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Sprint Planning

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Definition of Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning is a key event in Scrum where the Scrum Team, particularly the Developers and the Product Owner, plan the work for the upcoming Sprint. This event formally marks the start of the Sprint. The team may also invite outsiders to attend this meeting as advisors.

Sprint Planning covers the following topics:

  1. Why is this Sprint valuable?
  2. What can we complete in this Sprint?
  3. How will we execute the chosen work?

Why is this Sprint valuable?

To answer this question, the Product Owner first proposes how the product can increase in value and usability in this Sprint. The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the product’s value as a result of the Scrum Team’s work. The whole team then collaborates to define the Sprint Goal and records it by the end of the meeting.

What can we complete in this Sprint?

The Product Owner also ensures that all attendees are prepared to discuss the most important Product Backlog items. Ideally, these items are described in such a way that they can be completed within one Sprint. You might say, “these PBIs are ready for selection during Sprint Planning”. Preparing for selection is a recurring action in every Sprint and is called Product Backlog refinement. Although it is not a formal event in Scrum.

Next, the Developers, in consultation with the Product Owner, select the Product Backlog items they expect to complete in this Sprint. This becomes the Sprint Backlog. During the meeting, the team may also further refine these items if necessary, as long as they do not exceed the timebox.

How will we execute the chosen work?

This final question helps the Developers plan the work for the selected Product Backlog items. The plan for each PBI is devised in such a way that the work meets the Definition of Done, allowing the Developers to create valuable Increment. No one else may dictate how the Developers convert the selected Product Backlog items into value.

Sprint Planning Summarized

The formal responsibility for Sprint Planning is shared between the Product Owner and the Developers. They work closely together in this meeting to form the Sprint Backlog.

It is important to know that the Sprint Backlog consists of more than just the selected Product Backlog items. The Sprint Goal and the plans to convert selected Product Backlog items into an Increment are also part of the Sprint Backlog.

Sprint Planning thus forms the basis for all the work in the Sprint and is – as mentioned – the formal start of the Sprint.

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