Sprint Planning initiates the Sprint by laying out the work to be performed for the Sprint. This resulting plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum Team. The timebox for this event is 8 hours for a 30 day Sprint. The timebox is shorter if the Sprint is shorter, e.g. 4 hours for a 2-week Sprint.
The Product Owner ensures that attendees are prepared to discuss the most important Product Backlog items and how they map to the Product Goal. The Scrum Team may also invite other people to attend Sprint Planning to provide advice. .
Sprint Planning addresses three topics:
Why is the purpose motive. Why helps the team understand the importance of the Sprint and how it contributes to the Product Goal. Without a "why", the Sprint often devolves into delivering work without any real direction. Teams without a purpose are often just Feature Factories.
Why provides a rationale for 'what' items are of value this Sprint. What is a discussion about "what can be done", and "what should be done", and the items that will add the most value this Sprint. Select the items that provide the most value and stop when the team feels they are at capacity.
How articulates the tasks that will both deliver the 'what' as well as how quality will be achieved. The Definition of Done is a critical part of the 'how'. Finish the 'how' session when the team is confident of the plan and its risk profile. Wrap up the whole session by defining the Sprint Goal: the focus for the Sprint.
Sprint Planning concludes by formalising the Sprint Goal. A good Sprint Goal provides focus for the team. At the very least, it is a few sentances about the most valuable features, at best, the Sprint Goal defines both what the area of focus is and why it contributes to the Product Goal.
Sprint Goals aren't "deliver all these requirements". A Sprint Goal is a statement of value regarding why the Sprint is needed and the area of focus for the team.
Sprint Goal format
While there is no formal format for a Sprint Goal, the following is taught to students in the Scrum.org™ Professional Scrum Master and Professional Product Owner course.
Some teams don't work on one product. Some have many types of work they deliver.
For these teams, the Sprint Goal should be the one area that must be acheived in the Sprint. It's the one thing you can't do without in the Sprint.
1. Sutherland, J. and Schwaber, K. (2020). The Scrum Guide. The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game.
2. Trapps, S. (2020) Sprint Goal Template. https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/sprint-goal-template
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