Scrum Components: Sprint Planning Meeting

March 29, 2013

Sprint Planning Meeting

The Sprint Planning Meeting is the discussion held by a Scrum team with the goal of agreeing which task will be executed during a set sprint period. In preparing for the Sprint Planning Meeting the SCRUM Master needs to surround the team with the following artifacts and discussion elements:

1. Product Backlog

2. Sprint Backlog

3. Burn-down Chart

The Sprint Planning Meeting is attended by the Product Owner (voice of the customer), Scrum Master and the Development Team. This team discussion is convened to discuss/plan the execution of user stories over the current Sprint and is held in co-located facilities.

In this meeting, the product owner will be prepared to discuss or present enough product backlog items to fit known team’s sprint velocity and is concerned in communicating the sprint goal that will result in a shippable product.

The meeting is devoted to defining the sprint goal which together with the object definition – a Q & A period where the PO details his priorities, the team decomposes user stories from the Product Backlog and devotes time to estimation –where tasks are defined according to time/risk/complexity. Upon agreement a number of these are moved onto the current Sprint Backlog that the team will volunteer to work on and revisit during the sprint.

The Product Backlog

In the example above we have taken a snapshot of a Product backlog and its initial stages of decomposition. Please note that some of the entries were introduced not by the PO but by members of the development team as items found during grooming.

The Sprint Backlog

An output of the Sprint Review Meeting, the Sprint Backlog is shown above. There can be many varieties of what is listed but for the most part it identifies the User Story from where the task originated the description of the task, the status and the estimate value. The estimate is the measure of the task relative to the velocity and the team accomplishment value.

The Burn-down Chart

One of the best sprint status reporting artifacts, the Burn-down Chart is used to assess the success of the sprint remaining days relative to the target velocity. The chart is updated towards the end of the sprint day by the team deducting the amount of completed work from the sprint backlog. Unfinished tasks are moved back to the product backlog and may be prioritized on the next sprint iteration.


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