What is Sprint Planning? Definition and Overview
Only this way can you ensure that your team understands what needs to be built and how much work there is to do. However, they’ve managed to complete only 38 story points in this sprint and rolled 13 over to the next. For instance, more complex tasks will be assigned higher story points than simpler ones, as the picture below demonstrates. It’ll help them think about the task from a customer’s point of view and enable them to give higher importance to the tasks that are more valuable to the customers. Keep in mind that backlog refinement is not mandatory, simply because not all backlogs need it. The key principle of agile is to bring people together in order to work in a collaborative fashion.
If the team has, for example, 180 story points remaining in a project, it’s safe to assume that it’ll need five more sprints to finish the job. Based on these calculations, the team can plan to complete 36 story points worth of work in the following sprints. However, the velocity of one sprint doesn’t tell us much about how quickly the team can complete their assigned tasks.
How Product Managers Can Help Reduce Technical Debt
Article How To Reduce Context Switching as a Developer Context switching prevents developers from finishing tasks quickly and getting into deep work. Let’s look at how to avoid constant context switching to improve your productivity. Online tools are critical to ensure that everyone gets an equal seat at the meeting. Be especially aware that remote meetings are more draining than in-person meetings and plan accordingly with breaks and keeping things focused.
This requires the Product Owner and team to work together to break each item down into individual tasks. The time to complete all items selected for the Sprint cannot exceed the time available on the team. There are several ways to measure a team’s velocity, but the most common one is by counting how many story points they can complete in a sprint. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and you may need to make tough decisions about what stays on the product backlog until later and what needs immediate attention. After all, you just have to pick up the top priority items from the backlog that are ready to be worked on and put them in the sprint backlog. The team is encouraged to tweak the sprint goal if necessary and display it in a visible place, like a whiteboard, so it’s always top-of-mind for everyone on the team.
Be prepared to clearly define the sprint goal for the rest of the team. We’ll continue to update this guide as we gain more agile planning insights, techniques, tools, and best practices. The advantages of remote work also bring challenges for collaborative planning. No matter the way your team chooses to meet, whether virtually, in person, or a combination of both, it’s important that you choose tools that meet the needs of your team. When you plan your sprint, you’ll do everything you can to prioritize the most important tasks for the length of the sprint. It’s important to try to stick to the plan as best you can, but you also need to adapt as you acquire new information.
Sprint Planning FAQ
Realistically, most people have four to six hours per day available for Sprint work. This helps them to communicate more clearly, increase the efficiency of their processes, and deliver software faster. That way, they can easily choose what they want to work on, flag tasks as done when they resolve them, and basically keep track of everything that’s going on in the sprint. The team will take a closer look at all the user stories that haven’t yet been implemented and sort them by priority. Once this has been done, the team will create an overall plan for the sprint. The Sprint Goal is also a sort of cliff note that the senior stakeholders can read and understand what the whole team is trying to achieve from the sprint.
If team members can’t fully commit to the sprint workload, adjust the workload accordingly. Revolves around these project sprints as they allow the team to easily accommodate changes. As soon as a project is received, the teams divide it into several scrum project sprints and start working on them according to their priority. The timeframe of a single sprint can be any as long as its under 4 weeks. Here are a few ways you can keep your sprint planning organized, and your sprint planning meeting running smoothly. Learn how to facilitate great agile ceremonies like sprint planning, daily stand-ups, iteration review and retrospectives.
This is called “timeboxing”, or setting a maximum amount of time for the team to accomplish a task, in this case, planning the sprint. The scrum master is responsible for making sure the meeting happens the timebox is understood. If the team is happy before the timebox is finished, then the event is over. A timebox is a maximum time allowed; there is no minimum time allowed.
Effective sprint planning is what makes the sprint successful and complete, but bad sprint planning makes the project fail at some point. To sum up, cleaning up issues in the product backlog precedes the actual planning, but a proper sprint planning session occurs at the beginning of each new cycle. Bottlenecks aren’t ideal, but invisible or unidentified bottlenecks are much, much worse. Now is the time to discuss any bottlenecks and brainstorm solutions with team members. You may need to allocate resources differently to ease the bottleneck, or the entire Scrum team may even need to adjust what they pull from the backlog during this sprint planning session. Also, somewhere within the previous and this step, make sure the team agrees on a definition of “done” for the sprint.
Once the sprint goal is in place, it’s time to start planning the process itself, and that usually begins with a review of the product backlog. However, it’s usually a good idea for teams to schedule some time in advance of the sprint planning meeting to review and refine their backlog. This article is all about https://globalcloudteam.com/ teaching you how to conduct a sprint planning meeting that will make your upcoming sprints more effective, efficient and hopefully less miserable. When viewing or working on the sprint planning agenda, team members can collaborate in real time across platforms thanks to MindManager’s co-editing features.
Running your first sprint planning meeting
Sprint planning is an important process for Agile methodologies. Start your sprint planning meeting with the overarching objectives you developed during the preparation stage. That way, you can ensure the goals your entire team must reach stay top of mind. Otherwise, it’s easy to get lost in the granular detail of task order, individual responsibilities, and the like. The length of the sprint planning meeting is also an important thing the team must first determine.
