How do you best define a sprint goal, when the sprint's stories range across a wide number of different products?
Background: our scrum team's sprint contains stories that belong to a number of our company products and or clients. We build online stores for clients and build reusable internal products for implementation over multiple clients. We also maintain internal development tools. In a sprint we could have:
- Story: Extend the company's reusable shipping module to handle carrier tracking codes.
- Story: Build a widget for client x that shows the newest products.
- Story: Write a functional design for client y's new ERP product importer.
- Story: Add code format checking to our internal continuous integration server.
On average we have around 10 stories per sprint. Sprint goals currently are either:
- Very broad and non-specific to encompass all stories, which makes it useless as a guideline during the sprint.
- Very long, pretty much having each story included, which doesn't make it a concise goal to work towards.
At first this wasn't really a problem for our team. We'd just pick a general goal and judge progress / decisions during the sprint based on a stories acceptance criteria and definition of done. The scrum guide describes several situations in which it advises to use the sprint goal to judge whether the team is moving in the right direction. As the team's getting better at scrum the need for a valuable sprint goal is becoming more apparent to us. We're getting more in the habit of checking 'what's our overall goal', and a good sprint goal would definitely help.