Each Scrum Artifact creates a certain Scrum Team commitment. The Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and Definition of Completion describe the future state of the Product. They are the intentions or commitments of the Scrum Team. However, each Scrum Team commitment covers a different scope and time scale.

Scrum Team Commitment – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Objective
  3. Sprint Objective
  4. Definition of Completion
  5. Summary

Introduction

The Product Goal was not added to the official Scrum Guide until its 2020 version. It is defined there as a Scrum Team commitment to the final shape of the Product. It is made by the Scrum Team and written in the Product Backlog.

The Product Goal thus joined the previously existing Goals in Scrum: The Sprint Goal, which is about the Sprint Backlog, and the Definition of Completion, which is the Scrum Team’s commitment to delivering the Increment according to agreed-upon guidelines.

The creators of Scrum thus decided to make the following connections:

scrum team commitments

Committing is designed to strengthen the Scrum Team’s focus. It provides the team with a clear goal and horizon for the entire project, one Sprint, and an Increment.

They should all keep in mind the Product Vision and the long-term strategic goal. The Vision is not a commitment of the Scrum Team, but rather the horizon of all its aspirations. It helps in formulating the Goals accordingly. It can be formulated as follows:

Product Vision: To become the world leader in magic commerce and services.

In the text below, examples of sub-goals will refer to this example of the Product Vision.

Product Objective

The Product Goal is a description of the future Product that the Scrum Team is working on from the beginning to the end of the project. The path to achieving the Product Goal is written in the Product Backlog.

A Scrum Team can only do one Product Goal at a time. To change it, the Scrum Team must either complete it or abandon it.

A good formulation of the Product Objective depends on the industry in which the Scrum Team works. But in all cases, the Goal should be compelling, clearly expressed, and relevant. In other words, it should describe the key achievement that brings the Product Vision closer to realization.

It could be, for example:

Product Goal 1: To open the world’s first online store for magic accessories.

Product Goal 2: Create a 24/7 flying broom service.

Sprint Objective

A Sprint Goal is a description of the work that will be done within a Sprint. It is expressed in the form of a Business Objective to ensure consistency in the work of the Development Team. And also increase Focus – one of the core values of Scrum.

The completion of Product Goal 1 that we proposed above could be broken down into the following Sprint Goals:

Sprint Objective 1.1: Conduct a market survey of magicians for demand for magic accessories

Sprint Objective 1.2: Compile a list of suppliers and product availability

Sprint 1.3 goal: To create a store website

Whereas for Product Goal 2, the Sprint Goals could look like the following:

Sprint Objective 2.1: Find a convenient location for the first service point

Sprint 2.2 goal: Conduct service technician recruitment

Sprint 2.3 goal: Launch a local marketing campaign

Each Sprint Goal is defined and discussed by the Scrum Team during Sprint Planning, which we discuss in detail in this article. A Sprint Planning event cannot be completed without defining the Goal for the next Sprint.

Definition of Completion

The Definition of Completion is another detailed commitment made by the Scrum Team. Unlike Product and Sprint Goals, it is formal by definition.

It usually consists of a list of quality criteria that must be met by the Product for the Increment to be considered finished. Thanks to the Definition of Completion, Scrum Team members and each Stakeholder can easily see what changes and improvements have been made to the Product by a given Increment.

For Sprint Objective 1.1: Survey the mage market for demand for magic accessories, a criterion for the Increment could be: Compile survey results of mages active in the magic forum. The definition for completing this increment could be as follows:

Definition of Incremental Completion 1.1:

  • Each of the magicians gave comprehensive answers to the questions
  • At least 80% of magicians are active
  • The results of the study were entered into a magic bullet database

The definition of completion can also refer to quality standards defined by the organization. Then it is not freely set by the Scrum Team. Its minimum requirements are set by the external requirements of the organization.

However, the Definition of Completion differs from the acceptance criteria we wrote about in the text on User Stories. Referring to the example of Completion Definition 1.1, the acceptance criteria could be formulated as follows:

Acceptance Criterion 1.1:

  • Estimate the percentage of magicians who will be willing to use an online store
  • Identity which accessories are most popular among them
  • Determine what budget your potential customers have

The acceptance criterion, therefore, refers to the performance of the task as it is perceived by the customer.

Scrum Team Commitment – summary

Scrum Team commitments are the Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and Definition of Completion. These enable the Scrum Team to stay focused while working on detailed tasks. They allow the Scrum Team to answer the question of what the key achievement will be from the perspective of the Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Increment.

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Scrum Guide | 29. Scrum Team Commitment - Product Goal, Sprint Goal and Definition of Completion caroline becker avatar 1background

Author: Caroline Becker

As a Project Manager, Caroline is an expert in finding new methods to design the best workflows and optimize processes. Her organizational skills and ability to work under time pressure make her the best person to turn complicated projects into reality.

Scrum Guide:

  1. Glossary of basic terms, roles and notions
  2. What is Scrum?
  3. Scrum values
  4. How to implement Scrum in your company?
  5. Scrum Team - what is it and how does it work?
  6. Who is a Product Owner?
  7. The most common mistakes of Product Owner
  8. Who is the Scrum Master?
  9. Characteristics of a good Scrum Master
  10. The most common mistakes of Scrum Master
  11. What statistics and metrics should the Scrum Master track?
  12. Cooperation between Product Owner and Scrum Master
  13. Development Team in Scrum
  14. The most common mistakes of Developers
  15. Scrum artifacts
  16. Scaling Scrum
  17. Sprint Backlog
  18. What is the Product Backlog?
  19. What are User Stories?
  20. Creating the best User Story with INVEST
  21. The most common User Story mistakes
  22. User Story Acceptance Criteria
  23. Estimation and Story Points in Scrum
  24. Planning Poker
  25. Team Estimation Game
  26. Defining Increment
  27. Scrum events
  28. What is Sprint in Scrum?
  29. Scrum Team Commitments - Product Goal, Sprint Goal and Definition of Completion
  30. What is a Burndown Chart?
  31. How to create and interpret a burndown chart?
  32. Advantages and disadvantages of the burndown chart
  33. Kanban boards in Scrum and Scrumban
  34. Velocity in Scrum - Speed of the Development Team
  35. Daily Scrum
  36. Sprint Planning
  37. Sprint Review
  38. What is a Sprint Retrospective?
  39. Common mistakes during a Sprint Retrospective
  40. Product Backlog nurturing