The Scrum Guide describes a sprint goal as an “objective that will be met within the Sprint through the implementation of the Product Backlog, and it provides guidance to the Development Team on why it is building the Increment.” The Sprint Goal is a tool to manage and focus the team’s activities. The team uses its energy to deliver the functionality required to satisfy the goal.  As a communication tool, the goal needs to be stated in the business domain’s language that succinctly covers:

  1. Why the work is being done. 
  2. What the outcome will accomplish.

As communication, the sprint goal needs to speak to stakeholders as well as the technical components of the team. Crafting good Sprint Goals is difficult partly because they reflect a negotiation between the product owner and the technical members of the team.  It takes sweat equity to attain three major hurdles required for effective Sprint Goals. Effective Sprint Goals are:

  1. Tangible.  The outcome of attaining the goal needs to be something that is substantial and perceptible.
  2. Measurable. The result of a Sprint, by definition, is potentially implementable.  The impact of the outcome should be measurable or, at the very least, validatable.   
  3. Understandable. The wording used should AVOID legalistic mumbo jumbo. 

One of the uses of an objective is as a rallying cry; if the statement does not galvanize all of the involved parties there is a problem. In addition, teams use the Sprint Goal to know when they are done or filter out work that does not generate the agreed-upon outcome.