The Scrum Guide 2020 introduced two new commitments in addition to the previously existing Sprint Goal. These commitments are the Product Goal, the Sprint Goal, and the Definition of Done.
The Product Goal is a commitment to create and maintain a future state of the product that can guide its development. It is a long-term objective providing the entire Scrum Team direction and focus. The Product Goal is created and refined by the Product Owner and the Scrum Team, collaborating with stakeholders and customers.
The Sprint Goal is a commitment by the Developers to achieve a specific objective during the Sprint. It is a short-term focus for the team, guiding their work and enabling them to progress towards the Product Goal. The Scrum Team creates the Sprint Goal during the Sprint Planning meeting.
The Definition of Done is a commitment to ensure each product Increment is potentially releasable. It is a shared understanding among the Scrum Team of what needs to be done to deliver a high-quality Increment. The Definition of Done is agreed upon and maintained by the entire Scrum Team, and it includes both the product increment and the process used to create it.
In this blog, we have focused on the importance of creating effective Product Goals and Sprint Goals, which are aligned with each other and the product’s overall vision. In addition, we have emphasised the need to create SMART Sprint Goals that provide a clear direction for the team during the Sprint.
Creating a Product Goal
It involves collaboration between the Product Owner, stakeholders, and the development team. The Product Owner is responsible for articulating the Product Goal and ensuring it aligns with the organisation’s strategy and vision. The stakeholders provide valuable insights into the market trends and customer needs, which help to refine the Product Goal. Finally, the Developers offer technical expertise and feedback on the feasibility of the Product Goal.
To create a Product Goal, the team can follow these steps:
First, define the business objectives: Start by defining the high-level business objectives the product aims to achieve. This could include increasing revenue, reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, or entering a new market.
Identify the customer needs: Identify the needs and pain points the product aims to address. This could be done through user research, customer feedback, or market analysis.
Define the value proposition: Based on the customer needs and business objectives, define the unique value proposition the product offers customers.
Articulate the Product Goal: Using the business objectives, customer needs, and value proposition, articulate a clear and concise Product Goal that provides direction for the team.
Creating Sprint Goals:
Creating Sprint Goals is a collaborative process that involves the developers, Scrum Master and the Product Owner. First, the Product Owner provides the team with the Product Goal and the key objectives identified during Sprint planning. The Scrum team then collaboratively decides on the specific purposes that they aim to achieve within the Sprint.
To create Sprint Goals, the team can follow these steps:
First, review the Product Goal: Review the Product Goal and the key objectives identified during Sprint planning.
Collaboratively identify critical objectives for the Sprint: Based on the Product Goal and the key objectives, collaboratively identify the specific objectives the team aims to achieve within the Sprint. These objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).
Prioritise the objectives: Prioritize them based on their importance and relevance to the Product Goal.
Define Sprint Goals: Based on the key objectives and their prioritisation, define Sprint Goals that provide direction for the team and align with the Product Goal.
Examples of Sprint’s Goals for a complex product:
Let’s consider a complex product, such as an e-commerce platform, and some examples of Sprint Goals that could be derived from the Product Goal of improving the customer experience:
Product Goal: Improve the customer experience on the e-commerce platform by simplifying the buying process, enhancing the search functionality, and providing personalised recommendations.
Simplify the buying process by adding a one-click checkout feature that reduces the steps required to purchase.
Enhance the search functionality by implementing a more accurate and intuitive search algorithm that provides relevant results.
Provide personalised recommendations by integrating an engine that suggests products based on the customer’s browsing and purchase history.
By achieving these Sprint Goals, the team is progressing towards the Product Goal of improving the customer experience on the e-commerce platform. Yet, these goals are abstract; that is, the scope is not fixed, which gives flexibility to the team when they start implementing it.
Creating Product and Sprint Goals is essential to the Agile methodology. Product Goals provide a long-term objective for the team to work towards, while Sprint Goals provide a clear direction for the team to focus on during a given Sprint. By aligning the Sprint Goals with the Product Goal, the team can ensure they create value for the customers and work towards achieving it in the long run. In addition, creating Product Goals and Sprint Goals is collaborative and iterative and involves the Product Owner, stakeholders, and the rest of the Scrum team.