What Happens at a Sprint Planning Meeting?

August 2, 2017

In a Scrum project, every sprint begins with Sprint Planning Meeting. The main objective should only be planning the sprint. Ensure that the meeting is attended by the all team members including the Product Owner, Scrum Master and the Scrum Team. You can also include part time resources for this meeting. This provides an important opportunity for the Scrum Team to select how much work they can do in the coming sprint.

Based on the Guide to Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK Guide), it is time-boxed to eight hours for a one-month Sprint and is divided into two parts – Objective Definition and Task Estimation.

1. Objective Definition—during the first half of the meeting, the Product Owner explains the highest priority User Stories or requirements in the Prioritized Product Backlog to the Scrum Team. The Scrum Team in collaboration with the Product Owner then defines the Sprint goal.

2. Task Estimation—during the second half of the meeting, the Scrum Team decides “how” to complete the selected Prioritized Product Backlog Items to fulfil the Sprint goal.

During Sprint Planning Meetings, the User Stories, which are approved, estimated, and committed are taken up for discussion. Each Scrum Team member does a quick estimation of tasks using tools such as planning poker. If the discussions start taking more time, it would mean that the User stories were not completely ready to be taken up for the sprint. Each Scrum Team member also uses Effort Estimated Task List to select the tasks they plan to work on in the Sprint, based on their skills and experience. The team reaches a consensus about the amount of work that need to put in this sprint. The Scrum Team also creates the Sprint Backlog and Sprint Burndown Chart using the User Stories and the Effort Estimated Task List during the Sprint Planning Meetings. The team can give a verbal commitment to complete the tasks planned for the sprint.

Try to avoid doing the following tasks during the meeting. They help you for preparation and should be prepared before the start of the meeting.

Grooming: Grooming helps ensure that refining of requirements and their User Stories is done well in advance of the Sprint Planning Meeting so that the team has a well-analyzed and clearly defined set of stories that can be easily broken down into tasks and subsequently estimated.

Updates/Revisions: Updates can include revisions to the original User Story estimates based on tasks creation and complexity factors discussed during the Sprint Planning Meeting.

Bottom line is that if you follow these points, you will be able to do effective planning without spending a lot of time.


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