What pre-conditions must be fulfilled in order to allow Sprint Planning to begin?
(Choose the best answer)
A. A fully refined Product Backlog
B. Formal budget approval to conduct another Sprint
C. A clear and non-negotiable Sprint Goal
D. A clear but negotiable business objective for the Sprint
E. Enough “Ready” Product Backlog to fill the Sprint
F. There are no such pre-conditions
➡️➡️ Slide below to see the answer and a short explanation.
Answer is F. There are no such pre-conditions. Sprint Planning is dedicated to strategizing the tasks within the Sprint and is a product of the collaborative efforts of the entire Scrum Team, with its duration capped at a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint; however, the scope of what can be accomplished within this timeframe may be affected by supplementary practices that are not formally mandated by Scrum.
Consistently, I recommend reviewing the Scrum Guide to revisit and delve into the essence of Sprint Planning, as well as identify any mandatory preparations required before initiating it
What is the Sprint Planning?
Sprint Planning is a crucial event in the Scrum framework, during which the Scrum team comes together to plan the work that will be accomplished during the upcoming Sprint. The primary objectives of Sprint Planning are to define the Sprint Goal, select which backlog items (user stories or tasks) will be worked on, and create a detailed plan for how these items will be completed.
Sprint Planning typically involves the following key activities:
- Setting the Sprint Goal: The Scrum team collaboratively defines a clear and achievable goal for the Sprint, which provides focus and direction for the work to be done.
- Product Backlog Review: The team reviews the items in the Product Backlog, discussing their priority and value. This helps in selecting the most important items for the Sprint.
- Task Decomposition: Selected Product Backlog items are broken down into smaller, actionable tasks. This decomposition helps the team understand the work involved and estimate the effort required.
- Estimation: The team estimates the effort required for each task. This can be done using various estimation techniques, such as planning poker or relative sizing.
- Capacity Planning: The team considers its capacity for the Sprint, taking into account team member availability and other commitments. This helps ensure that the Sprint Backlog is realistically achievable.
- Creating the Sprint Backlog: Based on the selected backlog items, task breakdown, and estimation, the team creates the Sprint Backlog, which is a list of all the work items that will be tackled during the Sprint.
Sprint Planning is time-boxed, typically to a few hours, depending on the length of the Sprint. It is an opportunity for the entire Scrum team, including the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and development team members, to collaborate and align on what needs to be done in the upcoming Sprint.
By the end of Sprint Planning, the team should have a clear plan for how to achieve the Sprint Goal and a shared understanding of the work to be undertaken. This sets the stage for a focused and productive Sprint.
Sprint Planning in the Scrum Guide
Sprint Planning commences the Sprint by establishing the tasks to be undertaken during the Sprint, and this plan is formulated through the collaborative efforts of the entire Scrum Team.
The Product Owner ensures that attendees are prepared to discuss the most important Product Backlog items and how they map to the Product Goal. The Scrum Team may also invite other people to attend Sprint Planning to provide advice.Scrum Guide
So though Scrum doesn’t refer to any obligatory pre-requisities it does assume that there is an updated Product Backlog with items. However, even without a product backlog, the scrum team can still manage to create tasks and add them during the sprint during Sprint Planning.
Sprint Planning addresses the following topics:
- Why is the Sprint valuable?
- What can be Done this Sprint?
- How will the chosen work get done?
1. Why is this Sprint valuable?
In Sprint Planning, the Product Owner suggests ways to enhance the product’s value, and the entire Scrum Team works together to establish a Sprint Goal that articulates the Sprint’s value to stakeholders, with the Sprint Goal being determined before the end of the planning session.
The following quote is directly extracted from the Scrum Guide:
2. What can be Done this Sprint?
The Developers collaborate with the Product Owner to choose items from the Product Backlog for the current Sprint, refining them as needed to enhance comprehension and confidence, while also improving Sprint forecasting by considering past performance, capacity, and the Definition of Done.
This is explained as follows in the Scrum Guide:
3. How will the chosen work get done?
For each chosen Product Backlog item, the Developers strategize the necessary steps to create an Increment that aligns with the Definition of Done, often involving the breakdown of items into smaller tasks, which is determined by the Developers themselves without external influence, and collectively, the Sprint Goal, selected Product Backlog items, and the associated delivery plan constitute the Sprint Backlog, with Sprint Planning having a maximum time limit of eight hours for a one-month Sprint, while shorter Sprints generally have shorter planning sessions.
This is better defined in the Scrum Guide as follows:
- Scrum Guide, 2021