A Sprint can be cancelled before the Sprint time-box is over. Only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel the Sprint, although he or she may do so under influence from the stakeholders, the Development Team, or the Scrum Master.
A Sprint would be cancelled if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete. This might occur if the company changes direction or if market or technology conditions change. In general, a Sprint should be cancelled if it no longer makes sense given the circumstances. But, due to the short duration of Sprints, cancellation rarely makes sense.
When a Sprint is cancelled, any completed and “Done” Product Backlog items are reviewed. If part of the work is potentially releasable, the Product Owner typically accepts it. All incomplete Product Backlog Items are re-estimated and put back on the Product Backlog. The work done on them depreciates quickly and must be frequently re-estimated.
Sprint cancellations consume resources, since everyone regroups in another Sprint Planning to start another Sprint. Sprint cancellations are often traumatic to the Scrum Team, and are very uncommon.
The What is Scrum Blog Series are excerpts from the Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Offered for license under the Attribution Share-Alike license of Creative Commons, accessible at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode and also described in summary form at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.
- Scrum Foundations Course Video Series
- An Introduction to Scrum
- What Are the 3 Pillars of Scrum?
- What are the 5 Scrum Values?
- What is a Scrum Team?
- What is a Scrum Product Owner?
- What is a Scrum Development Team?
- What is the Ideal Size of a Scrum Development Team?
- What is a Scrum Master?
- What are the Scrum Events?
- What is a Sprint?
- Who can cancel a Sprint?
- What is Sprint Planning?
- What is a Sprint Goal?
- What is a Daily Scrum?
- What is a Sprint Review?
- What is a Sprint Retrospective?
- What are the Scrum Artifacts?
- What is a Product Backlog?
- What is Product Backlog Refinement or Grooming?
- What is a Sprint Backlog?
- What is a Product Increment?
- What is a Definition of “Done”?
- Who is Monitoring Progress?
- The Importance of Artifact Transparency