Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog is one of the 3 artefact defined in the Scrum Framework as per Scrum Guide 2020. It is the plan of the Developers of the Scrum Team for the Sprint.  

Artefacts in the Scrum are there to enable transparency. These artefacts gets inspected and adapted during Scrum Events. 

Scrum has 3 Artefacts

  • Product Backlog
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Increment

Sprint Backlog gets created during the Sprint Planning event. it contains

  • WHY: Sprint Goal 
  • WHAT: Selected Product Backlog Items pulled by Developers 
  • HOW: Plan to convert selected Product Backlog Items into a Done Increment. 


Accountability of the Sprint Backlog lies with the Developers of the Scrum Team. 

No one can force how much work Developers can pull from the Product Backlog. No one can force Developers how they should convert PBIs into the ‘Done’ Increment. This is part of self-management of the Developers.

Commitment: Sprint Goal

Each artefact in Scrum has an associated commitment to it. For Sprint Backlog, commitment is Sprint Goal. 

Sprint Goal is created by the entire Scrum Team during the Sprint Planning event. 

Sprint Goal is an overarching objective that guides decision making throughout the Sprint. 

Each Sprint Goal is like one step in the direction towards achieving the Product Goal. 

In the complex environment, it may happen when predictions will go wrong. A 2 hour task can convert into a 2 days task. Build or Test Environments  may fail. Few people can get off sick. When such things happen, it might impact the desired outcomes at the Sprint and Sprint Goal may not be fully achieved. In such cases, scope of Sprint Backlog. Sprint Backlog is a living artefact throughout the Sprint. 

Few Tips Related to Sprint Backlog

– Sprint Backlog gets regularly updated by the Developers of the Scrum Team. Visualising the Sprint Backlog via Scrum/Kanban board can be really helpful. 
– Having a board for Sprint Backlog is not enough. It needs to be updated as well. Sprint Backlog gets discussed during Daily Scrum. Keep the Sprint Backlog updated before the Daily Scrum starts. 
– Sprint Backlog is Developers’ artefact and should only be updated by them. As a Scrum Master coach/teach Developers how to keep it updated to reflect the real time and true picture. But don’t update it for them. 
– Make the information clear in the Sprint Backlog. For example, which items are Blocked, which items are slow moving, which items require special attention. This transparency enables quality discussions.