How To Do Sprint Planning? Sprint Planning In Scrum

Posted on September 17, 2010
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In Scrum, as mentioned earlier, Time Boxed Sprints happen through out the project. How do we go about Sprints? What sort of ground work or preparations that need to be done before starting a Sprint?

Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning has 2 stages – Part 1 (What to do or Requirements Workshop) and Part 2 (How to do or Design Workshop). Scrum Master facilitates. He/She should also make sure that busy Product Owner attends Part 1 at least and protects the team if Product owner is bossy or pushy.

Sprint Planning Part 1 (Requirements Workshop):

  • Team along with Scrum Master and Product Owner reviews the Product Backlog (features/user stories list). Team questions Product Owner for any clarifications and priorities.

  • Team understands the expectations from Product Owner, selects the most important features or the User Stories.

  • Team decides what or how many user stories  can be completed in the current Sprint and commits to Product Owner that those many user stories will be committed. Team also reviews the available bandwidth of each designer, leaves, other roadblocks etc while committing. Previous historical data such as Velocity could also be used while committing tasks. Product Owner or Scrum Master should never influence the team either positively or negatively.

  • Team also documents Definition of Done for each user stories or features selected for completion. That is Team should know when to say the task is completed. Product Owner should actively participate while the team decides on the exit criteria for each user story. This is directly depends on the quality.

  • Product owner should always be present during the Part 1 of Sprint Planning, no excuses. Once the Team selects tasks to do during Sprint, then no one forces the team for more work.

Sprint Planning Part 2 (Design Workshop):

  • Product Owner need not be physically present during Part 2 but need to be available at least on Phone for any clarifications. Team could contact him for more details.

  • Team collaboratively works on design details of the features or user stories that it has committed to deliver by the end of Sprint. Features are broken in to smaller tasks to manage better. This is known as Sprint Backlog. Sprint Backlog will be sequenced, dependency will be understood and each task will be estimated about how much time is needed to complete etc. Team also writes down these details on the Whiteboard for easy review during Daily Scrum. This usually is a noisy act, team members discuss, argue etc.

  • Each team member voluntarily selects tasks that they can do. No one assigns tasks to anyone.

  • Since, Sprint Planning is time boxed (generally 8 hours for 1 month sprint), not every design gets over on time. As Scrum depends on emergent details, team discovers more details during the actual work.

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