How to prepare for Sprint Planning


Hi Scrum Masters

Let’s talk about applying Agile… and specifically How to prepare for Sprint Planning

In this SUMMARY article as well as the video (below) we will cover both the activities you probably learned in your regular Scrum or Agile training as well as other highly valuable activities you would likely learn only through practice and experience.

There are three common activities every Scrum Master should be doing:

  • Determine the available Team Velocity for the upcoming sprint
  • Work with Product Owners to prepare stories to be worked on in the upcoming sprint as well as relevant documentation
  • And of course the logistics: Setup the actual Sprint Planning meeting

But let’s reflect and think about the purpose of Sprint Planning. No matter what Agile framework you are using, there are three common objectives:

  • Provide the Scrum team with clarity and predictability of what they will be working on in the upcoming sprint… and beyond
  • Sprint planning is the fastest and most effective method of transferring story information from Product Owners to the Scrum Team
  • Promoting flow of work by minimizing mid-sprint disruptions. Doing this meeting minimizes interrupting work to exchange this information ad-hock.

OK so let’s talk about what other highly valuable activities the Scrum Master can do to support these objectives:

  • Work with Product Owner / Manager to gather relevant customer and impact information (e.g. personas and sales reports) to provide richer context for the stories they will be working on
  • Prepare and funnel organizational communications, announcements, memos, and updates via Sprint Planning meeting, therefore limiting how they disrupt mid-sprint work
  • Use Sprint Planning to communicate non-sprint activities like team vacations, code freezes, and any other disruptions… providing early visibility on these disruptions
  • Use historical Impediment log to identify and flag any potential risks or concerns regarding upcoming stories. This may result in additional research and analysis stories (spikes) but it will also decrease mid-sprint risks and disruptions.
  • Consider whether any stories will need additional time for team members to align on early solution design… and prepare for this activity

Keynote Video Summary - Scrum Master - Prepare for Sprint Planning - Summary.001

Want to know more?

For deeper insights and more information of how to do the above activities, please purchase our Applying Agile training series. Visit our Agile Training page.

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