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4 Do’s and Don’ts during Sprint Planning. 

While the concept of Sprint Planning is relatively straightforward, many Scrum Masters who facilitate the meeting and Product Owners who clarify requirements, fail to prepare and execute Sprint Planning correctly. A good online agile training program will offer courses on the do’s and don’ts of Sprint planning. But here are four do’s and don’ts that will hopefully help you smoothen your Sprint Planning.

Do’s during Sprint planning

1.Craft a Sprint Goal.

In accordance with Scrum Guide, The Sprint Goal directs the Development Team as to why it is constructing the Increment and is a goal that will be accomplished throughout the sprint by executing the Product Backlog.

The product owner delivers a prioritised Product Backlog and business goals for the Sprint during Sprint Planning. The scrum team creates the Sprint Goal and forecasts their work after discussing what can be done based on the definition of done. Scrum Teams make sure they have a specific sprint goal rather than an abstract one. Instead of stating that the aim is to “finish all product backlog items identified during the sprint,” the goal for an insurance product might be “policy renewal for individual policyholders.”

There are challenges faced when crafting a sprint goal, but they can all be avoided. 

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2.Choose at least one retrospective commitment for the sprint.

The retrospective’s main goal is to enhance team collaboration and interpersonal ties among team members while also enhancing the way that work is done. Since the team has made a few commitments for the retrospective, they must plan a minimum of one or two things for the sprint; otherwise, the retrospective may not be embraced and teams may find it difficult to understand its value. For instance, the team has decided to create mock-ups for backlog items to increase clarity and decrease ambiguity, thus they must take this into account and plan for it in the sprint.

3.Refer to the definition of DONE.

The definition of done is a shared understanding of what DONE is within the Scrum Team, and it changes as the team gains more technical and product knowledge. It illustrates the team’s maturity and raises product quality. The team can better estimate how much work to allocate for the Sprint by consulting the definition of done. Fewer product backlog items result from an exhaustive list of items in the definition of done since teams must work harder to complete each item on the backlog. For instance, if the team has implemented automated regression testing to boost quality, write automated tests.

4.Review your Team capacity.

The momentum is good to predict, but only when the team remains the same working in the uniform sprint cycle. If any of these changes or a few solutions are coming up, it is better to check available team capacity during planning besides team velocity.

Don’ts during Sprint planning

1.Don’t assign stories to developers.

It is common knowledge that the development team moves tasks from the product backlog to the sprint backlog. The Development Team should not be given tasks by the Product Owner or the Scrum Master. The members of the development team should also avoid simple divisions like “your story vs. mine.” The Development Team should seek opportunities to evaluate how, by cooperating, they can finish stories incrementally during the Sprint. A narrative is more often pulled by 2-3 team members, who work together to finish it in 2-4 days. As they can receive feedback early and make changes as necessary, this helps to minimize overflow. The team gains a greater sense of camaraderie and the ability to support one another in times of need.

2. Keep the development team from being forced to match the velocity.

Velocity is not a reliable indicator of production. By allowing teams to work on high-value product backlog items, you can increase the value of your work. When neither the sprint cycle nor the team makeup change, velocity is useful for forecasting. It’s like estimating how far one can travel in an hour through downtown traffic based solely on highway speed. Similar to how a change in drivers would affect speed, a new driver makes it impossible to forecast using the prior driver’s velocity.

3. Don’t develop tasks based on skills.

A mini-waterfall process is encouraged during development by the existence of sub-tasks including design, coding, writing test cases, functional testing, and code reviews, among others. It may sound wonderful to avoid subtasks, but it must be done carefully to prevent problems with transparency. It is ideal to have component-based jobs, such as mobile interface, web interface, backend service, integration, etc. because they encourage group ownership. Tasks that require specialised knowledge could reduce transparency and increase technical debt.

4. Do not set a general sprint objective.

A general objective fails to specify the sprint’s precise purpose. Having a clear sprint objective and organizing the product backlog items around it helps the team maintain focus throughout the development process. Goals that are included in the Definition of Done, such as producing high-quality work, meeting all acceptance criteria, or delivering all backlog items, are not desirable goals. Consider the users and consider how they might profit from the sprint’s results.
In conclusion, applying the Do’s and running away from the Don’ts will help you in having a smooth Sprint planning process. You can also take the online agile certification course to fully master the concept of Sprint planning.

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