A sprint is a time-boxed, short period in which a team works to complete the pre-defined amount of work and make it ready for review. It is one of the core elements of agile methodology. Sprints empower product teams to offer more value to customers at a faster pace and follow the agile principle of continuous and frequent deliveries with a responsive feedback loop.
In scrum, complex or big projects are divided into small timeboxed iterations referred to as sprints. They empower product teams to offer more value to customers at a faster pace and follow the agile principle of continuous and frequent deliveries with a responsive feedback loop. In this article, we will have a closer look at what it is all about, including its pros and cons.
What Is a Sprint?
A sprint is a time-boxed, short period in which a team works to complete the pre-defined amount of work and make it ready for review. It is one of the core elements of agile methodology. The time duration is of few days or weeks, but does not exceed 3-4 weeks.
Workflow of a Sprint Session
Every sprint starts with a planning meeting where the product owner (the one demanding the work) and the development team discuss and reach a consensus on how much work they can complete in that sprint. The development team gets to finalize the amount of work they can do in the sprint, while the product owner gets to set the acceptance criteria.
Once the session begins, the team starts the work and conducts daily stand-up meetings to address challenges and discuss progress. A project owner can join those meetings as an observer, but he/she is not encouraged to participate unless asked. Moreover, the project owner is also not allowed to ask for changes during a sprint session. Changes can only be requested by the project manager or scrum master.
Once the sprint period ends, the team showcases the work to the project owner, who can then either accept or reject it based on the predefined criteria.
Pros and Cons of Sprint
Just like other development frameworks, sprint also has some pros and cons. The key ones are listed below:
- It brings a culture of shorter release cycles, which lets the product team get faster responses on the new features from users.
- Users get to give feedback at an early stage, which reduces the time to fix bugs. Moreover, faster feedback response also makes a company user-centric.
- As sprint sessions are time-boxed, so they present an excellent opportunity to try out new things without risking the whole project. For example, a team might want to add a unique feature to the product but don’t know how users would react. So, they can set one sprint session on it, build the feature, get feedback from users, and adjust future sprints accordingly.
- It makes the product team responsive to the competitive business environment, new feature demands, and changing customer behaviors.
- Sprint makes the work life of product managers quite hectic. They have to participate in daily stand-up meetings and provide continuous consultation during the whole sprint session.
- It requires the product team to estimate how much work they can complete in one session. Failing to achieve the targets can result in troublesome situations, especially when other processes are dependent on that session.
There are other pros and cons, depending on how a product team approaches it. Overall, sprint-centric product development seems an effective way to conduct development cycles. Whether it’s the sprint iterative-based frequent releases or continuous feedback loops, everything fits well with the present competitive era.