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The best methods for leading a scrum sprint planning meeting

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Agile Sprint Planning Template for Your Next Scrum Project

This template seeks to bring some of the familiar boards in concert with other layouts of data, all in service of efficiently managing biweekly sprints.

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This sprint planning template implements some of the familiar concepts of scrum and agile sprint planning to help you and your team manage biweekly sprints efficiently.
There are few tools as elegant or as pervasive as the sticky note. We use them for everything from writing down our reminders to launching the most influential products in the world. But while there's a specific kind of joy in resetting the adhesive in the "Done" column on the whiteboard, we all know the physical methods are rife with challenges, especially in an increasingly connected yet fragmented work environment. To accommodate, some software companies have gone so far as to build their entire product on the premise that everything can be a virtual board. And while that model works for some, we must contend with different layouts for different needs. Sometimes our teams like a warm embrace of the spreadsheet grid. While others may cozy up to a charting tool to visually work with their stuff. However, at the end of the day the goal is clear - plan the work, work the plan, and get the job done.
During the sprint planning process, you may have a scrum master who helps you groom your product backlog. They are also leading a sprint planning meeting which has its own structure and cadence depending on how closely you follow scrum and agile processes. No matter how you groom your product backlog or run your sprint meetings, the goal is to launch a product on time while minimizing surprises and distractions.

What is a sprint planning template?

A sprint planning template allows product teams to prioritize their work and track the progress they are making towards a product launch. It helps manage sprint meetings, track story points, write user stories, plan workflow, and track progress in one place. A scrum sprint planning template enables agile teams to focus on project goals and meet the due dates.

How to prepare for a sprint planning meeting

Preparing for a scrum planning meeting ensures every stakeholder is informed on how to start working towards launching the product. During the scrum planning meeting, you and your team should meet to discuss which tasks should be worked on during the current sprint (and which tasks should be added to the product backlog).
Before the meeting, you should have established story points for each task, estimated timelines for each sprint, and know the overall capacity for the entire team. You might also have each sprint goal written somewhere so that everyone knows how each of their tasks adds up to the overall goals of the product launch.
This Coda template allows you to add additional pages for you to document details about your sprint goals if the main tracker doesn't have enough room for you to describe the sprint.

What happens during a scrum sprint planning meeting?

Generally speaking, the scrum master or the product owner discusses the highest priority tasks and features that team members need to work on. Each team member can also ask questions to clarify the tasks they need to work on. These tasks get added to the product backlog and can get prioritized in an upcoming sprint.
If you follow the specific methodology for agile teams, three topics get addressed during the sprint planning meeting:
Why is the sprint valuable?
What can be done during the sprint?
How will the chosen work get done?
During the sprint planning meeting, the scrum team plans how they will execute each of their tasks during the upcoming sprint.

How many tasks should be in the sprint backlog or roadmap?

There is no perfect number of tasks you should have in your sprint backlog. Rather, you should ensure that the hours or story points do not exceed the capacity of your team members for a given sprint.
Let's say you have a 15-day sprint and have allocated 500 hours of work to the team during this sprint. By day 10, you have completed 100 hours of work, and 400 hours of work remain. This means there were too many tasks for this sprint as the team now needs to complete 400 hours of work in 5 days. Good project management and viewing a burndown chart can help ensure your team doesn't commit to too many tasks for a sprint during the agile sprint planning process.

How to use this scrum sprint planning template

This scrum sprint planning template is meant to be shared with your team members. Once everyone has access, you can start adding backlog items to the template. Here the different steps to get started:

Step 1: Log all features and tasks

In the page, you can start adding the backlog items for launching your product. For each feature and task, you can add additional columns to describe the feature or task. We added the most common columns for sprint planning to the template.

Step 2: Assign backlog items to sprints

In the page, you can define the start and end dates of each sprint. It's ok if the dates from the current sprint overlap with the next sprint. Using a kanban board, you can assign different items on your product backlog to each sprint. Alternatively, you can test our to see if this methodology better fits your project workflow.

Step 3: Track progress on the sprint board

During the sprint planning meeting, your scrum master might use the page to track the overall progress of each sprint. There's a drop-down menu to select the different sprints you defined in Step 2. As different teams complete their tasks, they can move tasks from one stage to the next.

Step 4: View tasks for each team

If you have many features and tasks, it may become difficult to track the progress of each team's tasks. That's why the different views in the page allow you to see the task status for each team. Perhaps your development team wants to view their tasks a certain way and your user research team wants to see their tasks laid out in another way. This template gives different stakeholders the ability to customize the views of their tasks.

👉 Get started with this scrum sprint planning template
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How this agile sprint planning template is organized

The Section shows a complete list of the features we're tracking in this doc and the tasks that support them
The Section is a quick place to move tasks out of the backlog and into a Sprint
The Section has a simple Card layout of the current sprint's tasks, and the status / assignment for each.
And each team has their own Sections to track their specific tasks however they'd like!
End your sprint with a 🪞

Sprint planning template FAQs

How do I write a sprint plan?

Focus on writing the outcomes of the sprint so that all team members know what they are working towards. Once the overarching goal is set, your team can start filling in the gaps in terms of the tasks that you need to complete to reach those goals. In every sprint plan, focus on writing the "what" (objectives of the sprint), the "how" (how the software development team gets the work done), and the "who" (the product owner and the development team).

What do you do in sprint planning?

During sprint planning, you set a specific timeframe for building features from your product backlog. Sprint planning involves assigning hours or story point values to tasks, understanding the capacity of the team to complete the tasks, and the scrum master answers any clarifying questions from the team about building the product.

Who should attend a sprint planning meeting?

For larger teams doing sprint planning, you might have a scrum master, a product owner, and the software development team all attend the sprint planning meeting. Each person or team has a specific function during the sprint planning process. The product owner presents the goals of the sprint and the product backlog, the scrum master helps facilitate the meeting and ensures there is a positive outcome, and the software development team estimates how much time each task will take during the sprint and completes the work.

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