The primary aim of the discussion is to evaluate effective information about Sprint planning. In addition to that, it also contains the strategic items or steps that can help in successful Sprint planning also the challenges which is commonly observed during Sprint planning among the team members. These challenges hinder the effective sprint planning.
Definition and Objective
Sprint planning is an event in the Scrum framework where the team determines the product backlog items, they will work on during that sprint and discusses their initial plan for completing those product backlog items (Fowler, 2019). Teams may find it helpful to establish a sprint goal and use that as the basis by which they determine which product backlog items they work on during that sprint.
A successful session will yield two important strategic items:
1. The sprint goal: A short written report of what the team plans to complete in the next sprint.
2. The sprint backlog: The list of stories and other product backlog items, which the team has agreed to work on in the next sprint.
Structure of Sprint Planning:
Sprint planning is typically split into two parts:
Scope (How it is measured)
The team selects which items from a prioritized list of ready product backlog items (usually expressed as user stories) they forecast they will be able to complete during the sprint.
Plan (Who is responsible)
Sprint planning typically involves the entire team.
The product owner / Customer is the one who will explain the product backlog items, answer backlog questions, and help in defining the sprint goal.
According to Alhazmi and Huang (2018), the following Challenges of sprint planning are present among agile team members:
Setting unrealistic expectations by overcommitting to overeager product owners:
Owners must learn to say “no” to project stakeholders when necessary. The ability to use the assertive “no” indicates that the product owner can communicate productively with project stakeholders about the team’s capacity. Use the available features in Agile project management tools, such as status tracking, to provide data-driven reasons why teams can or cannot accommodate a request in a given sprint (Sandberg & Crnkovic, 2017).
Holding sprint planning meetings without a prioritized product backlog:
Among the many responsibilities of the product owner, most important is making a priority list of the product backlogs, also known as “user stories.” Failing to prioritize efficiently means development team will end up overlooking user stories that are added to a sprint without completely understanding how the stories might affect the project’s scope.
Spending too much time in sprint planning meetings:
Daily Scrums, sprint reviews, sprint retrospectives, ongoing training, workshops, one-on-one sessions, and the most time-consuming of all sprint planning meeting. This creates the perfect situation for overworked but underperforming teams. As a small business using Scrum, it should ensure that teams come prepared for sprint planning meetings. Otherwise, it would be a waste of hours of unproductive meetings.
A sprint planning meeting occurs at the beginning of each sprint, and is a negotiation between the agile team and the product owner as to what value can be delivered in the upcoming sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, a sprint backlog is developed and tasks are identified to support the forecasted user stories (Jeff Dalton, 2019). Team members assess how much work they can accomplish during the sprint based on known velocity, and the team members subscribe to the various stories and tasks to be completed.
Alhazmi, A., & Huang, S. (2018, April). A Decision Support System for Sprint Planning in Scrum Practice. In SoutheastCon 2018 (pp. 1-9). IEEE.
Dalton, J. (2019). Sprint Planning. In Great Big Agile (pp. 241-243). Apress, Berkeley, CA.
Fowler, F. M. (2019). The Sprint Planning Meeting. In Navigating Hybrid Scrum Environments (pp. 83-88). Apress, Berkeley, CA.
Sandberg, A. B., & Crnkovic, I. (2017, May). Meeting industry-academia research collaboration challenges with agile methodologies. In 2017 IEEE/ACM 39th International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice Track (ICSE-SEIP) (pp. 73-82). IEEE.