Sprint Planning Meeting
The Sprint Planning Meeting is the key ceremony of Scrum Framework. It is the first meeting to kick off the sprint. It is attended by the Scrum Master, Development Team and the Product Owner, along with interested and invited stakeholders. The meeting is time boxed to 4 hours for a 2 week sprint. The goal of Sprint Planning Meeting is to define a realistic Sprint Backlog containing all items that could be fully implemented until the end of the Sprint.
Why Sprint Planning Meeting
The essence of sprint planning meeting is:
- To review the product development progress so far
- Re-prioritization of product backlog as required by product owner
- To enable team to understand the need to pick next priority item\
- To establish a sense of shared ownership and commitment between product owner and team for upcoming sprint
How Sprint Planning Meeting
- The product owner revisits the product backlog and re-prioritize as required
- The scrum master gets the summary of sprint achievement and release progress
- The product owner and team identifies potential stories to pick up in the sprint
- The stories are discussed, understood and estimated if required
- The team defines their capacity for the upcoming Sprint.
Sprint planning is usually done in two phases.
Phase One ( pre-planning )
The focus of the team during pre-planning phase is to identify potential prioritized stories that can be committed to the sprint. Team considers story priority, capacity, reasonable understanding of story etc. factors. During this phase of the meeting, it is common for the team to go back and forth with the product owner, asking clarifying questions and driving away ambiguity.
By the end of sprint planning phase one, the team will select a sprint goal: a one-sentence description of the overall outcome of the sprint. This helps later when questions about depth and breadth come up. If the picked up stories do not directly tie to the sprint goal, then it is not picked up during the sprint.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.
At the end of this phase the list of all committed stories from the Scrum Product Backlog provides the base for the HOW-Meeting and the Scrum Backlog.
Phase Two (HOW – Meeting)
During phase two of the sprint planning meeting, the team decides how the work will be built. In this meeting the team will begin decomposing the product backlog items into work tasks and estimating these in hours. The product owner must be available during this meeting but does not have to be in the room. In fact, many teams find it helpful to work without product owner during this detailed part of the meeting.
Sometimes teams prefer to freely discuss the best way to implement a feature and do not want product owner to influence their thinking. Many teams find they enjoy discussing many implementation possibilities without worrying that the product owner will panic or misunderstand. If the product owner does remain in the room, the Scrum Master needs to take charge of this part of the meeting, keeping the team focused and free to explore possibilities without being limited by the product owner’s own ideas or opinions.
All the concrete tasks are identified for the complete implementation of the Scrum Product Backlog stories. Tasks normally include design, implementation, test and documentation activities.
Try to keep tasks to less than a full day’s work (5-6 hrs) so that stuff moves through on a daily basis and there is a sense of progress and opportunity for collaboration during the daily stand-up. Also, try to split them in a way so that in theory different people could do different tasks.
Remember that you don’t need to get the tasks right upfront: It’s perfectly fair to add new tasks to a story or to delete tasks that are no longer needed during the sprint. And don’t assign tasks upfront, team members collaborate and picks tasks during daily stand up as per sprint progress requirement.
The output of the phase two of the planning meeting will be the Sprint Backlog.