In Scrum, projects are broken up into 2 or 4 week sprints. Sprint Planning initiates the sprint by deciding what work will be performed. The process is collaborative and should involve every team member.
Like any good meeting, an effective sprint planning meeting needs an agenda. The agenda is straight forward, but will keep your team focused and the meeting on track.
Depending on how long your sprints are you may want to increase the time spent during topics 3 and 4.
1. What's our availability? ( 5 mins )
Clarify team availability for the duration of the sprint, noting any vacations, out of office time, or other responsibilities (such as interviews or mentoring). Are there any public holidays or all-company events that might impact the sprint?
2. Why is this sprint valuable? ( 20 mins )
The Product Owner proposes how the value of the product could be increased during this Sprint. As a group decide on a 1-2 sentence description for the Sprint goal.
3. What can be done this sprint? ( 60 mins )
Go through the backlog and decide what items should be included in the sprint. Discuss confidence in estimate and scope for each item, making sure the description is accurate and everyone is aligned on the problem statement and definition of done.
4. How will the work get done? ( 30 mins )
Developers break up backlog items into work items of one day or less, to be picked up in the daily scrum.
5. How are we feeling about the sprint? ( 5 mins )
Round the room, red-yellow-green checkout. Each team member explains one thing they are worried about and one thing they are excited about for this sprint.
Sprint planning meetings help teams define goals, build alignment, and tackle projects collaboratively. They’re a foundational part of agile development, providing a space for teams to come together and plan before the upcoming sprint.
In scrum, a sprint is a set period of time where work is done – typically 2 or 4 weeks in length. Each sprint begins with a sprint planning meeting to define focus, deliverables, and how it will all be accomplished.
During sprint planning, the team works together to determine a goal for the sprint and then individuals commit to work they plan to accomplish towards it. A good sprint planning meeting provides structure, sets expectations, and defines clear outcomes that help everyone on the team feel motivated and successful.
Define a goal for the upcoming sprint and determine how the team will work to achieve that goal.
Sprint planning meetings should be a collaborative process, with the whole scrum team involved each time. Here’s a breakdown of attendees and their unique roles.
Sprint planning helps teams work more effectively together and has a number of benefits.
Write a solid sprint goal: Your goal should be short (1-2 sentences) and clearly describe what the team is trying to accomplish by when. It should be written together, as a team, and then published so that team members and stakeholders can reference it. Your goal will come in handy later on too, as it helps you measure the success of your sprint during sprint review.
Example sprint goals:
Optimize your product backlog: The product backlog is a critical component of sprint planning, so it’s important that it reflects the most up-to-date, accurate information. Each backlog item should include: an estimate of project size and scope, a clear description of the work, and an agreed-upon definition of what “done” looks like. During sprint planning, you’ll break apart backlog items into smaller tasks that can be accomplished in one day or less.
Keep a pulse on how the team is feeling: Do teammates feel like the workload is achievable? What are they most concerned or excited about? Checking in on these items before you set out on your sprint can give you valuable qualitative insights to come back to during sprint review. It helps everyone feel heard and included, and empowers the whole team to more realistically scope work during future sprints too.