Biggest Mistake Scrum Teams make in Sprint Planning?

The ‘Rush-Through’

I believe the ‘rush-through’ when it comes to Scrum teams in Sprint Planning is the biggest mistake Scrum teams can make. 🚧

In fact, I call it the classic sprint planning misstep.

Imagine this scenario: Scrum team members gather, list what they’re going to work on, and say “this and that. They dash off a quick list of tasks, utter something along the lines of “we’re going to work on this, this, this and yes, you’ve guessed it – this!”

And then they promptly leave. They spend merely half an hour to an hour and then consider the Sprint planned. Well, here’s my take: “No, no, they haven’t” – not by a long shot. 🏁

A Threefold Mission

Sprint Planning is definitely a Trifecta. 🎯 In Sprint planning, there’s an essential trio that needs to be addressed.

First up is, “What will you do with that list of stuff?” Yes, that’s indeed important, but it’s not everything.

The Power of ‘Why’ in Sprint Planning

Next, it’s time to ask: “Why does it matter?” which is the second crucial element. Understanding why your team needs this list of stuff and why people should care is crucial. This is the essence of your Sprint Goal. 🌟

The Often Skipped Third Element: How? 🧩

And now, lastly, let’s talk about the third element, which is often overlooked.

“Plan how you intend to execute those things listed. Actually, sit down with each one and think about it.” How will you do it? Will you draw it out or write all the tasks down?

Whatever the method, it’s necessary, and whichever way you choose, you need to do it.

Sprint planning is a process that needs time and thoughtful deliberation. I always advise: “Don’t rush Sprint planning because you’ll get bitten later. You need to do all those things you could have done.”

Guard against the quick d and thorough Sprint planning as a Scrum team champion.

If you’re working in or leading a Scrum team and want to avoid this major pitfall, join my Agile and Scrum courses so your Sprints can truly sprint instead of stumbling! 🏁🚀

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John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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