Sprint Planning Checklist
Read more why Scrum checklists are a handy tool if applied at an operational, hands-on level, reducing your cognitive load and freeing up time for more relevant things.
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Scrum Sprint Planning Checklist
The Magic of Checklists
Scrum Sprint Planning Checklist - The Details
The Sprint Planning Checklist with a Timeline
Preparing the Sprint Planning:
T-2: Address the number of open tickets in the code review & ready for acceptance columns. Ask the team members to focus on moving tickets to done before starting work on new tickets.
T-1: Ask the team members to update the boards.
T-1: Run the sprint review.
T-1: Run the sprint retrospective.
During the Sprint Planning:
T=0: Kick-off the sprint planning by sharing a Zoom session for those team members who cannot participate in the sprint planning in person.
T=0: Are all team members present to run the sprint planning? (The absence of the product owner might be a challenge.)
T=0: Clean up the old board(s) with the whole team by checking statuses of each ticket and moving tickets if necessary. Sync the offline boards with the Jira board. (A questions to answer in advance: which board is the leading one? If some team members work remotely during sprint planning, choose the online board.)
T=0: Discuss possible spill-overs: Are those still valuable to be continued? (Spill-overs are a suitable team metric and a good topic for a retrospective. If spill-overs persist over several sprints this could trigger various discussions, for example:
- Is the sizing of a user story or ticket right?
- Is the quality of user stories or tickets matching the definition of ready?
- Would Kanban be better suitable for the team?
- If user stories or tickets that are not yet done shall not spill-over to the upcoming sprint move them to the product backlog or delete/archive them.
- T=0: If not yet available, create a new "sprint" in the team's online tool, for example, Jira.
- T=0: Close the previous sprint:
- Did we meet the sprint goal?
- If you use an online tool, make sure that you move all tasks that spill-over into the right buckets, for example, the upcoming sprint or the product backlog.
- Clear the physical boards off old stickies of the previous sprint.
- T=0: Kick-off the next sprint planning:
- Figure out the available sprint capacity of the team: who can contribute work over the course of the next sprint?
- Ask the product owner to define the sprint goal.
- Match capacity with the sprint goal of the product owner. Is this realistic?
- If the sprint goal and team capacity do not match, try to strip down the scope of the sprint: Can the team deliver a smaller version of the sprint goal?
- If the team cannot deliver the proposed sprint goal, ask the product owner to come up with a realistic sprint goal.
- Let the team pick the user stories, and other tasks are needed to meet the sprint goal.
- Ask the team whether all user stories and other tasks needed to meet the sprint goal meet the team's definition of ready. (If this is not the case, make sure the issue is addressed, and the team agrees how to deal with the issue collaboratively.)
- Ask the team whether the scope of work leaves slack time to address unexpected issues.
- Ask the team whether the scope of work provides the capacity to tackle technical debt as well as bugs to keep technical debt at bay.
- Create stickies with user stories and tasks for the physical boards. (Make sure that the color codes for the different types of stickies are followed; spikes, user stories, technical task, sub-tasks, and bug all have distinctly different colors.)
- T=0: Run an anonymous sprint survey regarding the previous sprint.
- T=0: Summarize the results from the retrospective and update the board with the action items.
- T=0: Summarize the results of the sprint review.
After the Sprint Planning:
T+1: Sync the offline board(s) with the online board.
T+1: Probably, start collecting data for the upcoming retrospective, for example, by putting up a sprint mailbox.
T+2: Kindly remind the team members to participate in the outstanding sprint survey. The recommended minimum number of participants is eight.
T+3: Publish the results of the sprint survey of the previous sprint.
Scrum Sprint Planning Checklist - The Conclusion
Agile Transition – A Hands-on Guide from the Trenches
The Agile Transition – A Hands-on Guide from the Trenches ebook is a 212-page collection of articles I have been writing since October 2015. They detail the necessary steps to transition an existing product delivery organization of over 40 people strong to agile practices.
Published at DZone with permission of Stefan Wolpers, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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