How to Conduct a Sprint Planning Meeting

Development teams convene during a sprint planning meeting to decide which backlog items should be given priority for the upcoming sprint. From development to marketing, company departments find success with sprint planning. In this article, let us learn more about it is and how to conduct an effective sprint planning meeting.

Visual PMP Academy
March 24, 2024

What is a Sprint Planning Meeting?

Development teams convene during a sprint planning meeting to decide which backlog items should be given priority for the upcoming sprint.

Once every two to four weeks, your project team, management, and any other members of the leadership team you feel ought to be present should gather for a sprint planning meeting. Determine which backlog issues will be tackled in the upcoming sprint by conducting a sprint planning meeting.

From development to marketing, practically all company departments find success with sprint planning. Because the approach is entirely collaborative, team members can reach a consensus more quickly between sessions.

Overview of Sprint Planning Meeting

  • Objective. To decide which tasks from the backlog will be included in the sprint and to agree on a goal. 
  • Attendees or People Involved. Make sure that the product owner, the development team, the scrum master, and any other participants the scrum team desires are committed to the effort for the duration of the meeting in order for the sprint planning session to be successful.
  • Key Agenda Items. Meeting agendas, such as sprint planning agendas, can aid in maintaining team attention during these sessions. Setting up teams, streamlining procedures, and assigning tasks can all be accomplished with the help of agendas. Many times, the success of your sprint depends on careful planning.   
  • Sprint Meeting Schedule and Duration. Consider your sprints' duration when determining how long to hold your sprint planning meeting. For a one-month sprint, sprint planning should not take more than a full day, or two hours per week during the sprint.

Timeboxing is another term for setting a time limit for your meetings.  By time-boxing your meetings, you can maintain concentration and guarantee that the development team has enough time to finish the product.

Items in the Sprint Planning Agenda

You can create a list of agenda items for your sprint planning meeting using a variety of templates or guidelines. The template that follows can serve as a reference.

1. Previous Sprint

Talk about your team's progress since the last sprint to start the meeting.  It's beneficial to go over the last sprint's actions to proceed with your next one successfully. You may ask:

  • Was every project in that sprint finished on schedule?
  • If not, what needs to be accomplished still?
  • Does this need to be finished before going on to the next sprint?
  • How much effort will it need to move it ahead?
  • Will your team be able to keep up with both the current and the remaining work from the previous sprint?

2. Product Backlog

Teams intend to address any risk, functionality, or performance issues within their sprint by adding them to a product backlog. Keep backlog items small enough so that you can complete them within the allotted sprint period. The success of a sprint is typically determined by how well the backlog is prepared. To decide which backlog items to include in the next sprint, product owners might evaluate features, optimizations, and user feedback.

3. Current Sprint Goal

It is now appropriate to talk about the objective of the upcoming sprint after discussing the backlog. Assuring that your team stays in sync is critical because your sprint goals will determine the course of the following sprint. Consider the following ideas:

  • Does this sprint involve any previous projects?
  • Before the next sprint ends, what has to be completed? 

4. Team Capability

For team capability, think about the amount of work your teams can manage. To determine the capability of your team, consider the availability and velocity of your team.

  • Availability: Evaluate the team's availability. Spend some time listening to what they are saying. Make sure you record on paper the commitment levels of your team members to various initiatives.  If they feel overworked or more available, they will let you know and the next sprint's content will adjust accordingly.
  • Velocity; Knowing their velocity is one of the most important aspects of managing sprints well for your team. A team's velocity is how much work they can complete in a sprint. To determine whether a team can handle every story point in their sprint, it can be helpful to examine previous sprint experiences.

5. Designate Items in Backlog

You can assign the backlog items that need to be pulled forward into the next sprint once you've evaluated your team's availability. Based on experience, schedule, and workload, they ought to have a say in which assignments are given to whom. 

6. Other Considerations

Any other information that can impact your sprint is a consideration. Discuss team commitment and identify any potential threats. To make sure everyone in your team is on the same page on the next steps, put this on your agenda. Make time during your meeting to find any differences that exist between your print backlog and your story points so that you may make the necessary corrections.

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