What is Sprint planning?

Sprint planning is where the work for the next sprint is planned; where the product owner (or product manager) alongside the team, prioritizes product backlog items according to customer needs. The sprint plan is then created by the product owner, in collaboration with the Scrum team.

Why is Sprint planning important?

Sprint planning is the stepping stone for any sprint.

How to have an effective Sprint planning meeting?

2-4 hours

Every 1-2 weeks

Backlog prioritization

Product team

To achieve a good Sprint planning meeting, certain things have to be agreed upon:

🍄 What are the inputs for a good Sprint planning?

The main inputs for the Sprint planning meeting are prioritized work items in the product backlog; a list of potential tasks, features or projects that can be part of the current sprint.

These items are ordered by priority in the backlog, according to the value they can bring to a customer. Other important information to be considered is team capacity, alongside the work completed in previous Sprints.

👩‍💼 Who should attend the Sprint planning meeting?

We cannot do sprint planning without the product owner and the development team. Why?

  • The product owner is the content authority over the product backlog; the person who will define the goal for the Sprint based on strategy and value we’re aiming for.
  • The development team, on the other hand, will move us from backlog to actual work by understanding how to plan for every priority.

📋 Ok... but i'm using Kanban, not Scrum

This should not be a problem. Kanban has a similar ceremony to Scrum, the Replenishment meeting where team members collaboratively decide on the work items they can commit to delivering, based on customer needs.

⏳ What is the timing for Sprint meetings?

If you’re using Scrum, then the Sprint meeting should take place at the beginning of every Sprint; with a timebox that is based on Sprint duration. The recommendation is that every meeting should go on for about 2 hours, for each week in your Sprint; for a 2-week Sprint, you’ll end up with 4 hours of Sprint meeting time.

🧩 What is the Sprint planning process?

Don’t forget that the sprint planning goal is to define the plan for the next sprint; the focus is always on that, rather than creating a detailed step by step plan.

  • Define the Sprint goal
    Every sprint has a scope; and in order to be able to define it, you first need to define your Sprint goal. The Sprint goal can help you choose the product backlog items we should include in the sprint.
  • Confirm Sprint availability
    Once the Sprint goal is agreed upon, then you can confirm who is available for the coming Sprint. Consider vacations, holidays or any other activities that may impact the team's availability during the sprint.
    We will use that to see which is the team capacity.
  • Finalize the Sprint backlog
    With Sprint goal and capacity defined, you can now include in your Sprint Backlog, the work items that can help you achieve your goal. The team can then discuss in more detail how they’ll manage to deliver those selected items.

🚰 What are Sprint planning outputs?

The main output for your Sprint planning is the Sprint backlog, alongside a Sprint Goal and the way to go about working towards that goal.

✋ Do not forget!

In order for Sprint planning to be most effective, you’ll need a properly defined product backlog from where to grab work items. You’ll need to spend some time planning in order to get a better understanding, and this may include having to estimate and redefine work items.

But how can this be addressed?
A backlog refinement process must be set in place, resulting in having work items reach a Definition of Done; which is when they’re ready to be considered for inclusion in the Sprint.

✍🏽 Who wrote this blueprint?

This blueprint was written by Vando Gonçalves from e-Core. If you're interested in writing your own, message us at marketing@jexo.io!

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