Definition

sprint (software development)

In product development, a sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for review.

Each sprint begins with a planning meeting. During the meeting, the product owner (the person requesting the work) and the development team agree upon exactly what work will be accomplished during the sprint. The development team has the final say when it comes to determining how much work can realistically be accomplished during the sprint, and the product owner has the final say on what criteria need to be met for the work to be approved and accepted.

The duration of a sprint is determined by the scrum master, the team's facilitator. Once the team reaches a consensus for how many days a sprint should last, all future sprints should be the same. Traditionally, a sprint lasts 30 days.

After a sprint begins, the product owner must step back and let the team do their work. During the sprint, the team holds daily stand up meeting to discuss progress and brainstorm solutions to challenges. The project owner may attend these meetings as an observer but is not allowed to participate unless it is to answer questions. (See pigs and chickens). The project owner may not make requests for changes during a sprint and only the scrum master or project manager has the power to interrupt or stop the sprint.

At the end of the sprint, the team presents its completed work to the project owner and the project owner uses the criteria established at the sprint planning meeting to either accept or reject the work.

See also: agile development

This was last updated in June 2015

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The product owner is the only person that can decide to abort a sprint. The scrum master or project manager cannot, since it is not their money being spent.
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@TJP Thomas; I don't think the bit about stopping or interrupting the sprint is as much about aborting as it is about managing the team's time. Business needs sometimes seem to oscillate quickly, and if the product owner has the power to redirect the team's focus mid-sprint (by aborting the current project and restarting a previously aborted project) it ties the scrum master's hands too much and doesn't give the team enough self-reliance.
Of course there should be an emergency break where the product owner can totally scrap a project, but ideally that would be pulled in between sprints and would only happen if the project is totally unproductive (which shouldn't happen if the product owner is committed to their role in the beginning).
I think this need for the product owner's commitment is why I tend to see more 2-week sprints than full-month sprints. It's easier for the product owner to fund two weeks of work at a time than to commit to not changing direction for a full month.
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Wow, sound good. I think sprint is best but not as best like agile. In agile methodology each and every phase is defined first. even if you want to change developer or development company still you will not loose any thing.
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