The daily scrum or stand-up is an opportunity for a collaborative agile team to maintain progress. Post your sprint goal somewhere that is easily accessible so that the team can refer back to it throughout the sprint. Daily standups bring the team together to discuss progress and blockers that might be getting in the way. By getting the concerns out in the open early, the team can avoid the frustration of delays and ensure work continues to flow. An increment is a concrete stepping stone toward reaching the Product Goal.
The Inputs – A great starting point for the sprint plan is the product backlog as it provides a list of ‘stuff’ that could potentially be part of the current sprint. The team should also look at the existing work done in the increment and have a view to capacity. The purpose of sprint planning is to define what can be delivered in the sprint and how that work will be achieved. Sprint planning is done in collaboration with the whole scrum team.
- Sprints help teams break down a more extensive project into smaller tasks, making the project more manageable.
- Sprints, after all, as part of the Agile philosophy, are all about agility—the clue’s in the name.
- The team should also look at the existing work done in the increment and have a view to capacity.
- Preparation beforehand and acting on the results of the meeting afterwards are also crucial.
- While the sprint review looks at what was accomplished and how to move forward, the retrospective examines your processes and how the team is working together.
After that the Scrum Team iterates through the relevant items in the Scrum Product Backlog and the team commits to the entries which they think can be fully completed within the Sprint. The decision should be based on available capacity and knowledge about the entries. Ever been a part of a sprint planning meeting which seemed to last an eternity with no concrete conclusion achieved? Then, use MindManager’s drag-and-drop functionality to add the eight steps needed to create a sprint planning agenda. By comparing the story points against each team member’s capacity and skillsets, you can estimate how long it will take to complete each assigned task.
What is a sprint in the Scrum methodology?
Set a deadline for when team members must review the agenda and respond with comments. Make responding mandatory to ensure complete involvement from the team. This part of the sprint planning event and meeting is used to discuss what has not been achieved in previous tasks.
The scrum master is a facilitator between the development team and product owners. These gatherings will help your team achieve success because it lets them know what their roles are and what they need to deliver. The product owner moves the most important backlog items from the product backlog to the sprint backlog at the beginning of each sprint based on current issues, priorities, and customer needs.
Estimate stories & points
Typically, sprints last between two and four weeks but not longer than 30 days. A sprint is often used as part of a scrum or agile sprint planning project designed to help teams work better together. This can help a sprint retrospective and sprint planning session go more smoothly. If the product backlog is regularly maintained, the team leader will already know which tasks need to be completed.
Eight steps to creating a sprint planning agenda
Without this prep work, the sprint planning meeting is less efficient and more time-consuming for everyone. Think of sprint planning meetings as the event that kicks off the sprint. The coach in this scrum scenario is the team leader or product developer. The scrum team members are the players or development team that will put into action the steps or plays that will help win each quarter of the game. You may even choose to hold a pre-planning meeting to prep the backlog and decide what work to complete during the upcoming sprint. This meeting won’t require the attendance of the full development team, only the Scrum master and the product owner.
The product owner represents the business owner and other stakeholders in the projects by making sure that their business priorities and goals are reflected in what’s developed. With the help of the team, the Product Owner needs to ensure that every story to be discussed in the meeting is of equal size, and not too long or too little. The team will have a better understanding of performing this task when they would have worked together for a while. Sprint meetings are neatly designed to answer any and every question, the team member has in their mind. What needs to be delivered and how early do we need it delivered?
One of the benefits of Agile project management is that a clear leader is baked into the process. A product owner or Scrum master are often leaders of Agile development teams. Other teams use dedicated project management software, which can help them track Sprints from start to finish with visual features like Gantt and Burndown charts. Task statuses like Open, In Progress, Resolved, and Closed keep progress transparent for all members. And tracking data like estimated time and actual time can help you better estimate work in the future.
If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider whether the work is truly ready for development. In some cases, a “no” may be unavoidable (e.g., a last-minute bug that should be addressed but hasn’t been scoped yet), but this usually isn’t the case. You should plan for these scenarios to avoid overcommitting to complicated work. The best way to do this is to account for these unknowns ahead of time when estimating stories during your grooming ceremony.
The purpose of sprint planning is to shine a light on the team’s work for the product owner to better understand how a project is going and speak to priorities. It’s also an opportunity for the team to bring up dependencies inherent in a feature that require certain tasks to come sprint planning meeting agenda before others. Without the product owner and the team having this two-way communication and working together to regularly plan, faith can be damaged as unclear expectations lead to misaligned priorities. Let us discuss some of the major benefits of sprint planning meetings.
The Product Owner ensures that the entire Scrum Team is delivering as much value as possible. Another issue arises when you don’t establish a specific goal for the sprint and wind up with a set of unrelated items that the team has to work on. This can result in your team performing a sprints worth of work but not feeling as though they’ve made a lot of progress. To help with estimates, allow user story points rather than relying on a set number of days or weeks. It can enable the team to estimate by including work complexity and the amount of work required. It also helps them factor in risks or unexpected events that could affect progress.