle.

Starting a Sprint – Planning

When starting the sprint, you need to make Stories for the Product Backlog, to be implemented in the cycle that is about to start. The stories in the Product Backlog should be in an order defined by the PO and must be estimated by the dev team.

Considering the Product Backlog is prioritized and estimated, the Scrum team holds a Planning meeting (Planning 1) to select the stories that will be included in the specific Sprint in order to accommodate them within the time frame of the Sprint and respecting the order defined by the PO. This set of stories included in the Sprint is called Sprint Backlog.

Once the Sprint Backlog is defined, the Sprint can then be started! At this point the development team should hold the second half of the planning meeting (Planning 2), in which each story is split up into tasks, in order to divide and control the development of each story.

Now it’s down to work! We have the stories to be implemented and the tasks to be undertaken to implement each story.


Working on a Sprint

During the Sprint, the team performs tasks for the implementing the stories in the order set by the PO. During the Sprint the team can use the Burndown chart to find out if the Sprint is delayed or ahead of the Sprint’s goal and take action if necessary.

Every day the Dev Team meets to talk about: what was done yesterday; what are the impediments; and what will be done in the today. If there are impediments, the Scrum Master seeks to resolve it as quickly as possible, so the staff can proceed with regular work on the Sprint. 

The Scrum Master also takes part of the daily meeting. It is recommended no change in time or stories of Sprint Backlog.


End of a Sprint – Review and Retrospective Meetings

At the end of the Sprint, the Sprint Review meeting is held. In this meeting, the team presents the stories that were implemented, showing the results to the PO. The PO then analyzes the outcome of each story with the Dev Team and decides whether to approve each one or not. 

The stories that are not approved are than returned to the Product Backlog and are available for inclusion in a new Sprint. At this meeting, taking advantage that the PO and the team are together, stories from the product backlog that have not been well understood by the development team may also be discussed, as well as the future of the product.

After the review meeting, the Scrum team has the Retrospective Meeting.

In this Sprint last meeting, the team shares their views and reflects on what did and did not work during the Sprint. A debate is conducted on the strengths and weaknesses of the Sprint, with the aim to reinforce what was good and finding solutions to what was bad. So, in every Sprint, the team will learn and improve process and product.

Enjoy and stop by at Scrum University´s Youtube channel and watch the video about Sprints! Until next time!