Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (2023)

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (1)

EachSprint in Scrumstarts with Sprint Planning. The main purpose is to decide on a Sprint Goal (what the team will deliver) and what items from a Sprint Backlog they will take to achieve it. But while preparing and deciding on a Sprint Backlog can be relatively easy, deciding on a Sprint Goal that not only introduces focus for the team but also helps stakeholders better understand a tangible value they will get can be hard.However, working with Sprint Goals (in Jira and in general) is a powerful agile practice that is worth the effort. This post will help you understand:

  • What a Sprint goal is
  • How to plan Sprint in Jira
  • How to track Sprint goals in Jira
  • How to write Sprint goals (with examples)

What is a Sprint Goal in Scrum?

A Sprint Goal is a single measurable and specific objective for the Sprint. The whole Scrum Team defines it during the Sprint Planningand it becomes a commitment for the Sprint Backlog by the Developers. Sprint Goal is part of the Sprint Backlog and, from a broader perspective, should be heavily influenced by the Product Goal.

Why there should be only one goal per Sprint? A single objective helps Developers to focus their attention on what they need to achieve during a given Sprint. In this regard, a Sprint Goal encourages them to work on a single objective together rather than on several ones separately.

What about more goals? Is it OK to havemultiple Sprint Goals? Having two goals in one Sprint is not optimal. There is a risk that your team will experience decreased efficiency and performance, while the outcome might not be as well-considered as it should. And what if the Sprint Goal becomes obsolete when the Sprint is already running? In such a situation, the Product Owner has the authority to cancel the Sprint.

You determined a Sprint Goal. What’s next?

Let’s say that you identified one goal and the whole team agrees on it. The next step would be implementation—Developers pull tasks from the Sprint Backlog and execute them one by one. Over the course of the Sprint, the team holds regular Daily Scrum meetings to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal. When the Sprint is about to end, they check and validate if they met the goal (e.g., by running a product demo or a usability test).

(Video) Jira Complete Flow of a Sprint, from open to Closing Sprint - Jira Tutorial 10

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (2)

Sprint Goal vs. Sprint objective

The goal is a Scrum term, whereas the objective originates from SAFe®. Scrum recommends one goal per sprint and SAFe® allows for several objectives per sprint. Nowadays, both terms tend to be used interchangeably.

Sprint Planning in Jira

In Jira, you canplan current and future Sprints. The process of planning involves three main steps:

  1. Creating a Sprint.
  2. Assigning existing issues to the Sprint.
  3. Starting the Sprint.

When you create a Sprint you add the Jira Sprint Goal. Simply, type in the goal and it will appear under the Sprint name.

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (3)

If you have already created your Sprint but forgot to add a goal, you can still do it. Navigate to your Sprint backlog and click on the 3 dots () on the right hand-site of your screen. Next, click on theEdit Sprintto name your current Jira Sprint Goal.

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (4)

Jira Backlog panel. You can see the Sprint Goal (“Customers can pay for the flight tickets with PayPal”) under the Sprint name (“CA Sprint 1”).

Jira Sprint board

Moving on to the Sprint board where you view your current Sprint. To assign individual issues to it, you can search for them using JQLand then add them to the Sprint. Or you can drag an issue from the backlog directly to the Sprint (in the Jira Backlog panel).

Consequently, once you populate your Jira Sprint board with issues, it will look something like this:

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (5)

(Video) EVERYTHING You Need to Know About SPRINT GOALS! (Step by Step Guide with REAL LIFE Examples)

Jira Backlog panel. You can see the Sprint Goal (“Customers can pay for the flight tickets with PayPal”) under the Sprint name (“CA Sprint 1”).

For this Sprint, we created 15 issues. But as you may have noticed, even such a small amount of issue cards does not fit on a screen. What if you have, for example, 5 teams of 4 members, where each of those members will work on 3 tasks? The result gives 60 tasks for only one Sprint.

Now imagine that you have planned more Sprints ahead, which only adds up to the total amount. So the bottom line is that the Jira board’s vertical layout does not have enough room to allow comfortable tracking.

The conclusion is that when you only plan for one upcoming Sprint for one team, plain Jira might prove effective. But with more than one team, and long-term budgeting and planning, you probably need to extend Jira with another tool to work more effectively.

