What is the difference between the Product Goal and the Sprint Goal?

What is the difference between the Product Goal and the Sprint Goal?

The Product Goal and the Sprint Goal in Scrum serve different purposes but are interconnected in driving the progress of a product developed using Scrum.

Product Goal

The Product Goal represents the long-term objective for the product being developed. It's a high-level aspiration that guides the overall direction of the product development efforts. The Product Goal is included in the Product Backlog and serves as the target the Scrum Team plans against. This goal describes a future state of the product that the team aims to achieve, providing a broader context for the work that needs to be done to get there​​.

Sprint Goal

The Sprint Goal, on the other hand, is a shorter-term objective set for each Sprint. It's a specific, actionable objective that gives the team a focus for the Sprint and aligns their activities toward a common outcome. The Sprint Goal is determined during the Sprint Planning meeting. It offers flexibility in terms of the exact work that needs to be done within the Sprint, as long as it supports the achievement of the stated goal. The Sprint Goal helps to ensure coherence and focus, encouraging the Scrum Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives​​.

Connection Between Product Goal and Sprint Goal

While the Product Goal sets the long-term direction for the product, the Sprint Goals are incremental steps towards achieving that broader objective. Each Sprint Goal should align with and support the progress toward the Product Goal. By breaking down the journey into smaller, manageable chunks (Sprints), the team can regularly inspect and adapt their approach based on feedback and changing conditions, ultimately ensuring that the product evolves in a way that maximizes value and meets the stakeholders' needs.

In summary, the Product Goal provides the "why" and the overarching direction for the product development, while the Sprint Goals provide the "what" and "how" for the team's focus in each Sprint, acting as stepping stones towards the Product Goal.

Explain this like I'm five.

Imagine you want to build the biggest and coolest Lego castle ever! That’s your big dream, kind of like the Product Goal in Scrum - it’s what you want to end up with after all your hard work. Now, to make it happen, you can’t just snap your fingers and have the castle appear. You need to build it bit by bit, block by block. So, you decide every Saturday morning, you’ll pick a small part of the castle to build, like a tower or the front gate. That’s your plan for what you want to finish by lunchtime, just like a Sprint Goal in Scrum - it’s your mini-mission for a short time, helping you get closer to your big dream of finishing the castle.

Each Saturday, you get a little bit of your castle built, celebrating what you’ve made and then planning what part you’ll do next Saturday. Over time, all those small parts come together, and one day, you’ll find you’ve built your biggest and coolest Lego castle ever, achieving your big dream!

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