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How Do We Run Our First Iteration (Sprint) Planning Event?

The purpose of Iteration (Sprint) Planning is to allow the Team to commit to what they can deliver in the next Iteration (Sprint) - the committed Iteration (Sprint) Backlog.

Iteration (Sprint) Planning occurs at the beginning of the Iteration (Sprint), after you have completed the Iteration Demo (Sprint Review) and Retrospective of the current Iteration (Sprint) (i.e. the Iteration Demo (Sprint Review) and Iteration (Sprint) Retrospective are an input to the Iteration (Sprint) Planning). Note that there is typically no gap between the end of one Iteration (Sprint) and the start of the next Iteration (Sprint). (See What Events Should We Put in Place For Iterations (Sprints)? for more information.)



Scrum Team - Team, Scrum Master, Product Owner and other stakeholders as required.


Maximum 2 hours for a 2 week sprint (10 working days).

Summary Agenda

  • Review Team Capacity
  • Review Team backlog
  • Select stories that will be completed by the end of the Iteration (Sprint) i.e. sum of estimates is less than Capacity
  • Summarize as Iteration (Sprint) Goals
  • Commit to Iteration (Sprint) Goals


A committed set of Iteration (Sprint) goals plus a set of backlog items that are candidates for delivery in the next Iteration (Sprint) (or Iteration), sometimes called the Iteration (Sprint) Backlog.

Sample Agenda

  • Determine capacity of the Team
    • If Team has a (Velocity) history from previous Iterations use this to determine what the Capacity might be for this Iteration - “yesterday’s weather”
    • If Team does not have a history base this on the following calculation
      • For a 10 day Iteration, give each person 8 points = 10-2 where the 2 represents one day for Iteration Planning, one day for Iteration Review and Retrospective
      • Subtract out the Product Owner
      • Subtract out the Scrum Master
      • Remove vacations and holidays for everyone
      • E.g. Team of 7 people, including a Product Owner and Scrum Master means (7 - 2) people X 8 points per person results in capacity of 40 points.
  • Clarify Team Backlog User Stories
    • Collaborate to get common understanding
    • Story in “user voice” format - As a <role> I want <some feature> so that <I get some benefit> - who, what, why
    • Acceptance criteria is gherkin format - Given <system is in a state> when <something happens> then <I get some result>
    • Update and / or revise estimates
  • The Team picks from prioritized Backlog, taking items to fill to team Capacity
  • Establish Iteration Goals
  • Teams commits to the Iteration Goals (e.g. by Fist of Five vote)

NOTE: New Teams sometimes have a second meeting immediately after this meeting to determine how they will work together to deliver the commitment but in most cases this is discussed during planning.


  • In Backlog priority order pull in items into the Iteration until you reach “plan-able capacity”
    • As you do this have Teams ask themselves “do we think we can do this story and all the other stories we have accepted so far?”
      • NOTE: Sometimes Teams are unable to do in strict order because of, for example, a need for specialized skills.
  • Iteration (Sprint) Goals are defined based on work that can be done
  • “Fist of five” to commitment to the Iteration (Sprint) Goals means “We think we can get this done” and “If we encounter a problem that jeopardized the Iteration Goals we will communicate that immediately.”
  • Ensure tooling you are using are up to date based on committed plan.

Checklist - Iteration (Sprint) Planning


  • Team is invited: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Team members
  • Product (or Team) Backlog is prioritized
  • Backlog Items are estimated
  • Product (or Team) Backlog is visible and accessible to everyone in the meeting
  • Planned absences (e.g. holidays) of Team members are known
  • The room / environment is suitable for Team discussions
  • The results of the Iteration (Sprint) Review and the Iteration (Sprint) Retrospective are available
  • The Iteration (Sprint) Schedule is defined (i.e. start and end date of the Iteration (Sprint))


  • Make the following items visible to everyone in the meeting:
    • Iteration (Sprint) Schedule
    • Iteration (Sprint) Review Meeting results
    • Iteration (Sprint) Retrospective results (note: these are the public improvement goals rather than, say, minutes of the meeting)
  • The Product Owner informs the team about the Product (or Team) Vision
  • The Product Owner and the team define the Iteration (Sprint) Goal based on the Stories selected.
  • If there are Backlog Items missing the Team can add the Backlog Item to the Team (Product) Backlog

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/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2022/08/10 08:57 by hans