Nimble Work Management
Kairon - Gen AI Solutions
AKT/ AKC Access
→ What is Project Management Lifecycle?
→ What is a Project Management Office (PMO)?
→ What is Agile Project Management?
→ Importance of Project Management
→ What is a Project Roadmap?
→ What is Resource Management?
→ What is Work Management?
→ What is Sprint Planning?
→ What are Gantt Charts?
Adopting Agile methodologies is critical for meeting new customer needs, changing direction based on evolving situations, or being responsive to market demands.
These methodologies focus on maximizing value to the end customer by building products in iterations – shorter cycles – to ensure that they meet the dynamic market needs. The project is broken down into smaller periods known as iterations or sprints. The overall project is delivered by completing these sprints in a sequence.
Instead of planning a large project, Agile teams plan one or a few sprints at a time (a few sprints are usually grouped into a Release or a Program Increment – PI). It is crucial to plan the sprints well.
Poor sprint planning can result in missed sprint scope, story leakage, and demotivation, causing unclear expectations for stakeholders and ultimately derailing critical projects.
Before starting the sprint, the team needs to collaborate, plan and schedule the exact work the team will do during the sprint. In this article, you’ll learn about sprint planning, how it works, and sprint planning best practices.
As mentioned earlier, every product development initiative using an Agile method, such as Scrum, comprises multiple sprints.
A sprint in Scrum is a “time-boxed” (meaning time-limited) iteration in which some planned work is completed and made available to the customer. In a single sprint, teams focus on providing a specific set of product features for the overall project.
Delivering some working features in each sprint enables the team to deliver value more frequently, get customer feedback faster, make course corrections if needed, and ultimately, deliver a product that satisfies the customer.
This is Agile’s – and Sprint-based developments – fundamental goal. Breaking down the project into sprints helps deliver the working product faster, gain valuable customer feedback and quickly make the required changes.
The majority of sprints range from 2 to 4 weeks – although teams are free to define longer or shorter sprints based on their business need and capability.
The sprint planning meeting outlines the scope and plan – including specific activities, such as a stakeholder demo, for the upcoming sprint.
In a sprint planning meeting:
Sprint planning meetings are done on the first day of the sprint. This is ideally done after the previous sprint retrospective is complete.
A sprint retrospective is a team event that happens after the previous sprint is over. It is an event where team members review and discuss the recently finished sprint.
They gain valuable insights and lessons that can be used to make the upcoming sprints more effective. Finally, team members agree on the core priorities and finalize the product backlog items to be worked upon during the ongoing sprint.
Teams can schedule the sprint planning sessions at a regular time slot every week or month. Then they can prioritize the sessions and parallelly complete other engagements.
Teams may use historical data to see if the backlog items can be completed in the sprint. If the user stories are too large for a single sprint, they need to be broken down into smaller user stories that are valid and can be completed independently.
Next, they prioritize the items to see which ones are critical and need to be worked on now and add them to the sprint backlog. The less critical stories that can be performed later may be moved back to the product backlog (to be worked on in later sprints). Any important items missed in the previous sprint which must be completed are added to the sprint backlog.
Given the distributed nature of the modern organization, and the new hybrid world we find ourselves in, Sprint planning often needs to be done virtually – using web-based apps and collaboration tools such as Zoom or Teams.
Having a powerful, yet intuitive and configurable tool for planning and managing your overall releases, projects and sprints is most important.
Tools such as SwiftEnterprise or SwiftKanban, with versatile backlog grooming, sprint planning and execution capabilities as well as powerful metrics can be invaluable in getting the entire team and all the stakeholders on the same page with respect to the plan and the real-time status of a sprint as well as the overall project.
In summary, a Sprint represents a small project that needs to be scoped and planned well, and executed even better. A 2-4 week timeline passes pretty quickly and it comes time to make the sprint delivery and move on to the next Sprint.
With a good understanding of the overall process and a set of good tools to manage the overall project/ product or a marketing strategy, effective Sprint Planning can be a breeze!
Nimble SwiftEnterprise and SwiftKanban tools have a variety of tools – including a “roadmapping” timeline view for Agile teams, and a full function tasks plus sprint planning capability – that can help you and your team in the delivery of any type of work or projects. If you are interested, you may request a demo here.
Signup for updates!