How To Handle Sprint Planning Meetings Like a Pro


The development team refers to the members who are doing the work and include designers, test engineers, developers, etc. They have to be present in the meeting and participate actively. That will ensure they know what’s expected of them and know the products they must complete before starting the next sprint. The goal of HOW-Meeting is to fill the Sprint Backlog by identifying the concrete tasks needed to implement committed user stories for the Sprint. These tasks usually include activities such as analysis, design, development, testing, software build packaging, and documentation.

Sprint planning meeting explanation

Then each participant in this “poker planning game” chooses a card with the number of Story Points, which they think would match the User Story best. After the Development team predicts which Product Backlog Items it can perform during the Sprint, the entire Scrum team together defines a Sprint Goal. Only the Development Team can decide what it can accomplish during a sprint without the other roles putting pressure or influence on it. Kate is fascinated about how our physical environments influence our thoughts, behaviours, actions and wellbeing. She is a certified yoga teacher, a passionate writer, and traveller.

That enables frequent deliveries of valuable new customer features. The team should use techniques such as poker planning to estimate the stories and estimate the work they need to do to complete their tasks. Assign the new sprint backlog’s tasks, according to skill sets, capacity, and other relevant criteria. Have meeting discussions with the attendees and turn your discussions into actions, decisions, or agenda items or add them to notes. There is a high chance that since the last time the team planned a sprint, any of the team members may have received updates from outside stakeholders. It’s important to go over any new information from the market or customers that helps to set the context for the upcoming sprint.

During the sprint planning meeting

The purpose of a Sprint Planning meeting is to lay out what can be delivered in the forthcoming Sprint and how that work will be accomplished. The BVOP™ Project Manager is an advanced and competent business, product, and technical role and a key factor for the success of the projects. If your Sprint is 1 month, your Sprint Planning will be one full working day.

In this article, we’ve touched on the definition of sprint planning meetings, who attends them, when they should be held, their purpose, and how to prepare for them. You’ve also gone through a detailed meeting agenda, with every item explained, and got to know what the meeting’s output will look like. In order for the product owner and the development team to achieve the two goals of the planning meeting, some prerequisites must be met. The following preparatory steps are therefore essential before Sprint Planning in Scrum. If you work as a PO yourself or are currently preparing for the Product Owner role, you can use this checklist or use the items listed below. There’s a few reasons why you should run a sprint planning meeting.

Sprint planning meeting explanation

It means that for a login story, your project may have given two story points, while another project has given it 4 story points. Additionally, this logic needs to be consistent throughout the Sprint. The ability to add the product to Cart has got double the effort, so it needs 8 story points. Now instead of 4,8, you can give 2,4 story points or 1,2 points. Instead, we should have a clear goal like Improve the page load time of the home page by 10%. It’s important that the backlog is ordered so that your team can see what comes next and if they have the capacity to take it on.

Instead, the first sprint should be an exercise for the whole time. Forecasting the pace at which the team works is a trial-and-error process. In this process, at the first sprint, the team will use its best judgment regarding predicting velocity, and after a few sprints, good estimates will be obtained.

Before the team began the project, they applied a story map to estimate the work. Each story map had a particular step in the flow, i.e., website to the webshop, webshop to dashboard etc. Estimate the timeframes for each of the tasks assigned and agree on what “done” will look like for each item. She ensures that the self-organization and autonomous decision-making capability of the Scrum Team remain intact. The team needs to take vacations, public holidays, time spent on Scrum Rituals, and a small contingency for unforeseen issues into account to propose a reasonable capacity.

A company in charge of developing a set of HR products decided to make the products accessible through a single platform. The whole process involved one-hour software registration, recruitment, invoicing and personal planning. Ensure the team breaks down the prioritized story into small manageable tasks. Smaller tasks will help the team evaluate the activities they need to do to complete their stories. Send an invite to all members and ensure you have a set up for video call to accommodate any remote member.

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He keeps time and ensures they attain their goal at the end of the sprint planning meeting. Defined meetings are one of the powerful pillars of the scrum. They include sprint planning meetings, daily standup meetings, sprint review meetings, and sprint retrospective meetings. The Product Owner prepares product backlog items and is a resource for the developers when questions on use cases or acceptance criteria arise. This meeting is the most important for the Product Owner, and he must spend a lot of time on preparation.

Generally, the Product Backlog is a to-do list of all required features in the project. The Product Owner should master the list before the planning meeting and list items by priority. The items on the top should be ready for working during the next Sprint. Developers should get all the items on the list to start work.

The work items will be distributed amongst the team members depending on their area of expertise. The Scrum Master role interrupts all Scrum events, ceremonies, and meetings on time so that valuable time is not wasted. The Velocity of the Development teams determines the Sprint Backlog items collection. If in the previous Sprint it was, for example, 130 points, during the Sprint Planning event, the Development Team would select for its Sprint Backlog a total of approximately 130 points. In this case, the expectation is that the senior members of the Scrum team run the daily Scrum meeting.