Visualizing and tracking Jira Sprint Goals

Sprint Goal tells your Developers what they should focus on. It also serves as the reference point against which you can validate whether the Sprint was successful. Therefore, it is crucial to keep up with your teams’ progress to ensure they meet the goal within the prescribed Sprint duration. You can do it by adding the BigPictureapp to your Jira.

BigPicture is a powerful PPM software that lets you visualize your backlog and Sprint Goals. This way, you and your team have a clear overview of all the tasks they will be working on. You will also be able to see how the tasks you have planned support your Sprint Goal and track their execution progress.

View several teams and projects on one board

With the BigPicture’s Board module, you can break down your Sprint into teams and assign them tasks. Or, simply drag and drop tasks from the backlog list (right side) onto the board (left side).

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (6)

Board module in BigPicture. The backlog list items you can add to your team with a drag-and-drop feature.

You will see all of your teams on the same board. Here, you can also manage your teams by adding a new team, duplicating the existing one, or assigning a team to another board. And if your Sprint involves several teams, simply collapse and expand the views. This way you can focus on the progress of each team individually.

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (7)

(Video) How to ADD SPRINT GOAL on JIRA (Part 14)

Collapsed views for teams: Craftsman, Native Features, and Tools4you, as well as for the Unassigned tasks.

Easily create dependencies

Since your whole Sprint fits on one board, you can easily createdependenciesbetween two tasks that belong toone team, ortwo different teams; ortwo different iterations; ortwo different projects.

BigPicture supports cross-project dependencies and you can add interdependent tasks from other projects to your Sprint board, too. As a result, you can view all the tasks you care about in one place.

Set multiple Sprint objectives

The Roadmap moduleallows for settingobjectivesthat you can later show or hide on your Sprint board.

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (8)

You can set different objectives—not only on the Sprint or team levels but also on the Program Increment level.

On top of that, if you need to set multiple goals for a Sprint, then it is possible to do as well. Let’s say you planned 3 goals for a Sprint for a given team. The team completed 2 of 3, which means that you mark those two Sprints as “completed,” whereas the third one as “failed” and move it to the next Sprint.

Track work progress

Each task that your team finishes counts toward the overall completion of the Sprint. BigPicture displays the progress in percentages and bars.

Setting and tracking Sprint Goals in Jira (9)

The Craftsman Team completed 4 tasks out of 14 which means they completed 29% (percent) of their work. Similarly, you can see the progress of other teams.

How to write good Jira Sprint Goals?

Every Sprint Goal should be short (ideally, a one or two-sentence statement) and easy to understand. Good Sprint Goals not only inspire teams but also help them self-organize around a single objective.

(Video) How to Create a Sprint Goal

From a business perspective, Sprint Goals are unique because they depend on the individual business context—Precisely on the Product Goal. Consequently, Sprint Goals represent the next most valuable outcome toward the Product Goal.

So how do you write good goals for your Sprints?

Like any other goal, a Sprint Goal should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).


The goal should tell you what is waiting by the end of the road. In other words, it should explain what you are trying to accomplish.


When the Sprint is over, you should be able to measure the results. For that, you may want to define some standards that will let you assess the end product.


Being ambitious is fine, as long as the goals you set are realistic. So before your team commits to anything, make sure there is enough time and resources to carry out the work.


Sprint goals and business goals should be hand in hand. The value the goal represents should indicate what positive impact it will cause on the stakeholders, including the users.


Deadlines in Sprint are natural—each Sprint has a clear start and end date. Timelines help teams commit, focus, and work at the same pace.

Sprint Goal examples

What could constitute a Sprint Goal that, on the one hand, is specific enough to let the team understand what they should focus on, and on the other—its value could be measured? Let’s take a look at a few examples:

– An example of a Sprint Goal in a software development context isdelivering a feature. The value of new functionality is that it allows users to perform actions that did not exist before the feature release.

  • Bad Sprint Goal: “Complete 3 stories from the top of the Sprint Backlog.” — not very specific or measurable. Plus, all 3 stories could lead to different functionalities.
  • Good Sprint Goal: “Customers can pay for their flight tickets with PayPal.”

Agile marketing teams could establish their Sprint Goal to be about risks byaddressing an issue, such as broken links, low landing page conversion rate, performance, or security. The value would be an immediate better user experience, more secure data handling, or more customers signing up for a demo webinar.

