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International Scrum Master Foundation

Steen Lerche-Jensen

5.2 Sprint Backlog

The sprint backlog is a subset of the product backlog that the team inserts to the sprint to work on. It is the list of work which the development team will be doing during the current sprint.

The work items in the sprint backlog are broken down further into tasks by the team. All items in the

sprint backlog should be developed, tested, documented, and integrated to fulfill the commitment.

The product owner helps the team to come up with the sprint goal during the sprint planning meeting.

Once the sprint backlog is finalized and committed to by the development team, new user stories should not be added. If new requirements arise during a sprint, they will be added to the overall prioritized product backlog and included in a future Sprint. However, the development team can change the sprint backlog as it evolves. The development team may discuss the work in progress during the daily scrum and modify the sprint backlog throughout the sprint, as the sprint backlog emerges during the sprint.

As new work is required, the development team adds it to the sprint backlog. As work is performed or completed, the estimated remaining work is updated. When elements of the plan are deemed unnecessary, they are removed.

Only the development team can change its sprint backlog during a sprint. The sprint backlog is a highly visible, real-time picture of the work that the development team plans to accomplish during the sprint, and it belongs solely to the development team.

The sprint backlog shows all tasks and the current status of the tasks. To give a better view of the sprint backlog, and to show if the team is on track to finish all tasks in the sprint on time, a sprint burn-down charts is used:

Figure: Example of Sprint Burn down chart. Sprint Burn-down, Remaining Effort, Day. Remaining, Ideal.

The sprint burn-down chart is a graph that depicts the amount of work remaining in the ongoing sprint. A planned burn down accompanies the initial sprint burn down chart. The sprint burn-down chart should be updated at the end of each day as work is completed. This chart shows the progress that has been made by the development team and allows estimation errors to be discovered. If the sprint burn-down chart shows that the development team is not on track to finish the tasks in the sprint on time, the scrummaster should identify any obstacles or impediments to successful completion and try to remove them.

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