Stretch goals - what and why
A stretch goal is a task or story that has been scheduled into a Sprint but that is not committed. It is considered a cherry on top, so a task that the Team hopes to get done in the sprint but isn't absolutely sure they'll get to.
Sometimes teams want to do this because they are really eager to get something done. It also can happen if there are significant tasks in a Sprint that have a high Scrum/Estimations in Story points only because of a high risk. It is therefore seen as a way to avoid having to plan more tasks again when the anticipated risks do not materialize.
As convenient as it is, the practice is interfering with the basic Scrum principle of only committing what you are sure you can do. The main risk therefore is using them to trick the product owner and external stakeholders into the belief that something will be achieved while it will not. If the stretch tasks are added at the request of the team, the risk is they will be treated with higher-than-declared priority. Therefore they pose a risk to the regularly scheduled sprint tasks.
Rules at Openbravo
- Stretch goals should only be added if there's a realistic chance there may be time left for them.
- They must not be used as a vehicle of wishful thinking to represent tasks nobody believes will happen.
- In the sprint spreadsheet they must be at the lowest priorities and marked in yellow.
- When calculating the planned sprint velocity they are not counted
- When calculating the achieved sprint velocity they are
- Counted only if all non-stretch goals in the sprint have been achieved
- Not counted if any non-stretch goal in the sprint is still open. The points in the product backlog are set to zero however since the task is done.