How to organise and succeed with agile sprint planning?

How to organise and succeed with agile sprint planning?

Posted by Benjamin Hermitte, on Wednesday 13 December 2023

An agile project is comprised of various stages or meetings. They are referred to as ceremonies in the context of an agile approach. One of the most well-known is sprint planning, which is used in scrum projects. If all of these terms are unfamiliar to you, don’t worry; we’ll go over the importance of sprint planning and how to make it work. This will assist you in meeting your objectives and improving your project management performance.

What is sprint planning?

The sprint planning meeting is one of the ceremonies of an agile scrum project.

The Scrum framework is one of the agile project management methods. It is often used by development teams in IT projects and places great emphasis on teamwork. This means that employees meet regularly to refine the design of a product or service. The agile scrum method is based on an iterative approach. Various short cycles will allow the product to be improved through regular feedback on the tasks carried out previously.

At the centre of this iterative development is the sprint. The sprint is one of these cycles, which can last from two weeks to one month.

What is the purpose of sprint planning?

To fully utilize a cycle, it is important to plan the tasks that will be completed during this iterative process. The objectives of the upcoming sprint are precisely defined during sprint planning.

A user story is created to help achieve this goal. These user stories are nothing more than a description of the user’s desires. The sprint elements will be determined by these descriptions.

Who are the participants in a sprint planning?

During a sprint planning meeting, three key stakeholders should be mentioned: the product owner, the scrum master, and the agile team.

The product owner

We could define the product owner as a kind of project manager. He represents the voice of the customer. Therefore, he is the link between the customer’s requests and the work of the agile team.

His role is critical because he must ensure that the customer’s requirements correspond to the deliverable being created. He is the one who works with the scrum master to plan the sprint.

The scrum master.

This second player is the team’s coach. He or she masters the codes of agile management perfectly and enables the employees to become more agile and productive. He also motivates the team and ensures that the agile method is followed.

During the meeting, his role is to facilitate sprint planning.

The scrum teams.

The agile process is a collaborative approach. For this reason, it is obvious that the team has a say and must be present during the sprint planning meeting. The team members can give their opinion on the tasks, the duration of each task and the objective of the sprint.

The essential stages of a sprint planning

A sprint plan consists mainly of two main stages. It is important to carry them out scrupulously to guarantee the performance of the team and the sprint.

Defining the content of the sprint backlog

The sprint backlog is simply a plan in the context of agile practices. It defines the tasks that will be completed during the sprint. Because the method is iterative, the content of the sprint backlog evolves as the project progresses.

The product owner presents the user stories from the product backlog to create this sprint backlog. The list of features that need to be created is the product backlog. A useful sprint backlog can be created by identifying the priority features and decomposing them into smaller goals.

The breakdown of tasks to be carried out.

Once the sprint backlog has been established, all the elements must be broken down into tasks. This allows you to assign these tasks to different collaborators and set the time required to complete them.

The goal is not to complete the whole product, but to create a feature. At the end of the sprint, this will be presented to the end user for feedback. This will start a new iterative loop that will continue until the customer is completely satisfied.

Good practices to adopt for a successful meeting.

We recommend that you implement certain best practices to ensure the success of your sprint planning. These will allow you to complete your project’s objectives within the time frame specified.

Check the complexity points.

Assess the team’s ability to complete the tasks planned in a sprint. This ability, also called velocity, depends on specific complexity points or difficulties in completing a task. You can define the velocity of the team by observing its performance over the previous iterative cycles.

This complexity should not exceed the capacity of your next sprint if you want to be able to develop the feature on time.

Define the Definition of Done

The Definition of Done or DoD is a list of criteria that is used to verify that a user story is complete. It is therefore a way of ensuring that an objective is achieved.

It is useful to remind people of the DoD of user stories during sprint planning. In this way, the employees know exactly how to carry out the tasks assigned to them. Transparency and clarity are essential for the efficiency of the agile team.

The value of collaborative tools to organise an agile meeting.

If you want to increase your chances of success in your planning meeting, it may be worthwhile to use specific tools. Indeed, teamwork platforms are ideal for ensuring sprint planning from afar.

If some of your team members are on the move or teleworking, a collaborative tool addresses certain essential issues:

  • Centralise information to prepare the meeting.
  • Organise sprint planning by videoconference.
  • List and plan the tasks to be carried out
  • Exchanging the documents necessary to achieve the objectives.

You can organize and be successful in your sprint planning easily by getting the right tools and strictly adhering to the agile scrum method. Your employees will perform better because they will understand precisely when, why, and how to complete a task.

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