Sprint Planning starts each Sprint. With Sprints lasting a month, this event takes a maximum of eight hours. If the Sprints are shorter, the Sprint Planning also shortens proportionally. The entire Scrum Team attends the event inviting Stakeholders or specialists from other teams. We will discuss the detailed course of Sprint Planning and the problems that may accompany the planning of work in a new Sprint in the following text.

Sprint Planning – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is the new Sprint Objective?
  3. What is on the agenda?
  4. How will the do team do it?
  5. The results of Sprint Planning
  6. Summary

Introduction

Sprint Planning is one of the Scrum Events that we wrote about in a separate article. This event centers around the User Stories placed at the very top of the Product Backlog. In other words, on those that are most detailed.

Let’s take a closer look at the answers to the questions we’ve just put forth.

What is the new Sprint Objective?

The role of the Product Owner during Sprint Planning is to present the Objective and the tasks comprising it to the meeting participants.

The Product Owner starts the meeting by formulating the Sprint Goal and justifying why it is valuable from the customer’s point of view. Then opens a discussion in which not only Scrum Team members, but also Stakeholders can voice their opinion.

To sum up, the Product Owner gives the final wording of the Sprint Goal that the entire Scrum Team will strive to achieve and makes sure that the Goal is understood by all stakeholders.

sprint planning - scrum

What is on the agenda?

The second part of Sprint Planning focuses on selecting the User Stories to implement in the new Sprint and discussing how to make them more specific.

One of the most difficult tasks during Sprint Planning is to accurately estimate the number and labor intensity of the tasks selected for execution. The more experienced the Scrum Team, the more accurate it can estimate how much work can be done in a single Sprint. This is because the Team is applying effective estimation techniques, which we wrote about in detail in previous articles and here. Many Scrum Teams know and utilize methods to speed up the maturation of the Team as well as make the process easier and more standardized. These techniques include primarily Planning Poker and Team Estimation games.

How will the do team do it?

The third and most technical part of Sprint Planning focuses on answering the question “How will the team do it?”. In it, the Development Team proposes ways to accomplish the tasks selected for implementation in the second part of the meeting. No one but the Developers themselves should dictate how the tasks should be executed from the technical side.

Planning should take into account not only the execution technology but also the workflow between Developers. This will avoid stagnant work [bottlenecks], which can cause delays in the execution of tasks. As in the case of how to execute tasks, the distribution of tasks among individual Developers is also decided by them alone without external interference.

Typically, the Development Team here focuses on dividing User Stories into smaller tasks. The optimal length of task execution is one working day.

The results of Sprint Planning

The result of Sprint Planning is an unambiguous Sprint Goal, as well as detailed User Stories selected for execution from the Product Backlog. All these elements make up the Sprint Backlog, which we have devoted a separate article to.

Summary

Sprint Planning is the Scrum event that starts each Sprint. The Scrum Team can invite Stakeholders and external experts to it.

During Sprint Planning, the Goal of the new Sprint is defined. The Development Team determines with the Product Owner what to do and decides how to accomplish the planned tasks.

The result of Sprint Planning is the Sprint Backlog, which the Developers use to select daily tasks from the queue for execution.

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Scrum Guide | 36. Sprint Planning caroline becker avatar 1background

Author: Caroline Becker

As a Project Manager, Caroline is an expert in finding new methods to design the best workflows and optimize processes. Her organizational skills and ability to work under time pressure make her the best person to turn complicated projects into reality.

Scrum Guide:

  1. Glossary of basic terms, roles and notions
  2. What is Scrum?
  3. Scrum values
  4. How to implement Scrum in your company?
  5. Scrum Team - what is it and how does it work?
  6. Who is a Product Owner?
  7. The most common mistakes of Product Owner
  8. Who is the Scrum Master?
  9. Characteristics of a good Scrum Master
  10. The most common mistakes of Scrum Master
  11. What statistics and metrics should the Scrum Master track?
  12. Cooperation between Product Owner and Scrum Master
  13. Development Team in Scrum
  14. The most common mistakes of Developers
  15. Scrum artifacts
  16. Scaling Scrum
  17. Sprint Backlog
  18. What is the Product Backlog?
  19. What are User Stories?
  20. Creating the best User Story with INVEST
  21. The most common User Story mistakes
  22. User Story Acceptance Criteria
  23. Estimation and Story Points in Scrum
  24. Planning Poker
  25. Team Estimation Game
  26. Defining Increment
  27. Scrum events
  28. What is Sprint in Scrum?
  29. Scrum Team Commitments - Product Goal, Sprint Goal and Definition of Completion
  30. What is a Burndown Chart?
  31. How to create and interpret a burndown chart?
  32. Advantages and disadvantages of the burndown chart
  33. Kanban boards in Scrum and Scrumban
  34. Velocity in Scrum - Speed of the Development Team
  35. Daily Scrum
  36. Sprint Planning
  37. Sprint Review
  38. What is a Sprint Retrospective?
  39. Common mistakes during a Sprint Retrospective
  40. Product Backlog nurturing