Sprint planning is an essential part of the Scrum management process.
Creating a successful sprint planning is similar to writing clues for a treasure hunt – if these are too detailed they will kill the fun, if poorly detailed then nobody will be able to find the treasure.
What is sprint planning?
Sprint planning is an event in the Scrum framework in which the team establishes product backlog elements that they will work on during that particular sprint.
There are several key elements that should be included in any sprint plan. Here are the most important ones:
- Sprint goals: they must be specific, measurable and achievable. They must also be coherent with the overall goals of the company.
- Required tasks to achieve said goals: Having established goals, it is time to figure out what needs to be done to achieve them. This includes a time sequence and estimate for each activity.
- Task assignment to team members: after each task has been outlined, it will be required to assign it to specific team members. This helps to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what they need to do and prevents overlapping.
- Sprint backlog: this is a list of all the tasks that need to be completed in the current sprint, as well as their priority level.
Sprint planning execution
Here’s how to perform sprint planning – in most cases:
1. Sprint planning meeting
The first step is to meet with all stakeholders who need to be updated on the progress of the sprint. This may include, for example, top management, customers, or other departments within the same organization.
2. Past sprints review
3. Establishing your sprint goal
4. Break down the objective into tasks
This is where the real work begins: each task should be clearly outlined and assigned to a specific person to complete.
5. Resource allocation
6. Setting a time period
7. Measuring progress
It is important to keep track of the team’s progress during the sprint to make sure they are on track to achieve their goals. In Twproject, for example, there is an option to check whether the team is using Project tools through a user score.
8. Sprint review
The final step is a review of the sprint at the end of the work to assess what has been accomplished and determine whether the goals have been met. This meeting should also be used to generate feedback that can be used in future sprints.
Benefits of successful sprint planning
Working with sprints is a great way to tackle complicated projects.
By dividing a complex project into smaller tasks, along the lines of the Work breakdown structure, it is possible to ensure the quality of the product and deliver it on time.
The following are some of the benefits of sprint planning:
- Greater focus
By dividing the entire project into a series of smaller activities, it is possible to direct the team’s focus on solving the problem at hand and achieving the specific goal.
- Reduced costs
By using sprints, it is possible to meet any change requests that affect subsequent sprints, while the activities of previous sprints will remain unaffected. This saves time and reduces overall project costs.
- More transparency
Agile teams are required to share all information, and each member works with the same vision of the end result in mind. Since everyone is on the same page the chances of the project going off track are dramatically reduced.
- Improved morale
Agile methodologies do not limit team members to the organizational hierarchy; this means that each member’s opinion has equal importance and respect. This feeling of being valued within the team motivates employees to work better and align their personal interests with the organization.
- Increased productivity
Sprints in project management increase team efficiency and enable continuous improvements. This obviously has a direct effect on the overall increase in team productivity.
- Increased customer satisfaction
Because clients can share their thoughts throughout the project life cycle, the final product generally lives up to their expectations.
Shorter sprints allow the team to change according to the situation and customer demands.
- Team building
Project teams are often composed of diverse people who would be unlikely to interact under normal circumstances. Agile sprints encourage collaboration among all members, and these interactions can help employees feel comfortable with each other.
- Reduced risks
While working on a project sprint, a team has multiple opportunities to address a potential problem before it materializes. Through daily stand-ups, employees know the problems each member faces and work promptly to address it.
Bottom line, proper sprint planning using the right project management software can turn the end goal into an easy-to-follow path.
After the planning meeting, all team members will know what the end goal is and will be committed to accomplishing it.
Through efficient sprint planning, the risk of unexpected occurrences is significantly reduced, allowing everyone to focus fully on delivering quality work.