Project management has become one of the most coveted approaches to successful project completion. Over the years, the system has evolved into a holistic and detailed process that lets organizations have complete control over how the project is performing. With highly qualified project managers entering the arena, they need software that will aid their work and take them closer to success.
What is Sprint in Project Management?
Handling a project, especially the ones that span over a few months, can become quite cumbersome. When it comes to project management, many approaches are used in order to complete the tasks given. One of them being Agile. The Agile methodology is often preferred because of Scrum, which is an Agile framework. Scrum allows projects to be built into sprints, a series of iterations that breaks down the project into small sections, making the process of fulfilling the goal more sustainable and achievable.
In a sprint, the team sets objectives and agendas and carries out production and implementation in a short and manageable duration of time. Essentially, the main target is broken down into smaller, more specific targets, making the larger goal more attainable.
The Role of Sprints in Project Management
When a project is separated into smaller pieces, it helps in delivering working software more frequently. The scrum framework follows the ideas of transparency, adaptation and planning, and with the help of sprints, it becomes easier to maintain these values.
What Happens During a Sprint?
The sprint has a beginning, middle, and end. The whole process requires much discussion and planning to successfully finish each phase of work.
Part One: Beginning of a Sprint
Before a sprint begins, a discussion occurs between the software development team and the product owner. Together they conduct sprint planning. They set the objectives and find what backlog items will contribute to the upcoming sprint.
Part Two: During a Sprint
Daily scrums are conducted, which essentially are 15-minute meetings held by the Scrum Master, who makes sure that the development of the project is taking place smoothly and that everyone is on the same page.
Part Three: End of a Sprint
At the end of a sprint, a review is conducted to assess its progress and what is left behind in the product backlog. Whatever is in the backlog is then taken care of in the next sprint.
The backlog is a crucial part of the sprint framework. It showcases what tasks the team needs to prioritise so that the team knows what products need to be delivered first.
How Long is a Sprint?
The duration of a sprint typically depends on the scale of the project. A sprint typically is not longer than a calendar month. Most of them are two weeks long, and some could be weekly sprints depending on the objectives that need to be achieved. A sprint could be a month-long for bigger projects since there are more agendas to fulfil. But it should not be longer than a month. Then, it cannot be counted as a sprint.
When planning the duration of the sprint, remember to treat each sprint as an individual, separate project. Assess each sprint’s progress and how your team is responding to it. You can change the duration of the sprint accordingly.
Phases of Sprint Planning in PMP
The scrum agile framework has been one of the most successful methodologies in the enterprise management scenario. One must have the right knowledge in order to plan sprints the correct way. It is helpful to get a PMP certification in order to understand the intricacies of sprint planning.
Here are the phases that come under sprint planning.
Phase 1: Designing
The design of the sprint is a one-time process, forming a backbone-like structure for the whole team. It goes through all the initial stages of sprint planning, such as assessing backlog, setting objectives, conducting scrum meetings, etc. It also includes reviewing and retrospecting the sprint, examining its performance and finding areas for improvement.
Phase 2: Valuing Sprint Velocity
The next step for the project manager and product owner is to determine how much work is to be done in the stipulated time frame. By having an estimation, they can decide what steps can be taken to fulfil the sprint target.
Phase 3: Assign Work to the Sprint
Once you know how much work can be assigned to each sprint based on the product backlog, the scrum master can allot work to each sprint.
How Can We Manage the Sprint Cycle More Effectively?
Here are a few points to remember when running a sprint cycle.
- Involve the Whole Team: A sprint can only work when the entire team comes together to make it happen. The team consists of the product owner, a scrum master, and the development team responsible for fulfilling the tasks assigned to the sprint.
- Plan Sprint Meetings: Plan different meetings that address different issues that fall under sprint planning. Analyse backlogs, review sprint activities, and conduct daily 15-minute standups.
- Make Deliverables Clear to Everyone: A sprint will have a specific target that needs to be achieved. Make sure everyone in the team is clearly understood and aware of the objectives and goals.
- Use Team Management Tools: Tools like the scrum dashboard can be extremely beneficial; assign tasks on the board, and you’re good to go. It increases productivity and makes communication clearer.
Sprint Tips: Do’s and Dont’s
1. Create a proper and organised product backlog.
2. Make sure your team knows the goal to be achieved in the sprint.
3. Use project management tools like the scrum dashboard.
4. Keep checking your sprint velocity metrics.
1. Refrain from adding backlog that should not be prioritised or cannot be completed in the next sprint timeline.
2. Do not ignore technical errors. Make sure they are addressed and fixed in time.
3. Align your team and be specific with your task and objectives.
The agile framework is a very helpful tool for project management, and employing the sprint approach can make your work easier and much more manageable. Educate yourself and your team about how they can reap the benefits of the scrum framework and make the most out of this unique management approach.