(Video) How to Perform Sprint/Agile Planning and Sprint Retrospective in JIRA

  • Bad Sprint Goal: “Improve the landing page.” — What exactly is wrong with the landing page and what do you want to do to fix that? Also, how will you tell that your team achieved the goal?
  • Good Sprint Goal: “Time to First Byte on the landing page for the ABC campaign is under 0.8s.”


How do I create a goal in Jira? ›

Create Jira project goals - track long-term goals, check the status of all your project goals in one place. Create goals for Jira sprints - easily associate issues related to your goals. Display your goals on Jira Dashboards to increase visibility within the team.

What is a sprint goal in Jira example? ›

A Sprint Goal is a single measurable and specific objective for the Sprint. The whole Scrum Team defines it during the Sprint Planning and it becomes a commitment for the Sprint Backlog by the Developers.

What are the 5 steps of goal setting? ›

The methods for effective goal-setting will vary from person to person or team to team, but here are some steps to get you started:
  1. Brainstorm actionable objectives. ...
  2. Identify realistic and specific goals. ...
  3. Break down goals into smaller steps. ...
  4. Identify possible obstacles. ...
  5. Schedule a timeframe.
May 10, 2022

What are the 3 types of goals? ›

There are three types of goals- process, performance, and outcome goals.
  • Process goals are specific actions or 'processes' of performing. ...
  • Performance goals are based on personal standard. ...
  • Outcome goals are based on winning.

How do I show Sprint goals in Jira dashboard? ›

Sprints in Jira Software have a field to describe the sprint goal, which only accepts plain text. If your team works with several sprint goals to make sure all stakeholders are in the same page, then, add a sprint goal per line, starting with a *, and the gadget will understand each line as a different sprint goal.

What are the 3 steps of goal setting? ›

3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals – and Making Your Vision a...
  • Step 1: Dream. If you can't picture it, you can't reach it. ...
  • Step 2: Plan. Now that you have your clear vision, it's time to determine what outcomes or goals you need. ...
  • Step 3: Act.
Oct 13, 2012

What are the 4 types of goals? ›

Goals can be separated into four types of organizational categories.
  • Time-based goals.
  • Performance-based goals. Performance-based goals are short-term objectives set for specific duties or tasks. ...
  • Quantitative vs. qualitative goals. ...
  • Outcome- vs. process-oriented goals.

What is a good sprint goal examples? ›

Sprint Goal 1 - Create basic website structure. Sprint Goal 2 - Build capability to list & purchase products using a credit card. Sprint Goal 3+ - … as many more Sprint Goals as needed. Sprint Goal X - Launch the website and fulfil the first orders.

How many goals should be in a sprint? ›

Ideally, there is only one goal per sprint. It creates a singular focus for everyone involved and prevents any conflicting priorities.

Who is responsible for setting sprint goal? ›

The sprint goal is a mandatory part of the Scrum framework. It is collaboratively created by the Scrum team during the sprint planning meeting. Its creation is typically guided by the product owner with the development team then deciding which functionality and technology it will implement to fulfil the goal.

Can you have multiple sprint goals? ›

This is another question I'm asked frequently, and the simple answer is YES! There's nothing wrong with a Sprint having multiple goals – in fact, I recommend it often.

What do I do if my sprint goals are not met? ›

A Sprint cannot be failed. Even if the Sprint Goal is not reached, all the "Done" backlog items are accepted by the Product Owner and all unfinished items are moved back to the Product Backlog.

How do I add sprint points in Jira? ›

Click on Jira icon>Go to Jira Settings >Go to Issues> Go to Custom Fields > Search Story Point > Click on Three Dots (right side of the Story Point)>Click on Configuration>Click on Edit Configuration> select an Issue Type(Story/Task/Subtask)>click on 'Modify' button.

What are the 4 P's of goal setting? ›

When establishing goals, it is important to remember the Four P's of goal setting. They need to be positive, personal, possible, and prioritized. When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid.

What are the 7 keys to effective goal setting? ›

The 7 keys to setting effective goals
  • Set your goal. Many of us fail at this first step – by focusing on too many things and not stopping to think about whether any of these goals might ultimately make us happier. ...
  • Make a plan. ...
  • Commit to achieving it. ...
  • Reward yourself. ...
  • Share your goal. ...
  • Seek out feedback. ...
  • Stick to your goal.
Dec 13, 2017

What is the golden rule for goal setting? ›

Specific - Your goal must be clear and not a vague idea. Measurable - Along with your goal, you should define a qualitative or quantitative way to measure your results. Attainable - Your goal needs to be realistic and achievable. Relevant - Make it relevant to your purpose to help you stay focused.

