5 successful sprint tips

5 Tips for a successful sprint

Let’s face it, sprints are challenging and they can take a lot of effort to be consistently successful.  Our team has completed 8 sprints and we are constantly learning how we can become better.  Here are 5 tips to help you have a successful sprint:

  1. Spend time in backlog grooming.  Our team meets at least 1.5 hours per week in backlog grooming.  We gather information from the digital product owner and learn why we are doing a particular story.  Sometimes we will meet twice per week.  Our objective is to touch each story 2-3 times before it is added into a sprint.  We have enough in the backlog that we roughly have our next two sprints planned out.
  2. Once a sprint is started, do not add any new stories.  I have heard of other teams adding additional stories after the sprint is complete.  While I understand there might be something that comes up which is important, it usually results in the team not being able to complete a story within the active sprint.  Also, the opposite is true, if you team is consistently running out of work towards the end of the sprint, that means you aren’t estimating correctly.  There needs to be a nice balance.
  3. A successful sprint requires collaboration.  It is extremely important to have a high functioning sprint team.  It requires that your team collaborate and work well with each other.  Each team member should go above and beyond when required.  I find that sprint teams who work well together will be more successful than those who do not.
  4. Sprint planning is critical.  Sprints require planning and those teams who are able to plan ahead will have a better chance to complete their sprints consistently.
  5. Documentation is a must.  There are going to be many Agile team members who might disagree with me on this last point.  Some might even pull out the Agile Manifesto.  I am not saying that you need loads of documentation, but I do believe you need some level to help you communicate and lay the ground work on what is expected.  If you write items such as story card requirements, test plan, design documents, test cases, etc. it will keep the team on the same page and will provide information to others who are either new to the team or sitting outside the team.

I hope that these 5 tips for a successful sprint have been helpful.

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