Sprint Planning

The product owner impacts the sprint set up through the business case. This person is responsible for ensuring the input to the scrum actually makes business sense, and by sense we are talking about economic sense.  The product owner is responsible for ensuring there is business value, without that, there will be no sprint.  The product owner is also responsible for the product backlog which often consists of more than one or two items, and can include much more. The product owner will also prioritize the product backlog often along those same value propositions. That is, the most favorable business value will be their highest priority items. They will not present a lengthy list of items that all have the same level of priority – give this all to me now approach.  One of the roles of the scrum master is to ensure that the product backlog meets some level of acceptability.  That means value proposition by the product owner and the list of items are prioritized so the scrum team can determine what best fits in the sprint.

The sprint team has the greatest influence on the sprint. They are the ones that will say what from the prioritized product backlog can fit into the sprint. This will happen in the sprint planning meeting.  The sprint planning meeting is a time boxed event (between 4 – 8 hours). We do not want our team to spend in inordinate amount of time planning.

The Sprint Planning Meeting is the first meeting to kick off the sprint. It is attended by the Scrum Master, Development Team and the Product Owner, along with interested and invited stakeholders. The meeting is time boxed to 8 hours, so it’s important to gather first thing, usually on a Monday morning. The Product Owner comes prepared to the meeting with the Product Backlog organized and ordered. These can be in the form of user stories and tasks, or just a list of requirements.[1]

While this article indicates a single duration of 8 hours, like most agile applications or any project management application we will find variation in the application.

Sprint velocity or speed, is a calculation based upon a series of sprints and the estimating technique that employs story points.  The sprint duration or available hours for work to produce a single iteration is the multiplication of the number of team members, the hours, and number of work days.  This is not velocity, but tells the team, scrum master and product owner how many available work hours for the sprint.

Unlike conventional project, where executives may dictate the amount of time to accomplish some objective, the team decides how many hours are required for the tasks to achieve the objective and thus the hours for the objective. 

[1] What Happens At A Sprint Planning Meeting? (2011, August 15). Retrieved October 24, 2015.

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