Sprint Planning: Advantages and Disadvantages

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What is Sprint planning?

Sprint Planning is essential to start off any sprint in Scrum. It helps to determine what objectives need to be accomplished and how that can be done. The main intention is to prioritize tasks and backlogs that should be delivered in the upcoming sprint

Sprint planning is a collaborative effort on the part of the scrum master, product owner, product managers, and development team. It is often time-bound where all the participants consensually attend it. 

The duration of the sprint decides how long the sprint planning is going to last. Ideally, there should be a two-hour long planning for a one-week sprint. 

Thus, there should be a proportionate increase in the number of hours dedicated to the sprint planning in accordance with the time allotted to the sprint. 

In the sprint planning session, the product owner briefly discusses what are the team’s goals, what features need to be added, and what aspects of the existing products need an upgrade. Finally, the highest priority task is mentioned so that every team member can make a mindmap of how to make that workout. 

Why is sprint planning useful? 

Following are the benefits of sprint planning:

  • It is used to discuss the upcoming sprint and set priorities clearly. 
  • The technical aspect of development is considered parallel to the time allotted and it is made sure that the task can be feasibly accomplished within the given time. 
  • The detailed planning of the tasks is broken down to the tasks to be accomplished by each individual and how they are gonna be tested.
  • The prioritized product tasks are allotted to each development team. 
  • An estimate of every task is calculated using techniques such as Planning poker to gauge the speed and progress of the development. 

What are the benefits of Sprint Planning? 

In simple words, a good sprint planning makes an effective and productive team where everyone is on the same page and knows what is to be accomplished in the following sprint and by whom. Following are the benefits of Sprint Planning:

Effective Communication

The sprint planning provides a platform for the team to understand how they are interdependent on each other. Moreover, team communication is facilitated by identifying dependencies, planning their tasks, and actually achieving the goals. 

Prioritization

Sprint planning enables the team to prioritize the backlogs that are most important and they are further broken down into smaller goals for convenience. As a result, the most crucial tasks can be completed faster. 

Burnout Prevention

Every team member is allowed to choose the work for the upcoming sprint suiting their own capacity, efficiency, and time. This way, the product managers and owners cannot force unnecessary pressure down on the development team and the stress can be avoided. This also provides a realistic picture of the work pace. 

What are the drawbacks of Sprint Planning? 

Like every coin has two sides, sprint planning also has its drawbacks. They are as follows: 

Bad estimations 

As you know, the team members decide on how much workload they want to take in a particular sprint. However, such flexibility also makes room for procrastination and it is possible that the tasks are not completed in the sprint. 

Lack of understanding

Operating with the sprints and the planning requires a good knowledge of the scrum network. Without the roles of the scrum master and product owner, there is lack of clarity and vision for the team to follow. This can lead to the doom of the entire development causing delays and other unexpected issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to have certified scrum members. 

FAQs

Q: What is the ideal amount of time for sprint planning?

A: Ideally, there should be a two-hour long planning for a one-week sprint. Thus, this is the required proportion, which can increase in accordance with the number of hours dedicated to the sprint planning and the time allotted to the sprint. 

Q: What are the disadvantages of sprint planning?

A: Firstly, sprint planning cannot be done with half knowledge and requires a wholesome understanding of the scrum methodology. Secondly, the flexibility given to each member to choose the workload for their upcoming sprint can backfire and make room for procrastination. 

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