What Are the 3 Topics Addressed in Sprint Planning?

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
May 2, 2023
Updated on
May 2, 2023
Table of Content

Sprint Planning is a key part of any project's success and one of the most important parts of Agile software development. It defines the objectives, timeline, resources and tasks for each Sprint or iteration

During Sprint Planning, the Scrum team comes together to define what can be achieved in the upcoming Sprint and how it will be done. This meeting generally covers three topics:

1) Why is this Sprint valuable?

2) What can be done during this Sprint?

3) How will the chosen work get done?

Each topic provides important insight into the overall project goals and timeline so that teams can make well-informed decisions about their workflow. In this article we'll take an in-depth look at each of these 3 topics addressed in Sprint Planning to give you an understanding of how they work together to achieve a successful outcome. 

What Is the Point of Sprint Planning?

The point of Sprint Planning is to ensure that the development team has a clear understanding of what work needs to be done for a given software project. This helps the team focus its efforts on the right tasks throughout each Sprint (which typically lasts two weeks) and enables them to create quality output during the allotted time period. 

Sprint Planning also serves as an opportunity for stakeholders and developers to discuss any potential issues or risks associated with completing specific Sprint tasks. 

Finally, it gives everyone involved in the project an accurate picture of timelines and expectations so that they can make informed decisions about how best to use their resources.

Sprint Planning Topic One: Why Is This Sprint Valuable? 

Explanation of Sprint Goals

The first topic addressed in Sprint Planning is the importance of understanding why this sprint is valuable. Understanding the goal and objectives behind a particular sprint can help teams prioritize tasks, allocate resources effectively, and identify potential obstacles during the development process.

Every Sprint has a goal of delivering value to end users and stakeholders. Sprint planning is an essential part of the Agile software development life cycle, as it helps teams understand why each Sprint is valuable, and how successes in that Sprint will contribute to the overall product roadmap

Understanding the goals of the particular Sprint—what the desired outcome looks like, what tasks need to be completed, and when they should be done also impacts Sprint Retrospective.This allows teams to compare what needs to be accomplished during the Sprint to what has been done.

Throughout Sprint Planning it’s important for teams not only to review the goals but also think through any potential risks or issues that may arise in order to plan ahead and be prepared for bumps in the road. By thinking through these issues before they happen, teams are able to think of better solutions and ultimately be more successful in their Sprints.

Importance of Defining Sprint Goals

Defining Sprint Goals allows members to prioritize tasks, establish expectations for outcomes, and identify any potential roadblocks that could impede a successful result. Additionally, having clearly articulated Sprint Goals helps motivate individuals within the team by giving them a shared mission to work towards. 

Furthermore, it helps ensure that everyone on the team is aligned on what they are trying to achieve with their collective effort as well as providing structure during the Sprint. Ultimately, defining Sprint Goals is a critical component of successful Sprint Planning and should not be overlooked during this process. 

Best Practices for Setting Sprint Goals

Regardless of your level of experience in project management, there are some practices that are essential for achieving success. These strategies can help you set achievable targets and complete projects on time. 

The most effective approach is to start with why. This helps you identify the purpose of each Sprint and create objectives that align with a larger goal. Once you understand why the task or project is important, consider how to break down the work into smaller chunks throughout your timeline. 

Additionally, remember that teams should be involved in defining their own goals as much as possible; this will ensure every team member buys into what they’re working towards and knows exactly what they need to do to succeed. As a result, everyone can commit more fully to the Sprint, and the team’s performance will be much better.     

Next, prioritize tasks that need to get done in order to achieve your goal during the Sprint. This helps you and your team stay focused on what is necessary and avoid falling into unnecessary distractions or procrastination. 

Make sure you prioritize high-value items first, such as those with deadlines or major consequences if they don’t get completed. Also, consider any dependencies between tasks—if one task needs another task to happen first before it can begin, make sure this is accounted for in your timeline. 

Finally, set realistic expectations for yourself and your team. Understand that there will most likely be unexpected issues along the way that can throw off timelines, and have strategies in place to quickly respond when they occur. 

This means that sprint goals should also be flexible enough to accommodate any changes that might happen while still meeting the core purposes of the Sprint. Also, make sure everyone on the team is aware of their individual roles so there are no misunderstandings or delays caused by miscommunication. 

Sprint Planning Topic Two: What Can Be Done This Sprint?

Explanation of Sprint Backlog

A Sprint Backlog is a list of tasks that need to be completed or moved forward during a certain Sprint. 

These tasks must meet a Definition of Done to be added onto the list, meaning that all aspects and criteria for completion must have been satisfied before it can move on from this stage. 

It's important for everyone involved in product development to understand how Sprints are structured, how decisions are made about what tasks should be completed during each cycle, and why they need to meet these criteria. 

