When Should A Product Owner Develop Preliminary Iteration Goals?

GoRetro Team
April 12, 2023
Posted on
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As a Product Owner, one of your critical responsibilities is to define and prioritize the work that your development team will tackle in each iteration. This involves setting clear goals that guide the team's efforts and help them deliver value to your customers. But when should you develop preliminary iteration goals? Let's explore this question.

What are Preliminary Iteration Goals?

Preliminary iteration goals are the high-level objectives that you aim to achieve in a specific iteration of your Agile development process. They provide a roadmap for your team and help align their efforts towards a common purpose. As a Product Owner, you play a pivotal role in setting these goals, and timing is crucial.

When Should A Product Owner Develop Preliminary Iteration Goals?

Ideally, you should develop preliminary iteration goals before the start of the iteration. This allows your team to have a clear understanding of the expectations from the outset and sets the tone for the entire iteration. By defining goals early, you provide your team with a clear direction and purpose, which can improve their motivation and productivity.

Imagine you are embarking on a road trip. Before hitting the road, you plan your route and set your destination. Similarly, setting preliminary iteration goals before the start of the iteration gives your team a roadmap to follow and helps them stay on track.

Things to Remember when Developing Preliminary Iteration Goals

Collaborate with the Team

Developing preliminary iteration goals should be a collaborative effort involving your development team. It's essential to involve them in the goal-setting process as they are the ones who will be responsible for delivering the work. By including their input, you gain valuable insights into their capacity, capabilities, and priorities, which can inform the goals you set.

Collaboration with your team ensures that the goals are realistic, achievable, and aligned with the team's capabilities and capacity.

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” - Henry Ford

Develop Goals Based on Customer Feedback and Business Priorities

As a Product Owner, you are the voice of the customer and the advocate for the business. Your preliminary iteration goals should be informed by customer feedback and aligned with the overall business priorities. By incorporating customer feedback, you can ensure that the team is working on the most valuable features and improvements that align with the needs of your customers.

For instance, if your customers have been asking for a specific feature or improvement, you can prioritize it in your iteration goals. This ensures that you are delivering value to your customers and meeting their needs while aligning with the business priorities.


Developing preliminary iteration goals is a critical task for a Product Owner. It should be done before the start of the iteration, in collaboration with the team, and based on customer feedback and business priorities. By setting clear and achievable goals, you provide your team with a roadmap and direction, align their efforts, and increase their chances of delivering value to your customers.

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