Agile OrganizationAgile Software Development

Problems with Sprint Planning? 4 Tips for Product Owners

Sprint planning is a daily ritual for product owners. However, the majority of them feel anxious during the meetings. Roman Pichler provides interesting tips for product owners that struggle with sprint planning in his blog.

Product Owners Versus Sprint Planning

Little efforts can help product owners sail through sprint planning meetings with ease. Every meeting requires an agenda. Why do not you prepare for that earlier? The author shares the following recommendations for product owners:

  1. Be Ready for the Meeting: Know what you want the team to achieve in this sprint. Take time to find out the product backlogs and prioritize them beforehand. The developers will then feel less anxious or mentally drained out even before the sprint begins. Since sprint planning influences all, include developers while listing the backlog for better comprehension. Do not change the sprint details once everyone has agreed to it.
  2. Concentrate on the Goal You Want the Team to Achieve: Leave the sprint planning techniques to Scrum Master and the teammates. The duty of product owners is to formulate sprint goals and ensure the team achieves them. A sprint goal is usually tied up with a risk, but you can have release goals for every sprint. Though many product owners do not prefer sprint goals, these give the team a direction. The goals also help in clear communication with the stakeholders and in evaluating user feedback. However, it is best to modulate the sprint goals as per the tasks allocated to the developers. Having at least one shared goal at the beginning of the meeting allows developers to confirm its relevance early. You will have time to modify it if needed.
  3. Attend Every Sprint Planning Meeting: Product owners should attend every sprint planning meeting. If not physically, at least virtually. Since doubts accumulate when developers start working on product backlogs, they can easily clarify their doubts with you upfront. If they declare the goal as unachievable, you can learn the reason behind it and adjust it in person.
  4. Let the Team Take Ownership of Its Actions: The benefits of applying agile methodology is that your project work gets distributed evenly across the sprints. Also, the team can determine, deny, delay, or prioritize tasks. If products owners want the team to deliver the project on time, they must not inflict last-minute sponsor wish list on them. Also, they should hold the teammates accountable for the tasks and evaluate them in the review meetings.

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