How can sprint planning be effective

How do I deal with a much too long sprint planning?

It took me over 5 hours of sprint planning for a week-long sprint. That seems too much.

We discuss things in sprint planning in detail as most of the team members are not older. Failure to do this will result in implementation errors and redesign during the sprint.

How do we deal with that?

How many details should I discuss during the planning to adjust to a sprint of just 2 hours per week?


You're right - 5 hours of sprint planning for a weeklong sprint seems like a long time. The Scrum Handbook states that sprint planning for 1 month sprints is limited to 8 hours and that "for shorter sprints the event is usually shorter". With the ratio in mind, a good goal can be 2 hour sprint planning for a weeklong sprint, but there is no fixed time zone.

How can you approach long sprint planning?

As a Scrum Master, I would do the following:

First, I would work with the Product Owner to make sure the Product Backlog was properly ordered. Efficient backlog refinement and sprint planning are essential to ensure that the most important work and its dependencies are at the top of the product backlog so that the scrum team can focus their efforts on defining, refining and preparing the right work .

Second, I would make sure the team has enough time to refine the backlog. The Scrum Guide states that refinement activities generally do not consume more than 10% of the capacity of a development team. For example, a 4-person development team working a standard 40-hour week should schedule 16 hours of backlog refinement. This can be done individually, in small groups or as a team. I've found that having a scheduled backlog refinement session for the team and then conducting research, research, or planning works best.

Third, make sure the team understands that they don't have to get every detail right in sprint planning. The aim of sprint planning is to create a plan for achieving the sprint goals. Do not try to come up with large designs in advance during a sprint planning session. Understand how different jobs fit into dependencies and goals, and use the time outside of the sprint planning meetings with the right people to do the design, implementation, and testing necessary to get the job done.

There may be more steps out of these, but this would be a good place to start.

I hear you. It's too long to spend! Hopefully your team will discuss this in your retrospectives. We tried several experiments with mixed results:

  1. Everyone drafts a single high-level ticket and hands it over for revision on the left or right of the table, followed by a group review of the plan for each ticket. Not everyone liked that, but it forced our juniors to try. Some individuals on teams are very happy to let others do the thinking, and they just follow the directions. On the positive side, our experiment forced everyone to grapple with their knowledge gaps. It presented juniors with a challenge to grow. On the negative side, not everyone likes to be there and that doesn't necessarily shorten the time for the meeting. Next!

  2. An attempt was made to create paired designs. Groups of two or three people would split a ticket into tasks. The entire team would review the resulting plans. It went much faster, but some mini-pods had the same problem of one person riding while the other did the work on the design.

  3. Skip the task breakdown. We decided our story points would be average so we just wasted time getting the whole team involved in everything. As a result, we had much shorter planning deadlines, but our couples had to do the design work themselves when they launched a ticket. When juniors process a ticket, they must expect help to overcome this step. As you try to do this, you will accept fewer stories in the sprint until you become comfortable with them. Also, make sure it is "safe" for your teammates to ask for help when they don't know something.

In the end, it all depends on team maturity. People need to understand each other's skills and preferences and trust that teammates will ask for input when necessary. If you don't have them, fix these first. Then it becomes easier to solve the problem of inefficient meetings.

I like the response you got from @ Thomas-Owens, but I'll add one more article as well. Have you considered performing pair programming as part of your Agile implementation?

Pair programming would help (1) teach some of your junior programmers to write better code, and (2) pair programming, not always laying out every single design feature for you in sprint planning. With the pair working together, some of these design decisions can be made "on the fly" with the added benefits of pair programming.

When you can help your junior programmers learn faster, and you know that design elements that you didn't address in Sprint Planning are decided by two people, there's no reason why you should be wasting the time you are in Sprint Planning spend, can not reduce future sprint planning

I'm not a scrum aficionado and only have about a year of practical experience. So the following is to be read with a grain of salt.

I see several red flags in what you write:

That's way too long for a week-long sprint.

The aim of sprint planning is to achieve AFAIR

  • Allow the team to know the current priorities and
  • Develop a battle plan for the upcoming sprint.

To do this effectively, each side needs to understand this.

To understand this, the backlog needs to be in good shape.

In the specific planning phase, they are converted into.

One possible cause is that these points are not sufficiently clarified / refined.

Another possible cause is that the elements are far too complex and leave too much room for interpretation.

As mentioned above, the discussion phase will be shorter if the points are more specific.

On the other hand, sprint planning expects every participant to behave professionally. This includes avoiding Bike shedding Discussions.

Maybe things are clear, but someone starts a discussion about Bike shedding .

More: Avoid discussions about Implementation details . Although every idea ends up in code at some point, sprint planning doesn't discuss whether a simple array will do the trick or whether it's better to use a linked list.

Since most of the team members are no older

In Scrum there is no difference between Senior and Junior . Both are just developers. And this is a good starting point to help you focus your discussion on a workable solution based on the better arguments, not the paycheck.

There seems to be a fundamental problem with capturing requirements, followed by a very vague product congestion.

As I said above, as long as this is in good shape, it should be hard to miss the point.

I can't imagine a situation like:

"As a user, I want to see a handful of customers!"

“Oh, you haven't everyone of our 2 million customers? "

OTOH: What does that mean in this context Redesign ? When a developer uses an algorithm with slower Having chosen performance, the next goal is clear: choose an algorithm with better performance. But this is not a "redesign", it is an optimization.

Your main questions:

How do I deal with it?

It's trivial to mention, but I'll do it anyway: Don't forget that you are there with people too have to do.

It is very difficult to have a group of different minds able to share common concepts (like in Rashomon). To do this effectively, use so much redundancy as possible in your communication: explain e.g. B. the context of the item in detail, even if everyone should "know" what to do. Ask questions whether everyone understands the subject of a particular article.

If you Planning poker play , is a good indicator of whether the understanding is good enough that tasks are scoring low. Low means that low complexity is easy to understand and difficult to miss.

A side effect of iterating is that the numbers for certain tasks increase (because the team has an understanding of their skills and the hidden complexities). Then there is the possibility of breaking the article down into several less complex articles with less complexity.

How much detail should I discuss during planning to fit 2 hours per week sprint?

Solomon's answer: As little as possible and as much as necessary, but no more.

tl; dr

  • Choose a simple language (if it helps, use simple English or) to avoid misunderstandings

  • Improve requirement gathering

  • Improve the backlog

  • Increase team members' confidence in their individual skills as well as in their abilities as a team

  • Avoid bike shedding

  • Improve personal discipline

  • Possibly use fixed timeboxes for each item to be discussed

  • Effectively strengthen the position of the moderator.

We managed to shorten the planning time for meetings by training a total of three hours in two-week sprints. We split the care into four sessions. We maintain 30 minutes on Monday and 1 hour on Wednesday every week. Our sprints start on Monday and end on Friday. As a result, we have good information from nursing meetings that serve as input for planning and shorten it. Our best record was a 30-minute planning meeting in one of our sprints. Most of the time it won't take more than an hour to an hour and 30 minutes. There's still boxing time anyway, but the planning came very early.

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