Saturday, September 2, 2017

How to Run Effective Agile Planning Meeting? | Supreme Agile

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪agile planning‬‏

Prior to each iteration planning meeting, the product backlog user stories that likely to be delivered in the next iteration have to be prepared by both the team and the product owner, the preparation process includes many different activities and demands the collaboration of the entire Scrum team.

Choosing the Iteration Goal

The first and most important thing in the preparation process is to define the iteration goal that will determine the desired results we want to achieve at the end of the iteration. Setting the iteration goal will allow the scrum team to focus on their commitments the amount of work needed to be done in order to succeed to deliver the desired outcome of the iteration.

Although the team has the responsibility to deliver the technical aspects throughout the iteration, the iteration goal is set by the Product Owner that need to set the goal to the satisfaction of the customer.

Now, although the product owner is responsible to determine the iteration goal, it is highly recommended that he will involve the team in formulating the goal, involving the team will lead to some major benefits, such as: 
  1. Once the team is involved, they will help the PO to set realistic goals that based on the team experience and knowledge in the technical domain.
  2. A team that participates in formulating the iteration goal will ensure clarity.
  3. The involvement of the team will help them to set goals that will provide them with some room to maneuver throughout the iteration.
  4. Setting the iteration goal will make it easier to communicate with stakeholders what the team is expected to deliver at the end of the iteration.
  5. The team will most likely be more collaborative because they are working toward a common goal.

Backlog Refinement

Once we set the iteration goal, we need to prepare the relevant user stories for the upcoming iteration, the team will accomplish this task using the backlog refinement meeting.

The refinement meeting is an essential part of any planning effort in scrum, teams hold a short backlog refinement meeting prior to the planning meeting (30-60 minutes), during this meeting the team and the product owner will collaborate and deciding which user stories to complete in the upcoming iteration.

During the refinement meeting, the team and the product owner will ensure that the backlog is healthy and prepared for the upcoming planning meeting, A healthy backlog: 

  • Contain a list of informative, user stories that will allow the team to understand what is expected of them, each story should include the requirements, Acceptance, and Definition of Done criteria.
  • User stories are prioritized with the most important items are listed at the top.
  • It's clear so every relevant stakeholder can understand it.
  • Large user stories are broken down into smaller stories so they can be completed in a single iteration.

The number of user stories that the team should prepare for this meeting depends on the velocity and the available capacity of the team in the upcoming iteration. The higher the team velocity, the more user stories should be refined during the meeting (In addition to a few extra stories to give the team some ability to make modifications throughout the iteration).

Ensuring Clarity, Testability, and Size

Once the user stories are chosen to the upcoming iteration, we must ensure that they are Clear and testable so the team can take real commitments during the planning meeting.


We can say that a user story is clear only in the case that the entire scrum team members have a common understanding of its areas including the requirements, Acceptance, and Definition of done criteria.


And what about the user story "Testability"? A user story is testable only if there is a real and effective way to determine whether the requested requirement is fulfilled within the iteration in which it is supposed to be implemented.  


The size of a user story should be small enough so the team can complete it in a single iteration, the team can determine if a user story can be delivered in a single iteration based on the Definition of Done determined for the story and its dependents in other stories.

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