The Best Sprint Planning Meeting Agenda

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Feb 22, 2022
Updated on
Mar 26, 2023
Table of Content

For most of us, success is a marathon that tests our endurance. But for Scrum teams, success is all about what they can do in a quick sprint. And this is precisely what we will discuss today: the sprint planning meeting agenda and how it can help your team effectively accomplish their work objectives. 

Undeniably, sprints are fundamental for an agile product management workflow. But you need to begin with the correct Scrum meeting agenda that includes practical strategies focused on planning an effective sprint. 

A sprint planning agenda should play a bona fide role in helping your teams achieve their goals instead of becoming just another to-do list. It should always make you feel like you have achieved something or worked on essential things worthy of your time. 

Whether it's your first time running a sprint meetup or you are an experienced Scrum Master, this article is for you. So let's get started with the basics and move on to sprint review meeting agenda activities. 

Purpose of a Sprint Planning Meeting

In simpler words, sprint planning is a short, time-boxed working session where the entire team agrees to complete product backlog items. It's based on the team's velocity, sprint backlog, and length of a sprint. 

It's a collaborative effort that involves the Scrum Master, product owner, and the entire agile team committed to meeting their sprint pledges. It’s a popular technique that breaks up larger agile methodologies and projects into manageable tasks. 

The main purpose of sprint planning is to define goals that are achievable in the next sprint along with the processes needed to attain these objectives. The Scrum Guide offers well-defined instructions to overview the matters necessary in a sprint planning session. It also compels attendees to review leftover tasks from the last sprint and create an appropriate action plan to bring them into the fold. 

Let's dig into a battle-proven sprint planning meeting agenda.

Setting the Agenda for Effective Sprint Planning Meetings

Not unlike any other meeting, even the sprint planning meeting needs an agenda in order to keep team members focused on necessary tasks. Also known as the Product Owner meeting agenda, these are working sessions conducted at the beginning of each sprint where the entire team agrees to tackle product backlog pieces. 

It's crucial to set the stage for the team and sprint meeting by articulating goals to the team members and attendees. The Scrum meeting agenda framework should: 

1. Close Last Sprint

In order to move forward successfully with your next sprint, it is always advisable to review the activities of your last one. It's essential to evaluate the remaining tasks from the previous sprint before moving ahead. Do not forget to decide on unfinished tasks and celebrate the tasks achieved. 

2. Clarify Team Availability

This outlines the roles performed by each team member during a sprint. It is the responsibility of a Scrum Master to set the infrastructure while ensuring all of the teammates are available during the meeting. Indeed, vacations, holidays, and project completion need to be addressed beforehand to give an accurate idea of the team's dedication.

3. Set Sprint Goals

Everyone should know what their team plans to achieve throughout the sprint. It's an overarching summary of projects and goals explaining the implementation of backlog pieces. But, most importantly, it focuses on the scope of the sprint, allowing its team to discuss complex elements before starting the project. 

4. Bring the Backlog to Order 

It's the responsibility of the Product Owner to collaborate and organize all backlog items that need attention in a sprint meeting. But first, make sure the backlog items involved in the sprint are ready to be worked on. 

Here the product owner describes the backlog item focusing on the problem statement while ignoring the implementation. Showing where the problems occur in the current solutions is always better than just explaining it with words. 

5. Present Velocity 

Velocity is unique to every team. Hence, never employ another team's velocity to strategize your agenda for sprint planning. Instead, aggregate the story points over completed sprints and opt for cross-training to increase your team's velocity. Ensure that team members are fully aware of the current velocity needed for the sprint backlog. This way, team members don't have a chance to select stories and attack in the sprint. It's always best to keep it in the back of your mind rather than relying on a gut feeling. 

6. Discuss Acceptance Criteria

This is where true collaboration and negotiation come in handy. This sprint review meeting agenda makes sure the team reviews each item and agrees on acceptance estimates. In addition, an agile sprint planning meeting agenda must discuss acceptance criteria where it should highlight the success factors for a backlog item from a business perspective. 

7. Estimate Complexity

It is crucial to predict the complexity levels of a backlog, and one way to do so is to compare it with others. Here, one doesn't consider time estimation; instead, we focus on the availability of team members. 

Ready to Empower Your Sprint Meetings?

The sprint planning agenda might seem overwhelming to agile teams. But when done correctly, it has the power to lead happy teams, deliver high-value projects and ensure that deadlines are met.

In addition to being a core Scrum ceremony, it's also an essential step to ensure the success of Scrum projects. 

This guide walks you through the ins and outs of sprint planning by giving you the power to take control of sprint planning meetings. Moreover, the sprint planning template provides insights to create your next successful sprint. This sprint planning meeting agenda can drive you through the planning and refinement of sprint phases ensuring success every step of the way. 

In fact, it guarantees that all the essentials of a sprint meeting are in your head, allowing you to focus on the main content of the forum and getting things done.

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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