Agile QuickTip: The Sprint Planning Mini Retro
The Sprint Planning Mini Retro
You could be making Sprint Planning far more effective by including a mini retrospective at the end of it.
Sprint planning is the opening ceremony for every team Sprint. This is where your entire team comes together with your product owner and facilitated by your ScrumMaster, to figure out the plan that we’re going to execute to achieve the goals for the Sprint ahead.
It’s a big investment of time, and ultimately, your ScrumMaster has the job of making sure they have found the ways to maximize the return on that investment by better facilitating it.
One idea that has been proven to yield results is spending some time at the end of each Sprint Planning on a mini retrospective. This can be 20 minutes or 30 minutes to explore ways to improve Sprint Planning — and it might actually make future Sprint Planning meetings far more effective in the long run.
Here are some ideas for areas you can explore:
Timing: Did you spend the right amount of time in Sprint Planning, or did you set aside too little, or too much?
Participants: Did you have the right people in the room, or could you have done with other stakeholders in Sprint Planning and planning alongside you?
Tools and techniques: Was Sprint Planning effectively facilitated? Can we improve on the agenda? Should we explore alternative facilitative tools?
During these Sprint Planning mini-retro, you can also gauge the confidence level of each team member in the Sprint. Is their planning improving or getting worse from Sprint to Sprint? Are they recognizing the issues that need addressing, and making positive changes?
A mini retrospective can support you as a ScrumMaster in continuously improving your Sprint Planning, enabling you to maximize the return on your Sprint as a whole.
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good advice – make sure you have the dev team understand and estimate the stories in points at backlog refinement sessions prior to the sprint planning meeting!
Thanks Jon. But what if we haven’t had a chance to size a story? What if we get feedback in the sprint review that we want to take into the subsequent Sprint – we wouldn’t defer it simply because it wasn’t estimated. Technically there is nothing that prevents a team planning a Sprint with stories that haven’t been sized – worst cast we’ll take a few minutes and size them at the start of Sprint Planning.