What is a sprint?
With the rise of Agile and Scrum-based methodology, using Sprints as a measurement of progress has been widely implemented in Project Management.
The purpose of a Sprint is simple – a segment of the overall project development. It represents the focus of the team over a number of weeks (often between one and three weeks, though it may vary depending on the project), for the purpose of optimal quality. A Sprint is often referred to as an iterative segment in Agile or Scrum – a repetitive collection of actions that are intended to simplify the work process. All with the purpose of achieving the final result by completing tasks consecutively and with dedicated attention.
Working for a bespoke software development company has shown me that the Sprint structure tends to be universal for most companies, that have chosen to base their management on the Scrum methodology.
Life Cycle Stages
- Sprint Planning
A process that determines what part of the project can be done within one Sprint period. In this meeting, a segment of the overall project is divided into tasks and each is assigned to a person to work on them. All for the purpose of optimal time management. Any concerns or suggestions are addressed and the objective of the upcoming Sprint is described clearly to make sure everyone understands the role they have to play.
- Daily Scrums
The daily meetings can take different forms: from a stand-up meeting that requires everyone to share in a sentence what they accomplished within the previous workday to a regular meeting that allows more detailed communication and team effort towards the common goal. It may not even be daily, but only a couple of times a week, if it is not necessary for the team
This is set up by the Project Manager or the Team Leader of each team to fit their specific needs and is adjusted to benefit the project. The daily meetings’ purpose is to keep everyone accountable for their work on a daily basis and remind them that they need to work together so that the final product is coherent and works well.
- Sprint review
The review meetings are set up with the purpose to compare the Sprint plan to the results that were actually achieved during the Sprint. It can also serve the purpose of sharing the results achieved with the stakeholders and customers, along with the management team.
- Sprint retrospective
This is a process that focuses on in-depth analysis of the previous Sprint to evaluate how successful it was. The purpose is to isolate methods that do not apply well or delay the production process and offer an alternative to replace them in the next sprint.
- Repeat until the project is complete.
Let’s not forget the iterative purpose of a sprint. Once the first 4 steps are complete, and the Sprint success has been evaluated it is time to start planning for the next one, taking into account everything that has been learned from the current Sprint.
To sum up
The Sprint is a vital part of any Scrum or Agile team and has been implemented even in companies that have not otherwise adopted the methodology. But to have a successful sprint, the Scrum management figures need to guide each of the five Sprint stages and to carry out good planning for optimal results.
I hope this article provided you with a better understanding of the function of a Scrum Sprint. If you found it helpful don’t forget to share and leave a comment for my next article!