The Best Way to do Sprint Planning

After product owner creates product backlog based on the customer voices. The next agenda is to select the product backlog to a sprint. If you are wondering how to create an user story format in product backlog you can see this video. On this video, we will discuss what you need to do in Sprint Planning. There are five steps in sprint planning namely:

  • Creating a sprint length and release.
  • Redefining product backlog
  • Put a backlog into a sprint and reorder it as sprint backlog
  • Adding the details of Sprint Backlog with Tasks.
  • The definition of done in a sprint

Creating a sprint length and release

After you have a draft of product backlogs, you can try to create a release.

A release should be discussed with the client. Some of client said a release as a commissioning list of a project. A release is your commitment to deliver values to the customers.

Your customers    will approve the timeline for a release. It can be a date namely deadline. For example, your customer said that the system should be released on 19 January 2022. If today is 19 November 2022, you will have two months before the release date. Imagine if your team works for 5 days / week. It means you will have 40 days to catchup.

You can get sprint numbers by dividing a release length with your sprint length. In this example, we have 40 days of works. If your team decide to choose sprint length for 20 days. You will have two sprints.

Sprint length is defined by the development team and product owner.

You might ask why we choose 20 days, why not five days or ten days. Basically, there is no rule of thumbs of the sprint length. However please consider these when you choose the sprint length.

  • Try to convert the user story points into the duration. You can do that by using your team velocity based on project historical analysis.
    • Warm boot. Your team has previous experience. You can capture the velocity. For example, they finished 50 user story points for 25 days. It means the velocity is 2 user story points / day. Therefore, if you have the longest product backlog Is 40 points. You can get the sprint length 20 days
    • Cold boot. Your team has no previous experience. On this case you can ask the development team to convert the points into days.
  • You can find the sprint length by trying to put related product backlog into a single sprint. For example, you have a related story such as login, registration, and profile. And you can finish in 10 days. It means you can choose 10 days as your sprint length. Try to find the longest related product backlog in your project. And choose that as your sprint length.
  • The shortest the sprint length the worst in efficiency. For example, you have 5 days of sprint length. It means you will have 4 days of sprint review and sprint retrospective for a month. If you have 10 days of sprint length, you will only have 2 days of sprint review and sprint retrospective. However, if the sprint length is too long, you will face inefficiency when the product backlog changes in term of requirements.

Redefining product backlog

In a sprint planning, you should detail the product backlog. It means you should complete the

  • Business rules
  • Stored Data
  • Usage Scenario
  • The acceptance criteria
  • The business values

You can read this post Estimating Product Backlog in Azure DevOps ( for further information

Reordering Sprint Backlog

After you complete the product backlog, you can put the backlog into a sprint. In Azure Boards, you can navigate to the Sprint menu and do these following:

  • Reorder the product backlog. You can put the highest priority product backlog in a top
  • Put the product backlog in a sprint. You can drag and drop your product backlog in a sprint

Adding the details of The Sprint as Task

Task is technical activity that will be done by the development team. You can add the task by visiting the Sprints menu and click the + sign in the left of your backlog. Ask your team to add their personal task such as creating table, setup the middleware server, or even build user interface,

The definition of done (DOD).

DOD is the heart of a sprint closing. For example, you can say the sprint is closed when:

  • The entire task in a sprint is finished AND,
  • The backlog is tested and passed the test AND,
  • The backlog is approved and demonstrated to the customer and they accept it.

You can define your own DOD to close the sprint by doing sprint review and sprint retrospective. In the next post, I will discuss what you will do in Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. Put a comment, if you have a question!

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