The definition of Sprint

A Sprint within the Scrum framework is a set, repeating span of time that a team uses to focus on accomplishing the most important work.

Sprints are supposed to be short (usually 1-2 weeks long) but the duration varies. It’s up to the team to decide how long their Sprints are.

It’s called a Sprint because teams are more likely to make meaningful steps when large amounts of work are broken down into short increments.

Within a Sprint, certain ceremonies are often attended. Such as:

  1. Daily Scrum – Scrum Team meets every day (typically for 15 minutes) to discuss their progress towards their Sprint Goal.
  2. Sprint Planning – Scrum Team meets at the beginning of every Sprint to establish what the team will work on and what their goal(s) will be.
  3. Sprint Retrospective (aka “retro”) – Scrum Team meets at the end of every Sprint to discuss what went well, what didn’t go well and what they could do to improve.
  4. Sprint Demo – Scrum team demos their progress to stakeholders.
  5. Backlog Refinement – Some Scrum Team members (lead developer and Product Owner) meet once per Sprint to make sure the backlog of work is ready to work on and is prioritized.
  6. Bug scrubs – Some Scrum Team members (lead developer, QA and Product Owner) meet once per Sprint to discuss open bugs and their priority.

Most importantly, during a Sprint, development teams work on developing the tasks that will make progress on the Sprint Goal(s).

People find it more motivating to be partly finished with a longer journey than to be at the starting gate of a shorter one.
—Chip Heath, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Small targets lead to small victories, and small victories can often trigger a positive spiral of behavior.
—Chip Heath, Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard