The Sprint Planning Meeting is very important and the hardest event in Scrum, in my opinion. In this event the development team learns about the product backlog and choose which items will be developed during the sprint, generating the necessary tasks for it.
There are some tips bellow to help you on your next Sprint Planning Meeting. This tips has been accumulated during many projects and now are being shared with you. We hope you enjoy it:
1. According to the scrum guide, this meeting could have a 8 hours timebox for a month-long sprint. But we know that long duration meetings are very inprodutive due the partipant’s tiredness.
To mitigate this situation, we can implement a rest period in the middle of the two meeting parts. This break could be our lunch time, for example. In this way, we can complete the first part of the meeting in the first 4 hours, from 9 to 13, folowed by the lunch. And in the sequence, we can make the second part from 14 to 18.
2. Make the Planning Meeting if possible at the beginning of the week, either Monday or Tuesday. Why? With this strategy the development team can better remember the Product Owners explanations about the product backlog items shown in the first part of the meeting, avoiding the need to refer back to documentation. Its important to remember the natural fact that programmers do not like documentation. They like Code!
3. Its important to ask the active participation of the entire development team during the meeting. After all, the commitment to the goal is for the entire team and not for any one team member!
4. To avoid external distractions during the meeting we can implement a “mobile box“. It is where everybody put the their mobile phones (on vibration mode) and just take it back after the meeting ends.
5. We can ask the development team to create the tasks together for each product backlog item chosen for the sprint, discussing the effort for each task as a team. This kind of thing allow everybody to really understand the size of each product backlog item in the current sprint.
6. Each tasks should be written with the development team’s own words. This makes easy the understand of each item during the sprint and what it really means for the developers.
7. As soon the tasks emerges with their estimates, they must be saved on a repository, such as Excel or even the Microsoft Team System. This action avoid losing the tasks and maximizes the development team’s work during the meeting.
And you? Do you have any tip for making a real good and efficient Scrum Planning Meeting? If Yes, share with us on the comments below. Your contribution is very important to us.