Spice Up Your Sprint Planning Meetings - Docket

Spice Up Your Sprint Planning Meetings

As a company, it is vital to have regular planning meetings. You need to make sure that everyone who works on your leadership team is on the same page when it comes to its goals and objectives. You might not know how to run productive planning meetings; however, one option you might have heard of is called a sprint planning meeting.

For you to effectively use this meeting, you need to know what the goal of this meeting is and how it can help your company succeed. With this in mind, there are a few key points that you have to know.

Objective of a Sprint Planning Meeting

A sprint planning meeting is a key part of the agile management process. The idea is to ensure the company has the flexibility and versatility to tackle each of its goals and objectives. Whether your sprints last a week or a month, they should always include a set of defined goals and deliverables. The point of breaking them out in this way is to allow them to fit the team’s capacity as a whole.

Building agreement and alignment regarding what is going to be completed and how it will be accomplished will provide the transparency and visibility that all stakeholders accept. Team leaders and department heads can facilitate this process with a sprint planning meeting agenda.

Sprint Planning Steps

Usually, teams will hold their sprint planning meetings after the retrospective from the previous sprint. The first step outlined in every sprint planning agenda is defining the goals of the sprint and ensuring they align to quarterly objectives. Teams will often review their project backlog and view projects in waiting to aid in this step.

After this, the team has to take an inventory of capacity from every team member. For example, one team member might say they can take on one additional project while other team members might be able to take on more. A sprint planning template can provide information regarding how many story points or hours of work each project is going to require.

Once this is done, the projects can be chosen and assigned. Finally, with the goals defined, projects selected, and capacity identified, the team will break out each project into tasks and usually update their project management software with these tasks, owners, descriptions, and other resources.

How To Make Planning Fun

Even though sprint planning meetings are going to happen regularly, there are ways to keep these meetings from going stale. Find ways to make sprint planning meetings fun and to keep your team engaged and morale high.

One idea is to ask team members to bring one new project idea to the meeting every time. Consider holding a vote for the most creative idea or the quickest project with small awards for winners! Another approach is to always start with an icebreaker, which can help build teamwork among growing teams.

Finally, make a sprint planning meeting enjoyable by inviting guests to the meeting. For example, bring a client or customer to the meeting to share their story and field questions from the team. This will help everyone get to know the client personally while also learning more about why the project matters and how it will benefit the client.

These are just a few of the top ways that a sprint planning meeting can be made a bit more enjoyable. Even though people might not like these meetings, they play an essential role in the company’s success. A sprint planning meeting can be a pleasant way to ensure that everyone stays on track as projects move forward.

About the Author

Heather Hansson

Heather is VP of Product and Chief of Staff at Docket. She enjoys leading cross-functional teams to work together on vision, strategy, and implementing solutions that help people work and live better. When she isn’t helping rid the world of wasteful meetings with Docket, Heather likes to run, take violin lessons with her son, and spend time with her family.

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