Sprint Vs. Agile Planning Meeting Agenda & Purpose

A sprint or an agile planning meeting agenda should be flexible and flow naturally. However, it must have some rigidity and a focus on outcomes.

Purpose of Agile Planning Meeting

The purpose of the agile planning meeting is to create a plan that reflects the work for the team to achieve their goal. List all tasks to complete and identify who is responsible for each task in the agenda.

Its purpose is also to estimate and prioritize work items for the next iteration. The focus should be on what members can complete in the coming sprint, not specific tasks or implementation details.

Agile Planning Meeting Agenda

An agile planning meeting agenda for the team does not include items scheduled for the following month. An agile planning meeting’s agenda typically consists of the meeting’s purpose, attendees, activities, and timeline. In the agenda, the team:

1. Reviews Prioritized Backlog

Discuss which items from the previous backlog are still relevant and projects to carry over into the next iteration.

2. Estimate Work Items

Assign a relative size (e.g., small, medium, large) to each item based on its complexity and then group similar items together.

3. Create a Sprint Plan

Determine which work items the team can feasibly complete in the upcoming sprint given available time and resources. In general, the agenda should outline the following:

  • What projects will be covered?
  • Who is responsible for each project?
  • When are stakeholders expected to provide input/feedback?

Sprint Planning Meeting in Software Development

In software development, a sprint is a collection of user stories that the team has agreed to implement in the next work cycle.

six white sticky notes
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

But before a development sprint can begin, the development team must have a shared understanding of the work. They must be willing to commit to completing it in the time allotted for the sprint.

The development team will identify and estimate tasks for the upcoming sprint at the sprint planning meeting.

To understand this effort, a certain kind of gathering is necessary, and the commitment to complete the job must materialize.

First, we’ll examine the primary aims of the sprint planning meeting.

Purpose of a Sprint Planning Meeting

Sprint planning meetings are held so that the development team may collectively commit to doing a substantial amount of work in the upcoming sprint.

Choosing tasks for a sprint entails learning about the work and making educated guesses about how much time it will take. The team must meet secondary objectives to achieve its primary purpose.

As a first step, the product owner describes their goals and justifications for the work they can accomplish in the next sprint.

It is the product owner’s responsibility to determine what constitutes meaningful work and why it is essential. The development team is responsible for assessing and selecting tasks for the subsequent sprint.

Next is to determine who will be present and draft a schedule for the sprint planning meeting.

Meeting Agenda for Sprint Planning

Here are the fundamentals of a successful sprint planning meeting. It’s worth noting that these occurrences typically merge into a single, fluid discussion instead of a clearly defined series of phases.

1. Don’t Lose Sight of the Product Vision

At the end of each sprint, the product owner discusses the background work for in the following sprint.

The product owner describes the origins of the user stories. This could range from direct consumer feedback and inquiries to the efforts of the company’s marketing or support teams.

Some user stories are carried over from previous sprints that. At the last points, critical issues may also be discovered during a sprint. Putting these elements together is essential to reach a defined print objective.

2. Incorporate Preexisting Limitations

Scrum masters typically report on current team velocity and any impediments to the next sprint. Holidays and time off for employees are a constraint.

The team’s velocity is a valuable metric for estimating what can be accomplished in the upcoming sprint (velocity should be kept confidential).

3. Make a Work Estimate

Each user narrative is read in full by the development team, who then determines how difficult it is to implement. This is notoriously challenging, so more and more teams are turning to tools like Linear to help them plan more effectively.

In agile software development, we anticipate complexity rather than duration. To that end, we use a point system to rate the degree of difficulty in each story.

Each team member provides an estimate for a user story based on the facts available and their prior experience. Any voting system aims to reach a team consensus where all are satisfied with the complexity rating given to each narrative.

An open dialogue is required when estimating the workload for a forthcoming sprint.

4. Dedicate yourself to the task at hand

At the meeting’s close, everyone pledges their best effort during the next sprint. Some groups hold a formal ceremony, while others say, “Let’s get it done!”

To reiterate, the development team decides what to work on in the next sprint. The product owner and the scrum master are not responsible for making the final decision.

The working group sets goals and makes promises on the job to be done.

Final Words

A sprint and agile planning meeting agenda helps identify the goals and objectives of a meeting, likely discussions, and how decisions will be made. This agenda can help ensure everyone is on the same page before getting started, preventing confusion or wasted time.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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