Best Practices to Run a Sprint Planning Effectively

Sprint Planning Best Practices

In the Agile framework, a Sprint Planning meeting plays an important role in the event of Scrum, and it is broadly implemented by the Scrum Team for the development of the product. This meeting is mainly conducted to carry out discussions about product development where the Product Owner describes the top priorities, makes the team know about the importance of User Stories, and their impact on users. Question and answer sessions would be undertaken in the Sprint meeting to break down the User Story into actionable workpieces. Also, the Sprint Planning meeting should define the backlog for the upcoming Sprint by setting expectations and offering structures. Above all, this article would help you to learn about the facts of the Sprint Planning meeting and best practices to run it effectively.

How Can You Run a Sprint Planning Meeting in Agile?

To run a Sprint Planning meeting, there should be an involvement of the Product Owner, the team members, and the Scrum Master as all of them gather together to meet the goals of the organization. In the meeting, everyone has the right to cooperatively choose the items from the Product Backlog to prioritize. The entire Agile developers involved in estimating the technical components of each product and look for its feasibility to develop at the time of current Sprint. Then, the User Stories are converted into testing and individual development tasks so that they can be allocated to individual members of the Agile team. A Sprint Retrospective is conducted at the very end of the Sprint Planning meeting to check out the results to identify the present condition of the project development, and accordingly, the same learnings are adopted in the next Sprint Planning.

What are the Benefits of Running a Sprint Planning Meeting?

Do you ever think that is it necessary to run a Sprint Planning meeting? A Sprint Planning meeting allows you to collaborate with the team to discuss the roles of every individual for the next Sprint. A team cannot work on each Sprint alone as it becomes easier for them to identify everything and makes them confident when they come together and collaborate with other participants in the meeting. If we talk about the benefits of conducting a Sprint Planning meeting, they are as follows:

  • There would be a better understanding between the team members, and it builds up the team spirit.
  • There would be a great understanding of the product in detail.
  • A Sprint meeting allows you to discover, prioritize, estimate, and sign up for every task.
  • You can learn about the different views of the participants in the meeting.
  • There would be an enhanced improvement in the skills and knowledge.

Discover the Best Practices to Run an Effective Sprint Planning Meeting

If you want to run a Sprint Planning meeting effectively, you can look out for the best practices given below:

1. Planning the Sprint Objective

A Sprint objective is one of the important parts of a Sprint Planning meeting, which should be accurate and measurable and should be discussed between the Agile Team and the Product Owner to produce better results. However, you can set the Sprint goal by considering certain things like what to achieve, how to meet the goal, and to check whether it is achieved or not. Also, you have to consider whether the goal is challenging or not as you would focus on delivering the valuable product to the customers. Therefore, you should not compromise with the Sprint Goals as you have to look for goals that are challenging enough to make the most out of it.

2. Arrange Meeting for Making Plans

It is true that this step is not much important for Sprint Planning, but it can help you a lot as it helps you to discuss the operations with your team members that you are aiming to add at the time of Sprint Planning. To make the meeting successful, it is essential to ensure that every task is accurate so that you can get into the next step of prioritizing, forming subtasks, and so on.

3. Task Prioritization

Once you clear out all the tasks, it would be easy for you to prioritize tasks to meet your organizational goals. There is no specific way to prioritize the tasks as it just requires the active participation of the Developers to decide what should be done at the time of Sprint. The discussion between the team members should be regarding what to achieve and how to fulfill the goals successfully. It is up to you in what way you want to carry out your work, no matter if it is from completing bigger to smaller tasks or smaller to bigger tasks as long as the tasks cooperate with your goals.

4. Formation of Subtasks

Once you are done with the task prioritization that needs to be completed, you can step into the formation of subtasks so that you can even complete them. It is done to simplify the completion of complex tasks by creating small tasks or subtasks to tackle them easily, and it would thereby help you to concentrate on each task separately. This way, you will never miss a single process to carry out that might be required during the production.

You have to discuss on your own which task you will complete first and so on. By the end of the day, you have to ensure that you have completed all the tasks of the day without missing even a single one. You should keep in mind that you should not take more than one day on a single task as it will affect the progress of the project. You can freely discuss with the team if you need any help with anything, and they might find the solution for it.

5. Avoid Taking Too Many Tasks

Even though you are very much confident, it is better to avoid taking too many tasks if you are not sure about completing them on deadline and as per the agreement. Fulfilling the Sprint goal is already challenging; therefore, it might be risky if you agree to complete too many tasks, and it might lead to disappointment at the very end. If you wish to do so many tasks, you should measure the time required to complete each task and can even take the help of your previous experience of accomplishing similar tasks. One should not feel ashamed of estimating the things as it helps to take the development of the project further smoothly.

6. Estimate Your Velocity and Capacity

Every Agile team has its capacity to undertake the operations in each Sprint. You should measure by yourself with your team how much work can be completed in each Sprint while you plan for the next Sprint. You can even estimate this for a new team so that you can guide them on how to calculate the time required to complete the tasks in each Sprint.

7. Discover the Team’s Commitment

You should check out the calendar regularly for the availability of every individual on the team. You should look for the upcoming holidays and check if the leader of the team would be available for the Sprint Planning meeting or not. Also, you should look for the interests of the team members for taking the project further in a successful way and completing it on time. Moreover, you should keep track of the people that are available for the next Sprint.

8. Make an Agenda for a Sprint Planning Meeting

Before you conduct a Sprint Planning meeting, you should create an agenda and share it with your team so that they can also know about it. While making an agenda, you should examine the length of Sprint Planning so that you can measure the time for scheduling the Sprint Planning meeting. If the Sprint is for two weeks, the meeting should be planned for about four hours, and for a four-week Sprint, an eight-hour meeting should be planned. The total length of the Sprint Planning meeting can be calculated by multiplying the number of weeks of the Sprint by two hours. This way, you can step to the next step of conducting a Sprint Planning meeting effectively!

Final Words:

Despite the fact that the Sprint Planning meeting is overwhelming if the arrangements and preparation of the meeting are made in a proper way, the team altogether can go through the Sprint with ease. The Sprint Planning meeting cannot be refused as it is the most influential component in the Scrum Events. The team should keep certain things in mind before planning a Spring meeting, such as the availability of the work backlog, dedication towards the product building, and utilization of Agile processes to get the work done easily. If all of these things are with you, then you can definitely proceed with the Sprint Planning meeting. However, to run the Sprint Planning meeting effectively, you can check out the above-mentioned best practices that would help you to run the Sprint Planning in an effective manner.

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