Working in Sprints is part of the agile project management methodology. Basically, sprints is a way to organize your workload into smaller packages. In other words, instead of having a never-ending list of to-dos directly in your workflow, you have a backlog of tasks, and then the organized sprints with a defined sprint length.
The sprint length is a set period of time, often 14 days, in which the selected tasks have to be implemented. If anything is blocking a task from progressing, and you reach the end of the sprint, the task will either go back into the backlog or move on to the next sprint.
Working with Sprints is great if you manage more complex projects, and projects that are prone to experience changing demand and requirements over time. It adds an extra level between your Statement of Work (SOW), and the actual implementation. Smaller chunks means that it is easier to make changes along the way if anything seems to go wrong, or if something seems off from the demand of the end-consumer.
Some examples of companies that can highly benefit from running Sprints are, e.g. software development companies, digital agencies, hardware design, and in general product groups that are under continued development with new trends and needs coming from the consumer.
Planning the sprints is often done during a so-called sprint planning meeting. This meeting is often held in cooperation with the client, or directly with the consumer in mind. The previous sprint is reviewed, tasks are prioritized, and then added to the next sprint. Collaborating with the client and consumer during sprint planning ensures that you create the greatest possible value for the end-user, while avoiding the risk of missing the actual demand or desire.
At the end of each sprint, a working demonstration of the newly implemented features are presented to the Product Owner, and perhaps the rest of the team. If everything seems to be alright, the sprint is completed.
After a couple of sprints or immediately after every sprint, depending on your desire and needs, most businesses will have a Retrospective meeting. The retrospective is meant to look back on the previous sprints. What went well, what didn't go as planned, what could be changed to improve, any general questions, and how is the team environment functioning at the moment? Also, if any significant feedback or suggestions have been received this is shared with the team.
Want to Learn More?
We hope this short introduction to Sprints, within the Agile with Scrum methodology, has given you some insight and potentially some clearance of what to do. If you want to learn more; we also have our full guide, if you're currently looking into applying Agile with Scrum in your project team, click here.