What is a Sprint in Agile

Sprints or iterations are short, repeatable steps that last one to four weeks in an agile project. The number and length of sprints can be calculated at the start of the project, with each sprint producing a draft, prototype, or workable iteration of the final deliverable. Sprints divide a project into manageable chunks. Teams schedule one sprint at a time and adjust subsequent sprints based on the previous one's outcomes. Although each sprint should be prepared independently, the number and duration of sprints in your project should be decided from the start. This blog covers the summary of What is Sprint, Why Sprint is essential for business process, what are various roles, objectives, and procedures followed in a sprint, The process workflow of Sprint, distinguishing between scrum and sprint, list of tools used for scrum productivity and benefits of scrum sprints over the traditional methods.

What is Sprint? 

A sprint is a fixed amount of time in Agile product development during which detailed work must be done and made available for analysis.

A preparation meeting precedes each sprint. The product owner (the individual who requests the work) and the development team agree on what work will be completed at the sprint during this meeting. The product owner has the final say on what conditions must be met for the work to be approved and accepted, and the production team has the final say on how much work will be done during the sprint.

The scrum master, the team's facilitator, and the Scrum system manager determine the length of a sprint. Once the team decides on how long a sprint should last, all subsequent sprints should be the same length. A sprint is usually 30 days long.

Following the start of a sprint, the product owner must take a step back and allow the team to complete their tasks. Throughout the sprint, the team meets regularly to review progress and brainstorm solutions to problems. The project owner is expected to participate in these meetings as an observer, but only to answer questions. During a sprint, the project owner can not request changes, and only the scrum master or project manager has the authority to disrupt or stop the sprint.

The team presents its completed work to the project owner at the end of the sprint, and the project owner accepts or rejects the work based on the requirements defined at the sprint planning meeting.

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Why Sprint?

Sprints make tasks more stable, allowing teams to produce high-quality work quicker and more often while still allowing them to respond to change. Following are the reasons why organizations implement the Sprint Retrospective to manage the work process and make necessary improvements.

  • It assists the support staff in identifying and resolving conflict areas.
  • It supports the Agile team in continually developing operations by recognizing "what should be improved."
  • It encourages all participants to share their suggestions for change while still giving them a sense of ownership.
  • It lays out a plan for how to ‘get started, stop performing, and keep going.'
  • It aids project management in keeping the project on track by establishing priorities and instructions.
  • It aids in the early detection of risk and issue considerations.
  • It establishes accountability and fosters confidence among team members, enhancing team spirit.

Roles, objectives, and procedures for the Sprint

A sprint includes several positions, each of which is responsible for a different aspect of the operation. These are some of the roles:

  • Product owner: This person serves as a contact between the development team and consumers, representing the company or user group. The product owner is in charge of identifying, setting priorities, and modifying which functionality will be included in the product release in conjunction with the user group. They also approve or deny job results and keep customers updated about the progress of the project.
  • Scrum master: This member serves as the project development team's primary coordinator. They handle the flow of information during the sprint, including leading stand-up meetings and assisting the team in staying focused by resolving issues and eliminating barriers. Transparency, observation, and organization are their primary concerns.
  • Scrum team: This group is in charge of carrying out the project. The scrum team may include testers, architects, designers, and IT operations in addition to developers. Although the scrum master is in charge of keeping the team focused and healthy, the team is self-managed and ultimately responsible for deciding how to achieve its objectives.

Artifacts provide a scrum team the details they need to appreciate the product they're working on, as well as completed and planned project activities. The following are the artifacts:

  • Backlog
  • Burndown charts
  • User stories

Ceremonies are gatherings held at the end of each sprint. The following are examples of ceremonies:

  • Meeting to schedule the sprint.
  • Regular scrums or stand-up meetings are held daily.
  • Assessment of the Sprint.
  • Retrospectives for sprints or Agile.

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Workflow and processes for sprints

The sprint workflow is structured to assist team members in reviewing their work and engaging with one another during the project. For each sprint, the workflow is followed. The following steps are included in the process:

  • Backlog - Until the product is released, a list of unique tasks must be completed. The product owner creates the backlog. User stories, which concentrate on features that understand the category of end-user, what they want, and why, are used to create the backlog.
  • Sprint planning - The team addresses the most important user stories and determines what can be completed during the sprint.
  • Sprint backlog - This list, which has been unanimously accepted by the entire team, finalizes and determines what the development team will achieve during the sprint.
  • Sprint – The period the work must be finished in – usually 30 days.
  • Daily scrum – The scrum master leads the team in brief regular meetings where they discuss what they've accomplished, what they're working on, and any problems that are impeding progress.
  • Outcome - A sprint's result is a hypothetically functional commodity. The product owner will determine if the product is ready or whether it requires additional features.

Sprint end - Two meetings are held at the end of a sprint:

  • Sprint review – The team presents the product owner with their job.
  • Sprint retrospective – The team meets to discuss how they can strengthen processes. Continuous progress is a significant aim.

Scrum vs Sprint

Scrum is a method for developing complex products that fall under the Agile umbrella. During a sprint, the term “scrum” is often used to describe regular standup meetings.

Sprints are one-week to one-month time frames in which a product owner, scrum master, and scrum team work together to complete a particular product enhancement. During a sprint, developers focus on new features depending on the backlog and customer stories. Following the existing sp, a new sprint begins.

Tools for Scrum Efficiency

Scrum productivity resources are plentiful in today's industry. Each is intended to assist product marketing teams in adhering to the scrum/sprint technique in a timely and consistent manner.

The below are some of the most often used scrum tools:

  • Jira
  • nTask
  • QuickScrum
  • ScrumDo
  • Scrumwise
  • Vivify Scrum

Scrum sprints advantages over conventional development methods

Although there are a variety of software development methodologies available, such as rapid application development (RAD) and DevOps, the majority of today's development teams use either the Agile or Waterfall models.

The waterfall model, also known as "traditional" software development, is a software development technique that dates back to the 1950s. The waterfall model approaches projects in a sequential, linear way, with distinct phases:

  • Requirements.
  • Analysis.
  • Design.
  • Coding/implementation.
  • Testing.
  • Operation/Deployment.
  • Maintenance.

These steps are siloed, with each one requiring the completion of the one before it, and with little to no user input until the final step. Some Agile supporters contend that the waterfall model limits design changes in the middle of the process, causing delays in development and product delivery.

Since sprints split software features and specifications into revisions that can be addressed in short periods, they are more collaborative and adaptive than waterfall phases. Sprints deliver products with highly important features thanks to regular testing, immediate reviews, daily meetings, and ongoing input and consideration of end-user stories and needs.

Sprints, according to agile supporters, also increase time to market, ROI, customer loyalty, team morale, and project control.

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The sprint meetings assist the Scrum Masters in improving productivity by simply inquiring, "What went well?" and "What didn't work well?" and “How do we do it better?”. Agile project management is focused on quality progress control, and the sprint retrospective raises the likelihood of success. Sprints include all of the work required to meet the Product Goal, including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review, and Sprint retrospectives.

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Research Analyst
As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.