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How to Avoid Pain When Planning Your Sprint – Best Practices

The sprint planning meeting is a core, artful component in achieving successful agile implementation of any sprint and the development of your customer’s working product. But, if best practices are not smartly adopted, your sprint planning meeting’s agenda could easily be rendered null and void.

Here’s how to plan your sprint pain free, so you can reach the finish line with your head held high.

Train for the sprint

Gather a healthy team and together visualize the process the sprint will ideally take. Scrum masters must enable the team and help set the scope, time estimates, story point values, etc., without standing in the way of productivity. Communication is key when forming a great sprint plan that includes all aspects of the sprint ceremony: daily scrum call, sprint planning, sprint review, sprint retrospective, backlog grooming and any relevant meetings.

Listen respectfully to all sprint team members

The entire team, including the scrum master, should listen carefully to the product owner’s vision and explanations during the sprint planning meeting. Later, while planning the sprint’s progression, team members should listen to one another and respect everyone’s input.

Engage in backlog grooming

Study the backlog and prioritize tasks for the upcoming sprint during the daily scrum. Make sure backlog tasks  or stories can realistically be accomplished during the sprint. If they can’t, split them into smaller pieces, or remove them from the sprint planning meeting agenda altogether. Commit to the new backlog.

Build in time for collaboration

Ensure team members have a say on sprint progress throughout the timeboxed period. During the agile sprint planning meeting, include a slot for the entire team to come together, share and collaborate in your sprint template.

Know your capacity – but don’t fill it

Learn all team members’ schedules, to ascertain how much work on the product can realistically be accomplished. Factor in vacation days, appointments and meetings to determine your team’s “net capacity.” While this data should be used as a working guideline, you should still leave some wiggle room for unexpected events and emergencies.

Determine sprint velocity

How much progress is expected to be accomplished during a given sprint?  By tracking team velocity over time, teams will begin to learn how much throughput can be achieved and strive to attain realistic goals.

Create your sprints and prioritize with Craft

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Be organized and keep track of your sprint planning meeting information, decisions and findings with Craft’s product management platform. Craft is a revolutionary SaaS product management platform that gets teams working together to successfully complete sprints, as planned. The single and agile place for goal-driven teams to create products together, Craft gives SaaS project management teams a unified place to create and prioritize sprints, manage products, track tasks and collect market feedback.

Create your first sprint with Craft!

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