How To: Experienced Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning, done by experienced Scrum Teams, is actually quite simple.  There’s generally two ways to do it.  Explicitly breaking the event into 2 parts, or combining the 2 parts and doing both activities at the same time.

There’s also the Sprint Goal to consider.  There are two ways to come up with it.  1) Before selecting Product Backlog Items. 2) After selecting Product Backlog Items.

Sprint Planning Part 1
The focus of Sprint Planning Part 1 is on selecting Product Backlog Items for the next Sprint.  It’s little more than looking at the items closest to the top of the Product Backlog and reviewing their details.  The Development Team ultimately gets to decide whether it makes sense to work on these items during the next Sprint, but the Product Owner will generally try to persuade them to take all of the suggested stories.  It is the ScrumMaster’s responsibility to remind the team of how much work they generally get done in a Sprint, and caution them to not take on too much.

Sprint Planning Part 2
The focus of Sprint Planning Part 2 is on breaking up the collective work to be completed into very small achievable pieces.  The Development Team should be able to finish several of these ‘pieces’ per day.

Everything that’s been selected to work on for the next Sprint goes on the Sprint Backlog. Don’t forget! The experiment(s) from the last Sprint Retrospective should be represented in the Sprint Backlog too!