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What is a Sprint?

The Scrum Guide defines Sprints as the heartbeat of Scrum, where ideas are turned into value. A Sprint lasts up to four weeks during which a Scrum Team further develops the product or service. The term Sprint suggests that the work is done “as quickly as possible”. This is a misconception. It is better to view a Sprint as a defined period in which the team completes a set of tasks and/or goals. A new Sprint starts immediately after the previous Sprint ends. This helps the Scrum Team work at a sustainable pace and improves the team’s consistency.

Sprint goal and events

Although the Sprint itself is an event, it is actually a container in which all the work takes place to achieve the Sprint Goal (and ultimately the Product Goal). Within this container, all Scrum events occur, such as Sprint Planning, the Daily Scrum, the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective. During a Sprint, nothing should endanger the Sprint goal or lower the quality. Only the Product Owner can stop a Sprint if the goal is no longer relevant.

Predictability and risk

Sprints offer regular moments and events to evaluate progress and, if necessary, make adjustments. Longer Sprints generally increase risks, while shorter Sprints offer faster learning cycles.

Heartbeat of Scrum

As mentioned, the Sprint is called the “heartbeat of Scrum” because it provides a regular and predictable work rhythm (just like a heartbeat is constant and regular). This helps teams stay organized and regularly review and adjust their work.
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