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What Is a Scrum Sprint Cycle?

A Scrum sprint cycle is a timeboxed period when a team delivers a set amount of work. It is typically two to four weeks in duration and each sprint starts the moment the previous one is completed.

The Scrum sprint cycle is often referred to as a process of continuous development. It delivers a consistent work cadence for product releases and keeps the project’s momentum going until complete.

Stages of the Scrum sprint cycle

The official Scrum Guide mentions five events that represent the Scrum sprint cycle: sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. The fifth one is the sprint itself — which is the container for the other four.

Here’s a little more about the events in a Scrum sprint cycle. 

  • Sprint planning - Kicking off the Sprint and defining what needs to be completed 
  • Daily Scrum - Developers meet for fifteen minutes every day to share what they have worked on, any issues blocking them, and what they will be working on next
  • Sprint review - Evaluate what was delivered and decide what should be worked on in the next sprint
  • Sprint retrospective - A review of the process to improve the next sprint

Development work is carried out between these milestones and is typically a more linear process comprising design, development, testing, and deployment, with team members working in parallel across different user stories.

Scrum sprint deliverables

The main deliverable is the increment — the planned update to the product. Success is measured in terms of the new features being shipped as well as the additional value that benefits the end-users.

Two events of the Scrum sprint cycle are dedicated to reviewing and feedback: the sprint review and sprint retrospective, where key learnings about the product and process ensure that the next iteration will be more successful.

Further reading
blog post

A Guide To Managing Agile Meetings

blog post

How To Get the Most Out of Stand Up Meetings

article

How to Run a Scrum Meeting

blog post

Scrum for Newbies: How to Use Scrum to Tame Chaos