How do you set goals examples? ›

27 More Examples of Personal Goals
  • Find a career that you love.
  • Find a life partner.
  • Become an expert or leader in your field.
  • Go for a walk every day.
  • Become a better listener.
  • Buy your first home.
  • Save X number of dollars for retirement.
  • Give back to your community in ways that matter to you.

What are goals examples? ›

Examples of goals include: I want to become known as an expert in business strategy. I will commit to my career development and learn how to increase sales. I want to be more confident.

What are the 5 smart goals examples? ›

Examples of SMART Goals
  • Studying. Simple Goal: I need to study more. ...
  • Writing. Simple Goal: ...
  • Reading More Books. Simple Goal: ...
  • Mastering Emotions. Simple Goal: ...
  • Exercising More. Simple Goal: ...
  • Improving Your Diet. Simple Goal: ...
  • Becoming More Productive. Simple Goal: ...
  • Time Management. Simple Goal:
Oct 14, 2022

Can you track KPIS in Jira? ›

ServiceClarity Executive KPI Reporting for Jira is a powerful automated real-time Reporting tool and dashboard. The Executive Dashboard creates an in-depth report for IT performance to track business performance from a financial, operational, customer and future perspective.

How do I create a goal dashboard? ›

How to Add Goal Dashboards
  1. In the Execution menu, choose Home, Goal Dashboards. ...
  2. Hit the + in the top right of the screen.
  3. Give your Dashboard a Name and optional Description.
  4. Set the right time frame for the Dashboard. ...
  5. Hit Save.
  6. Click the Dashboard to open it and add Goals.
Jun 7, 2021

How do you create a sprint goal in Scrum? ›

How to create a great Sprint Goal for your Scrum Team?
  1. Focus on Business Impact. Well-written Sprint Goals should be focused on the business impact that Scrum Team want to achieve during the Iteration. ...
  2. Create Sprint Goal collaboratively with the Scrum Team. ...
  3. Encourage Incremental Delivery. ...
  4. Provide the clear purpose.

How do you set goals in agile? ›

Goals should be short or medium-term, and in an agile environment, these objectives can be regularly changed as needed. Tie goals to a company vision: Consider the “why” of your company, and create an overarching company vision. Tie individual and team-level goals to the vision and wider business objectives.

What are the 5 elements of a good goal? ›

Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives is a good way to plan the steps to meet the long-term goals in your grant.

What are the 4 steps within a sprint? ›

Technically, every sprint is made of four steps: planning, execution, review, and retrospective. This is what makes up the sprint cycle.

Who sets the Sprint goals in Scrum? ›

The sprint goal is a mandatory part of the Scrum framework. It is collaboratively created by the Scrum team during the sprint planning meeting. Its creation is typically guided by the product owner with the development team then deciding which functionality and technology it will implement to fulfil the goal.

Who commits the sprint goal in Scrum? ›

Who Set the Sprint Goal? According to the Scrum Guide: “During Sprint Planning the Scrum Team also crafts a Sprint Goal.” Thus, the Sprint Goal is determined by the Scrum Team.

What is the difference between sprint goal and sprint backlog? ›

The Sprint Goal has a small statement about why the team should work through the Sprint and the Sprint Backlog contains a detailed list of tasks that has to be completed during the Sprint that aligns with the Sprint Goal.

Who tracks remaining to sprint goals? ›

The Development Team tracks this total work remaining at least for every Daily Scrum to project the likelihood of achieving the Sprint Goal. By tracking the remaining work throughout the Sprint, the Development Team can manage its progress.

Is it OK to have multiple sprint goals? ›

This is another question I'm asked frequently, and the simple answer is YES! There's nothing wrong with a Sprint having multiple goals – in fact, I recommend it often.


1. Setting Sprint Goals is a Skill for Scrum Teams | ScrumMastered
2. Sprint Planning and Work Tracking in Jira
(Web Age Solutions Inc)
3. How to Get Your Team to Start Using Sprint Goals
(Project Academy)
4. Sprint Planning Meeting - Using Jira
(Agile Digest)
5. How to Plan the PERFECT Sprint - Atlassian Jira Software
(Apetech Tech Tutorials)
6. OKR for Jira | The easiest way to track your objectives in Jira
(Digital Toucan)
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