Scrum Foundations Course – Sprint Backlog

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Sprint Backlog

Next: Product Increment and the Definition of Done

During Sprint Planning, the Scrum Team creates two outputs: the Sprint Goal and the Sprint Backlog.

The Sprint Goal is a high-level objective that provides guidance to the Development Team on why the work of that Sprint is important. It could be a customer outcome, a business impact, a learning goal, a risk-reduction objective, or anything else that helps the Development Team work cohesively towards a shared goal, rather than on separate initiatives during the Sprint.

The Sprint Backlog can be thought of as having two components: the “what” of the Sprint and the “how” of the Sprint.

During Sprint Planning, the Development Team pulls the highest ordered items from the Product Backlog into the Sprint Backlog. They pull as many items into the Sprint as forecast can be delivered into a “Done” Increment within the Sprint timebox. The completion of these items enables the team to reach the Sprint Goal. Notice that pulling these items into the Sprint will usually create the need to do further Product Backlog refinement during the Sprint, so that there are sufficient “Ready” items for the
next Sprint Planning.

The Sprint Backlog also contains the Development Team’s plan for how they will deliver the product Increment and realize the Sprint Goal.

The Sprint Backlog makes visible all of the work that the Development Team identifies as necessary to meet the Sprint Goal.

The Sprint Backlog should provide enough detail that changes in progress can be understood in the Daily Scrum. The Development Team modifies the Sprint Backlog throughout the Sprint as they work through the plan and learn more about the work needed to achieve the Sprint Goal. Potential
modifications to the Sprint Backlog during the Sprint may include: adding newly discovered work needed to meet the Sprint Goal; updating estimates on the amount of work remaining to reach the Sprint Goal; removing elements of the plan that are discovered to be unnecessary.

Only the Development Team can change its Sprint Backlog during a Sprint. The Sprint Backlog is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the Development Team plans to accomplish during the Sprint, and it belongs solely to the Development Team.