Understanding how Sprint Backlog works and its importance helps teams plan more effectively and efficiently so they can make better use of their time and resources.

Importance of Sprint Backlog

The Sprint Backlog is an essential element of the Sprint Planning process. It helps the team identify items from the Product Backlog that should be worked on during a particular Sprint. This allows for more focused work and better control over the development process. 

The Sprint Backlog serves to further refine the Product Backlog and make sure it contains necessary features, bug fixes, enhancements and other tasks that are needed for successful completion of a project. 

Additionally, having a well-crafted Sprint Backlog ensures that all stakeholders understand their roles in the project and can track progress easily. By keeping a clear record of what needs to be done during each Sprint, teams can stay aligned with their goals and be able to deliver projects successfully within time and budget constraints.

Best Practices for Creating Sprint Backlog

In order to create an effective Sprint Backlog, it is important to ensure a number of best practices are followed. First and foremost, scheduling your Sprints is crucial in ensuring that tasks are completed on time and according to plan. 

This can be done by setting Sprint capacity and prioritizing work items in the Project Backlog. Building the actual Sprint Backlog also needs to take place. This involves deciding which tasks need to be included based on their priority within the project timeline. 

Use Tags

When estimating the workload of each task, it’s essential that teams only estimate what they believe is possible for them to achieve within the allotted time frame. Using tags can help organize tasks into categories and sub-categories, which makes them easier to manage and search for in the backlog. 

Keep it Tidy

Keeping a tidy sprint backlog also helps keep track of tasks; this can be done by assigning specific owners to tasks and setting deadlines, so that teams are aware of what is required when.  

Including an Impediment Item

Finally, it’s important to create an impediment work item—a designated task in the Sprint Backlog which reflects an issue or problem within the team that needs resolving before any further progress can be made. By doing this, these issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently during Sprint Planning meetings, helping the team to stay on track with their goals and objectives. 

Sprint Planning Topic Three: How Will the Chosen Work Get Done?

Explanation of Breaking Down Tasks

The third topic addressed in Sprint Planning is how the chosen work will get done. This involves breaking down tasks into smaller, more achievable chunks. 

This allows teams to better understand expectations, prioritize tasks, and ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities. Breaking down tasks also helps teams determine what resources they need in order to complete the desired outcome successfully. 

By breaking down tasks according to who can most efficiently do them, as well as budget constraints and timeline, teams are able to plan for each step on the way towards completing their project. The process of breaking down tasks ensures that team members understand what needs to be done and why it’s important, making Sprint Planning an effective tool for success. 

Importance of Breaking Down Tasks

Breaking down tasks into smaller parts is a crucial part of the Sprint Planning process. It allows teams to understand what will be required to complete their project and helps them visualize how the end result will come together. 

By breaking large tasks into smaller steps, teams can better identify dependencies, allocate resources efficiently, and monitor progress along the way. Breaking down tasks also eliminates ambiguity in scope and helps ensure that important details are not overlooked. 

This enables teams to confidently move forward with their goals knowing that all necessary components have been identified and accounted for. Additionally, breaking down tasks makes it easier to delegate work as needed and ensures that each team member knows exactly what they need to do in order to contribute toward achieving the Sprint Goal.  

Ultimately, breaking down tasks during Sprint Planning allows teams to focus on execution and successfully deliver results within the Sprint timeline. 

Best Practices for Breaking Down Tasks

Breaking down tasks can be daunting and difficult, but there are a few best practices that you can use to make the process easier. 

The first step is to identify the ultimate goal you are working towards. This will help you focus on achieving your desired outcome and provide clarity when breaking down the work into smaller tasks. 

From there, outline how those smaller tasks can help you reach your goal, assigning timelines and teams for each task. Additionally, make sure to measure your progress along the way so that you can track if you are on course or need to readjust. 

Also, using a timeboxed event in Scrum—where a fixed amount of time is allotted to complete a specific set of activities—can be beneficial when breaking down tasks. Finally, don’t neglect to perform a Sprint Review to determine the outcome of the Sprint.

By implementing these best practices into your planning process, breaking down big tasks becomes more manageable and achievable. 


Sprint Planning is an important part of the Agile development process that helps teams stay focused and productive. By addressing these three topics during Sprint Planning, teams can ensure they are taking all necessary measures to complete their projects on time and within budget. 

Having a thorough understanding of these three topics can make teams confident that they are setting themselves up for a successful Sprint. 

If you're looking for a way to easily manage your Sprint Planning and ensure that all the necessary topics are addressed, GoRetro can help. Our Sprint Planning tool makes it easy to track progress and see how different tasks fit into the bigger picture. 

We provide a simple, straightforward format so that keeping up with sprints is effortless. Give us a try today and take control of your Sprint Planning process! 

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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