Working in a sprint system – what does it look like?

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The most important element of the Scrum methodology in project management is, of course, the sprint. Absolutely everything revolves around it, because it is during it that the product is created. So let’s check out what a sprint looks like in practice and what does it consist of?

What is a sprint?

A sprint in project management is an iteration. It is an interval of time in which a team solves a specific task or several tasks. It can last from 2 to 4 weeks, and the result of the work after that time is a product or some part of it. All project work consists of sprints: when one ends, the next one starts immediately. This allows complex projects to be broken down into smaller tasks. This way, instead of working on all aspects of a project for a long time, the team divides it into small iterations and completes them one by one.

How does this work?

Each iteration has its own set of tasks that the team is able to complete. This improves project management and enables faster delivery of quality products. It also makes the team more flexible and helps them respond quickly to any changes or problems.

The sprint is summarized by the team, and the result is a product increment. For example, if our project is the implementation of a CRM system, one of the increments could be connecting the technical support department to the system. The team plans all its activities in advance based on the results of the last iteration, their productivity, available resources, and information from the customer

In the Scrum methodology, with the end of the sprint, we should get a finished product that can be handed over to customers. However, it should be understood that this may not be a finished product as such, as it can be improved indefinitely. Here you should stick to the benchmark: end of sprint = working product that you can work on. The next sprint can improve it, and at the end of the sprint we have a fully working product.

How do you plan and execute sprints?

  • Each iteration starts with planning. The team holds a meeting with only two questions on the agenda:
  • What work can it do in the upcoming iteration?

How will it accomplish this work?

The scope of the work is also determined by the team together. The meeting is attended by the developers, Scrum Master and Product Owner. The latter maintains the product backlog and, based on it, sets the goals for the current iteration and approves the tasks. All tasks set in the plan form the sprint backlog.

Throughout the iteration, the team conducts daily stand-ups. These are planning meetings where the work done during the current day is discussed. Team members exchange opinions and comments and advise each other. Stand-ups are necessary to discuss the progress of the work and identify problems that may prevent the goal from being achieved. Finally, a review of the results is conducted. This is another meeting where the results are presented to the stakeholders. After the review, the Product Owner must decide whether the functionality launch is possible, whether improvements are needed and how successful the sprint itself was.

The final stage is the retrospective. This is an evaluation of the iteration results in the context of possible future bugs. Developers discuss what can be improved, what can be avoided and how to increase productivity in the project. The team identifies areas for improvement and ends the sprint.

It is also worth mentioning that sprint work is cyclical in nature. Each successive iteration is identical to the previous one and resembles a loop across the project map.

main photo: Kotliarskyi

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