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However, it’s worth it because good preparation guarantees a successful sprint planning. Sprint planning can become ineffective when your team does not have a properly refined product backlog from which to draw product backlog items. The scrum team, including the product owner, scrum master, and developers, attends the sprint planning meeting. Here are the definitions and responsibilities of each role as quoted from The Scrum Guide. Important to remember is how agile meeting management software goes hand in hand with agile frameworks. An essential part of planning for the next sprint includes reviewing previous sprints.

Sprint planning meeting explanation

Using previous sprint planning meetings and sprint reviews and reminding the team of the broader product goals, the product owner proposes a focus area. This will help inform the team to collectively define a sprint goal during the meeting. A sprint planning meeting is a working session for scrum teams to align on what will be accomplished during the next sprint and how the work will be completed. The development team and product owner collaborate to prioritize work and regroup around sprint goals.

Sprint planning meeting explanation

Encourage the team and offer a positive and enthusiastic outlook on what’s to come. To know if you’ve chosen the right workload, it’s important to monitor the team’s capacity and velocity in previous sprint planning meeting agenda sprints and record how many story points are burnt down in a sprint. They identify the product mission, the product roadmap, and a release plan with the highest-priority features launching first.

Sprint planning is an essential process that an organization needs to adapt to be successful. It indicates the roadmap for the next two to four weeks when stakeholders and team members decide as a group what they need to complete and deliver before the next sprint review meeting. So, have your sprint planning meeting agenda prepared, and let’s explore how can help you execute and organize all your sprint planning meetings effectively. Because sprint planning meetings are recurring meetings, you can start by using an agenda template and adjust it to fit your team’s needs. Now that everything is in place, it’s time for the new sprint to start. Remember that, after the sprint planning meeting, there are several meetings to follow, like daily standups and sprint review meetings.

Explore the possibility to hire a dedicated R&D team that helps your company to scale product development. Before the Planning meeting, Scrum Master should check the availability of all group members. In other words, the meeting organizer checks if there are holidays, vacations, or other events that can prevent members from participating in the meeting, affecting developers’ efficiency. Working in estimated time periods provides more transparency.

  • The team should align on how many story points will be done this sprint.
  • Generally, the Product Backlog is a to-do list of all required features in the project.
  • A well-groomed product backlog helps prevent confusion during the session and ensures the members are well informed.
  • Instead, the first sprint should be an exercise for the whole time.
  • Development Team – They will determine how many backlog items they can complete and how they will do it.
  • The Development team estimates how many Product Backlog Items to choose for the sprint.
  • It’s empowering to feel in charge of your own work and by being involved in these decisions, your team members will feel more engaged.

Usually, the Scrum Master always keeps some buffer with them. If Sprint capacity is 100 person-days, they will plan for stories worth days. In rare situations, if someone becomes unavailable for a longer duration, then the Scrum Master will inform the product owner, and re-negotiate some of the pending scopes.

The User Stories at the top of the list are the most important. The Scrum Master role ensures that everyone is aware of the meeting’s purpose and the benefits of the event. The Scrum Master role ensures that the Scrum team adheres to the meeting time limit, as well as keeping all participants focused and monitoring violations of Scrum principles and rules. The event that marks the start of each sprint is called Sprint Planning. This is a meeting during which the Development Team and the Product Owner role agree on the type of upcoming work.

Learn About the Sprint Planning Event

Some teams also have separate time assessment meetings and separate Product Backlog Items discussion meetings. Tasks that are created during planning can also receive a relative estimate of the development time, similar to User Stories. However, many teams, instead of relative values, forecast a specific fixed time for their tasks. User Story tasks may no longer have a relative time, but exact minutes, hours, or days.

How to create a Sprint planning template

Webinars and events Expert-led sessions explain how to unlock the power of visual collaboration for your teams. Hold the meeting on the same day and at the same time every time. That’s why reserving a slot in every participant’s agenda is a good practice. They’re the ones responsible for ensuring that the meeting happens within the defined timebox. Sprint Planning aims to decide the deliverables for the upcoming sprint and define a plan to develop the work. It kicks off a sprint, so it occurs on the first day of a new sprint.

Duration of the Sprint Planning event

By promoting those items to sprint backlog items, developers agree on the sprint goal with the Product Owner. The development teams need to focus on user stories that ensure the customers understand their product, and the marketing team concentrates on the actual number of revenues and leads. The sprint planning meeting should establish a conducive environment that motivates the workers to accomplish their goals. Additionally, the development team splits the user stories into individual testing tasks and development to ensure the detailed planning of the backlog items is complete.

After the sprint planning meeting

This can result in your team performing a sprints worth of work but not feeling as though they’ve made a lot of progress. This goal is the guideline for evaluating the Development Team’s work once the sprint is over. The team makes a prediction to the product owner and stakeholders about what PBIs it will deliver at the end of the sprint according to the collaboratively written DoD. In this way, the Sprint Backlog is formed, in which it should be documented which PBIs the development team has committed to and which it will optionally work on additionally. Distribution of workload – To complete the backlog items selected, will require different skills.

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