Sprint Planning meeting: how to prepare for it right

As we mentioned in our article about sprint planning meetings, before gathering your team, you need to prepare for it. It’s the most critical step, and it should be followed by the person conducting a meeting, in Agile it is usually a Scrum master. So, here are some steps you need to follow during your preparation.

Preparation to Sprint Planning Meeting

Backlog Preparation

Usually, backlog preparation is the duty of Product Owners or sometimes Project Managers. If you are holding up one of these roles, you should be aware that you must make sure that all of the items that are a part of the backlog are considered to be discussed during the meeting.

Backlog items are bugs and features, stakeholder feedback, and optimizations. Each piece from backlog must be identified, test cases wrote down, and all the descriptions provided. It’s essential to get them prepared since during the meeting you need to cover all of them, and preparation is essentials not to waste time.

User Stories Measurement

One of the primary duties of the Product Owner is to ensure that every story is enough discussed during the meeting. You shouldn’t spend lots of time for each user story and need to make sure that it’s appropriately addressed and all team members understand the task.

Team Commitment Examination

When you are planning to host a Sprint meeting, you must make sure that everyone is available. Check the holiday calendar. Make sure that there are no company celebrations, birthdays, etc. Check everyone’s availability on a day of your Sprint meeting and confirm that day of the meeting.

Take into Account the Team’s Schedule

There are cases when your team members are busy elsewhere. That’s why they cannot fully commit their services during the Sprint. So, you should have all these details in front of you before you plan the Sprint.

Steps in a Sprint Planning Meeting

Here is what should be encompassed into your Sprint Planning Meeting:

  • Team Capacity is confirmed.
  • New information that can impact the plan is discussed.
  • The ultimate goal your team needs to achieve is reminded.
  • The velocity to be used for the releases is presented
  • All the concerns and known issues are confirmed.
  • The definition of “DONE” is reviewed, and updates are made based on skill and technology.Proposed product backlog items to consider are presented.
  • Team needs are determined.
  • The team is signed up to work, and the work owned is estimated.
  • Any new issues and concerns raised during the meeting and record are confirmed.
  • Assumptions or dependencies discovered during planning and record are confirmed.
  • Scrum Master calls for a group consensus on the plan.
  • Product Owner answers clarifying questions and elaborates acceptance criteria.

As you see, the Sprint planning meeting is not easy to conduct. It requires lots of preparation and a full understanding of the Product Owner what the team does and will do in the future. Of course, there are a lot of tutorials and tips for a successful planning meeting, and we covered only a few of them. Nevertheless, the importance of Scrum Planning Meetings is evident. It allows the team to get ready for the next Sprint.

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