The Complete Guide on How to Conduct a Sprint Planning Meeting like a Pro

Ever been a part of a sprint planning meeting which seemed to last an eternity with no concrete conclusion achieved? Everyone has. And we are here to change that.

This article is all about teaching you how to conduct a sprint planning meeting that will make your upcoming sprints more effective, efficient and hopefully less miserable. Let’s start at the very beginning.

What exactly is a Sprint Planning Meeting?

Sprint meetings are neatly designed to answer any and every question, the team member has in their mind. What needs to be delivered and how early do we need it delivered? How would the team accomplish a certain milestone? All these questions are answered in these sprint meetings.

Let us talk about all of the roles involved in a typical sprint meeting.

ScrumMaster

It is also the job of the ScrumMaster to manage the time properly so that there is a complete alignment on the sprint goal before the meeting is finally concluded.

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Product Owner

They also have to be the ultimate resource to the team when questions are raised around acceptance criteria or any use case. This is a very important meeting for a PO, and they should prepare heavily for it.

Development Team

All of these people have to be properly active in the meeting and they are required to ask a lot of questions so that they can leave the meeting with a crystal clear understanding of what they have to do and what is going to be their next assignment in the upcoming sprint.

If you’re organizing your first-ever sprint meeting, then just keep on thing in mind that every entity in the Agile paradigm improves over time and if your first meeting doesn’t go well then you can always improve yourself into performing well the next time.

Why a Sprint Planning Meeting is necessary?

This will make your team more confident because there will be no confusion in role management and prioritization of tasks. A good team is one that knows what their exact roles are. Other benefits that a team gets from a sprint planning session are:

  • Promotes Just In Time planning
  • Task estimation
  • Task discovery
  • A common understanding of the product
  • Task sign Up
  • Task prioritization
  • Collaboration and team building
  • Knowledge and skill set improvement
  • Different perspectives

Let us discuss some of the major benefits of sprint planning meetings.

1. They Define your Goal

As the organizer of the meeting, you need to define two major things for your team.

Sprint Goal

The Sprint Goal is also a sort of cliff note that the senior stakeholders can read and understand what the whole team is trying to achieve from the sprint.

Sprint Backlog

2. Brings the Team together

In addition to that, when you are creating the statement or the charter for the sprint, you take input from every individual on the team which creates a sense of empowerment among the troops and they remain loyal to the project and the company.

3. Sprint Meetings are a Reference Point to Measure Velocity

Velocity is a measure of the amount of work a Team can tackle during a single Sprint and is the key metric in Scrum.

What is the procedure of running a Sprint Planning Meeting?

Sprint Planning Meeting Preparation

Backlog Preparation

These items include bugs, new features, stakeholder feedback and optimizations of all kinds. This means that all of these items are properly identified, test cases have been written and all the descriptions have been set. This prep work is necessary because if the PO tends to all of this during the meeting, it will be less efficient and very time-consuming for all of the attendees.

Measurement of User Stories

The Team’s Commitment has to be properly Examined

Plan your Sprint Accordingly with the Team’s Schedule

What are the steps involved in the Sprint Planning Meeting?

  • Team Capacity is confirmed
  • Any new information that can impact the plan is discussed
  • The team is reminded of the ultimate goal that they need to achieve
  • Present the velocity to be used for this release
  • All the known issues and concerns are confirmed
  • The definition of DONE is reviewed and the appropriate updates are made based on the technology and skill
  • Present proposed product backlog items to consider for the sprint backlog
  • Needs of the team are determined, they are signed up to work and the work owed is estimated
  • Get back to work
  • Confirm any new issues and concerns raised during meeting and record
  • Confirm any assumptions or dependencies discovered during planning and record
  • ScrumMaster calls for a group consensus on the plan
  • Product Owner answers clarifying questions and elaborates acceptance criteria

Conclusion

Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on January 6, 2020.

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