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Creating a Sprint Goal

A new sprint is about to begin! The team has dozens of new ideas, but how can you focus in one creating a goal that will help the team the most for the upcoming sprint? That is why we created the sprint goal template.

Use this retro template when you want to....

Create focused goals before the next sprint

Preparing the Retrospective

This retrospective technique examines what the team wants to improve, obstacles the team wants to overcome, what assets are available to the team, and ideate on new sprint goals. To easily get started, select the Sprint Goal Template from the column-based techniques listed in Retrium.

Setting the Stage

Get your team ready for the retrospective by briefly sharing your expectations for the retrospective, explaining how the technique works and defining the four columns:

  • Increasing Value
  • What changes would help the team increase the product’s value or utility?
  • Helpers
  • What strengths and assets does the team have that the team can best utilize?
  • Blockers
  • What obstacles and weaknesses are preventing the team from achieving their goals?
  • Proposed Goals
  • What goals and ideas are initially available?

    Make sure the entire team is aware of the procedures and everyone feels comfortable moving forward. Depending on the size of your team, setting a timer - or timeboxing - can help keep the meeting on schedule and moving forward. Most teams are able to create valuable sprint goals in about 30 minutes.


    Ask your team to take time to think about the most recent iteration and create individual notes for each column.  Create a 10-minute timebox for participants to brainstorm and add their ideas. Facilitators may choose to keep initial notes anonymous to encourage honest feedback, or they may choose to show these notes to help the team generate ideas. When the timebox ends, the participants should finish adding their ideas to each column.


    This next step helps the team find common themes in the ideas they generated and will help focus the upcoming discussion on the big ideas on everyone’s mind. So, if there are 5 notes on a new retro tool, you’ll most likely want to group those together under the same group to discuss. 😉 Announce the timebox (5-10 minutes) and allow participants to collaboratively group and name the notes on the board.

    Dot Voting

    Sometimes it is obvious that there is one point that needs to be discussed during the retrospective.  And, sometimes it’s not so obvious and it can be challenging to identify the most pressing topics for the team. If this is the case, the facilitator can use dot voting to prioritize the discussion based on votes cast by the group.


    Now it’s time for the best part, discussion! 🎉 If your team used dot voting, then the discussion should begin with the note group that received the most votes. If dot voting was not used, the facilitator can choose the order of discussion. The facilitator can optionally choose to timebox the discussion of each individual idea as well, usually setting aside  5 or 10 minutes for each topic of discussion. The advantage of this approach is that it tends to keep the conversation focused and moving at a faster pace.

    Creating Action-Items

    Retrospectives are designed to organize actions that lead to change. The best way to ensure follow-through is to create and save SMART action items with each topic the team discussed. Create action items that help your team create tangible goals the team can measure when you are ready for your next retrospective. 😉  
    By the end of the discussion, there should be a clear vision of how events in the last iteration made the team feel, and ways to improve morale in future iterations. 😀

    Ready to start creating sprint goals?

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