A sprint planning meeting is conducted before the start of a sprint. The purpose of this meeting is to determine the sprint plan and set a sprint goal. This meeting is split into two sessions. In the first session, the product owner reviews the list of features and defines what needs to be built during the next sprint. The next session involves identification of tasks that need to be executed, in order to complete the build.

 

Importance of Sprint Planning

The sprint planning meeting should yield the sprint objective and the sprint backlog. This defines the tasks that need to be completed and also the time estimates for tasks. The scrum team becomes aware of what needs to be done and how to do it.

 

Preparation

1. The right people

It is important to have one person wholly dedicated to the product as the product owner. He should be an able communicator and understand what is required of the product. Also nominate the scrum master, who will mentor the team. Everyone on the project development team should be involved in the sprint planning process.

2. Product Backlog

The product backlog contains everything related to the product such as improvements, bugs and issues. Encourage everyone on the team to add to the backlog. However, prioritizing items on the backlog should be done only by the product owner.

 

During the meeting

1. Determine the goal

The goal is collaboratively determined from the highest priority items on the product backlog. Looking at previous sprints can help derive a better time estimate. A few items can be designated as stretch tasks that can be taken up if the team finishes early.

2. Break items into tasks

The requirements for each product backlog item is considered and it is broken down into tasks. Determine the estimate for these tasks in hours.

3. Commit to the sprint backlog

Compare the total of all the task estimates with the number of hours available (the sprint budget). Remove low priority items, if the estimate exceeds the sprint budget. This yields the sprint backlog.

 

Mistakes to avoid in a sprint planning meeting

1. Too much focus on getting the perfect task estimate

Teams should instead focus on the right items from the product backlog to work on during the sprint.

2. Don’t start without a product backlog

A detailed and thorough product backlog will drive high velocity and high value delivery. Ensure that it is ready before proceeding to the sprint planning phase.

3. Don’t meet without the product owner present

The product owner has to be available and committed to the sprint planning process.

MeetNotes is geared towards simplifying the sprint planning process. Use the sprint plans meeting template to arrive at an effective sprint goal. Define tasks and create a precise sprint backlog. Make your Sprints successful.