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What is Sprint Planning?

Setting the Tone for Success

The age-old question that many present to me is pretty simple, “What is sprint planning?”

Yet, lurking behind that more profound inquiry lays another question,  “Why is Sprint planning?”

Let me help shed some light on this. 🚀

Moment of Alignment

Sprint planning is, fundamentally, a time where we get together and chalk out what we will achieve in our upcoming sprint.  It could be a two-week stint, three days, or any other duration. 🔄 

The essence?

Planning the sprint (it’s as straightforward as it sounds!).

Yes, it’s about planning the sprint, and as I often chuckle, it “kind of makes sense.” 🚀

It’s All About Understanding

This isn’t just a ritual.  It’s not about how long the meeting is.  It’s about clarity.  Whether it’s a quick 5-minute chat or an asynchronous check-in on Teams or Slack, the heart of the matter is understanding.

Do we all grasp where we’re headed?

Are we aligned on what needs to be done and how?  This is the pivotal point of sprint planning.

Kanban vs. Scrum

I’ve heard the argument, “We do Kanban, so we don’t need Sprint planning.” 🤼 

But when do you decide what to pull into the sprint?

That decision-making process is essentially sprint planning.  The difference is, in Scrum, you’re actively involved.  It’s about deciding which tasks from the ever-evolving product backlog will make the cut for the upcoming sprint.

Every sprint planning session allows for this evaluation and realignment.

Refinement and Selection

We’ve got refinement, which comes before sprint planning.

Sprint planning isn’t just about new features. , it’s about understanding “all that stuff that we would like the product to do”.  It’s about live site incidents, technical debt, bugs, customer feedback, and other ongoing tasks. ✅ 

We can’t focus 100% on our sprint goal.  We have to make room for unexpected events.  Sprint planning provides that flexibility and ensures we don’t lose sight of our main objectives.

Balancing Commitment to Goals 

Sprint goals are like mini-milestones.  They give a clear picture of the tangible results we aim for in the immediate future.  It creates a cadence of success, achievement, and motivation for the team.  🎯

Whether fulfilling a crucial customer request or adding a feature they’ve eagerly anticipated, sprint planning lays the foundation for these victories.

Scrum & Kanban

Whether you’re doing “little K kanban” or “big S Scrum,” we’re all fundamentally working towards the same idea.

While Scrum focuses on planning, Kanban emphasises delivery.  Merge them, and you’ve got a powerful combo, ensuring both strategy and execution are top-notch! 

It’s the best of both worlds.  🌎 

For those passionate about delving deeper into the world of Scrum, Kanban, or even Agile practices, I’d be thrilled to share more insights.

Join me on my Agile and Scrum courses to journey into the world of efficient project management.