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Sprint Planning

Basic

difficulty

Stage 2

Agile IQ® Level

8:00h

Timebox

Sprint Planning

EVENT

Introduction

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. [1].

Sprint Planning addresses three topics:

  • Topic One: Why is the Sprint valuable?
  • Topic Two: What can be Done this Sprint?
  • Topic Three: How will the chosen work get done?

Topic One: Why is the Sprint valuable?

The Product Owner proposes how the product could increase its value and utility in the current Sprint. The whole Scrum Team then collaborates to define a Sprint Goal that communicates why the Sprint is valuable to stakeholders. The Sprint Goal must be finalized prior to the end of Sprint Planning.

Topic Two: What can be Done this Sprint?

Through discussion with the Product Owner, the Developers select items from the Product Backlog to include in the current Sprint. The Scrum Team may refine these items during this process, which increases understanding and confidence.

Selecting how much can be completed within a Sprint may be challenging. However, the more the Developers know about their past performance, their upcoming capacity, and their Definition of Done, the more confident they will be in their Sprint forecasts.

Topic Three: How will the chosen work get done?

For each selected Product Backlog item, the Developers plan the work necessary to create an Increment that meets the Definition of Done. This is often done by decomposing Product Backlog items into smaller work items of one day or less. How this is done is at the sole discretion of the Developers. No one else tells them how to turn Product Backlog items into Increments of value.

The Sprint Goal, the Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint, plus the plan for delivering them are together referred to as the Sprint Backlog.

Sprint Planning is timeboxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.

Download

Download the Sprint Planning checklist (PDF) to help you navigate this event.

References

1. Sutherland, J. and Schwaber, K. (2020). The Scrum Guide. The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game. 

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