Skip to main content
The Scrum framework is a well-defined methodology that introduces iterative methods to projects or product development. Certain communications and meetings are specified as part of this framework, to review work, challenges and project requirements. Each iteration, or Sprint, is planned in detail beforehand through the sprint planning process. This takes into account the results from the previous Sprint, workload and team capacity.

The Scrum Sprint

Sprints are a major part of the Scrum framework. Each project progresses through a series of multiple iterations or Sprints. Each Sprint aims to produce a usable product or result. A review of this is then fed into the next Sprint – and so on until the completion of the project.

Before each Sprint begins, Sprint planning is carried out. This involves the whole Scrum team and aims to determine what the next Sprint should deliver and how that should be done.

The Sprint Planning Meeting

In Scrum, the Sprint Planning Meeting is a time-boxed event that is held at the beginning of each Sprint. The purpose of the meeting is to plan the work that needs to be done during the current Sprint.

During the Sprint Planning Meeting, the team discusses the work that needs to be done and determines which items will be included in the Sprint. The team also identifies any risks or challenges that may arise and discusses how they will be addressed. Together, the team decides on the items from the Product Backlog to be delivered and this list forms the Sprint Backlog. This is based on the current requirements, the value of the remaining items, and the capacity of the team. Previous Sprint capacity (often measured as velocity) will feed into this, with estimates for each item completion matching the team’s capacity. Team members have the final say over what can be handled, not the Product Owner.

The output of the Sprint Planning Meeting is a Sprint Goal, which is a clear and concise statement of what the team plans to accomplish during the Sprint. The team also creates a Sprint Backlog, which is a list of the work items that need to be completed during the Sprint.

The Sprint Planning Meeting is an important event in Scrum as it helps the team to focus on the most important tasks and ensure that they are making progress towards the project goals. It is a time-boxed event, typically lasting no more than four hours for a two-week Sprint. The Sprint Planning Meeting also helps the team plan and order their upcoming work, identify risks and challenges, and create a clear and actionable plan for delivering value.

The Sprint planning meeting should be attended by all team members including the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner.

Like all meetings defined by Scrum, it is usual to limit the time for the Sprint planning. For a large project with Sprints taking several weeks, this could be a day-long meeting. It will be shorter for smaller projects.

Producing the Sprint backlog

As mentioned, one of the outcomes of Sprint Planning is to produce a Sprint backlog. This is essentially a subset of the Product Backlog. It will define the tasks to be completed during the next Sprint, based on the team’s estimated capacity.

A ‘Sprint goal’ or high-level objective for what the team is aiming to achieve during that Sprint may also be defined. Ensuring team focus is a key element of Scrum, and techniques like this help to maintain this.

Common mistakes that teams tend to make during the Sprint Planning Meeting:

  1. Not properly preparing for the meeting: Come to the Sprint Planning Meeting prepared with a clear understanding of the work that needs to be done and any risks or challenges that may arise.
  2. Not involving all team members: In order to get the most benefit out of the meeting, it is important to involve all team members and encourage them to participate and contribute their ideas.
  3. Not accurately estimating the work: Accurate estimation is critical to the success of the Sprint. If the team does not accurately estimate the work, it can lead to unrealistic expectations and an inability to deliver the expected results.
  4. Not defining the Sprint Goal clearly: The Sprint Goal is a critical component of the Sprint Planning Meeting. It is important to define the goal clearly and concisely, and ensure that all team members understand and are aligned on what needs to be accomplished.
  5. Not setting clear and actionable tasks: The tasks that are included in the Sprint Backlog should be clear, actionable, and achievable within the time frame of the Sprint. If the tasks are too vague or overly ambitious, it can lead to confusion and a lack of progress.

By avoiding these common mistakes, teams can get the most benefit out of the Sprint Planning Meeting and use it to effectively plan and prioritize their work.

Adapting & Improving as The Project Proceeds

Tthe Scrum framework is iterative and aims to produce increasingly improved results. Similarly, Sprint Planning improves as the project proceeds. Teams become better at estimating the work that can be completed. The results data, or velocity, of previous Sprints, gradually builds up. Such historical data is also useful for forecasting. Product Owners, too, become more confident in the accuracy of the Product Backlog.

Learn with Fractal Systems!

Looking to upskill and boost your career prospects in the world of agile methodology? Look no further than Fractal Systems’ Agile Training!

Our team of real-world practitioners are active in the industry, so you can trust that the techniques you learn are tried and tested in real-life situations. Our training isn’t just a lecture-based session filled with boring PowerPoint slides – we know that interactive, discussion-based learning is the best way to ensure you retain what you’ve learned and are ready to apply it in your work.

Our Agile Training is not only informative, but also enjoyable and fun! We believe that training shouldn’t be a chore, but an opportunity to develop new skills and meet like-minded professionals. Our sessions are designed to be fully interactive, with plenty of opportunities for discussion, group activities, and hands-on exercises.

By completing our Agile Training, you’ll gain valuable insights into the latest agile trends and techniques, and be equipped with the skills and knowledge to apply them in your own workplace. Our team is dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of your training experience, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to develop your career and enhance your skills. Sign up for Fractal Systems’ Agile Training today!

Further Agile Scrum Training

 Online Professional Scrum Master Training I (PSMI)

 Online Professional Scrum Master Training II (PSMII)

 Online Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO)

 Professional Scrum Product Owner Advanced (PSPO-A)

 Applying Professional Scrum (APS)