In our previous post, you have seen different software development methodologies also you have discussed Agile methodology and its best practices. In this post, we will discuss the heart of scrum, which is called a sprint.
In the Agile development model or methodology, a sprint represents a period where a specific task has to be completed and ready for the review. In most of the organization, the state duration is two weeks or four weeks. The primary goal of making the sprint short is to keep the team focused, and the period should be enough to deliver a meaningful increment of work.
What is Sprint Meaning in Agile?
According to the Scrum methodology, development cycles are called “Iterations” and with the other and more familiar nickname of “Sprints”. These development cycles are relatively short and can go anywhere from a week to a month (Most organizations iteration with a length of two weeks).
During each development cycle, the team collaborates as a single unit to deliver a working part of the software based on customer demands and expectations. At the end of each sprint, the team will present the accomplished work (A.K.A: User Stories), and right after that review a new iteration that based on new tasks can start.
A sprint is starting with the planning meeting. The product owner and the scrum team come together and agree on what work has to be completed during the sprint. In the planning, the meeting gives input on how much work can be easily accomplished during the sprint, and the product owner will mention the criteria needed to meet for the work to be accepted and approved.
As we have mentioned above, during the sprint planning meeting, the product owner and scrum team determined the goal of that sprint. Based on the team velocity, the product or not pull some set of top priority user stories from the product backlog to sprint backlog.
Once the sprint planning is completed, new features are added, and the goal of the sprint will not change. But if the team finished the user stories early, then, in this case, the product owner can add a few more user stories into the sprint.
If the user stories are finalized, and the sprint begins, then the product owner should step back and let the team do their jobs. But during the sprint, the product owner will conduct a daily standup meeting to discuss the progress and whether there are any blockers for the team.
At the end of the sprint, the team will give a demo to the product owner about the developed working product. Based on the demo, the product owner for the project owner uses the criteria described in the sprint planning meeting to determine whether to accept or reject the work.
What is the idea behind Software Agile Development Definition?
The answer is simple when the team needs to take commitment to a long-term task, and they will not be able to see when it ends. Now, in most cases, the team will provide an Eta, but the problem remains the same, the team cannot take real commitment because no one can foresee the problems, challenges, and new tasks that can arise during this time that will reduce the focus from the main task.
To resolve these problems, scrum uses short iterations that are restricted in time and in the number of tasks that the team will perform which will allow them to remain focused on short-term tasks without the need to foresee the future work month ahead.
In addition to the above, we can see some other great advantages for using the method of short development cycles:
- There is more room for handling issues that arise during the iteration.
- The team will determine the amount of work that they will do per iteration; this sense of ownership will help to increase their sense of commitment.
- The team will commit to only the amount of work that they can deliver.
- The team will use a set of structured meetings:
Daily Scrum that will allow them to remain focused on the iteration main goal, Planning meeting that occurs at the start of the sprint to understand the requirements, challenges, and expectations prior to taking any commitments that based on the team capacity and velocity, Retrospectives to improve and adapt the process for maximum efficiency, and review meeting that will allow them to get real feedback about the quality of their work.
The Main Phases Of A Sprint
There are different phases of a sprint, while we are following the agile practice. In below we are discussed each phase in details you can check those below:
Phase 1: Determine the Sprint Backlog and Team Commitments
Every sprint begins with a planning meeting (Pre-Planning meeting may also be used), which involve the entire scrum team, during the meeting the team discusses which user stories should be added to the sprint backlog, the decision is made based on the prioritization of the items in the product backlog (PO) and the team velocity that determines the amount of work that the team can handle in a single iteration.
The sprint backlog is a set of stories that should be delivered by the team at the end of the sprint, each story that is added to this backlog should be approved by the team prior to taking any commitment to deliver it. At the end of this phase, we have prioritized sprint backlog, updated product backlog, known goals, and a set of commitments made by the team.
Phase 2: Sprint Execution
The team will work together to finish their commitments for succeeding to meet the iteration goal. Their work will include different activities such as Design (HLD/LLD), Coding (TDD/Continues integration, Etc.), and testing (Risk-Based testing/Exploratory and Automated testing on different layers of the code (Unit, Component, Integration, and System)).
In addition, this phase also includes the daily scrum meeting that will help the team to synchronize about the remaining work and to ensure that everyone stays in focus regarding the iteration goal.
Phase 3: Iteration Results
Once the iteration is completed (2-4 weeks), the team will demonstrate the potentially shippable product increment to the relevant stakeholders (Product Owner, Customer, Etc.).
Phase 4: Continuous Improvement
At last, the team also performs a retrospective meeting at the end of every sprint to discuss how things went and what can be improved in future sprints.
This post will help you to understand what sprint is and how it is working with Agile methodology. If you still have some questions, you can ask us in the comment section, and we will try to answer that as soon as possible.