Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning

Sprint Planning is one of the 5 events defined in the Scrum Framework as per Scrum Guide 2020. Entire Scrum Team participate in it and together craft a Sprint Goal, select Product Backlog Items. Developers also create their plan to convert selected PBIs into ‘Done’ Increment. The outcome is a flexible Sprint Backlog. 

Scrum has 5 events 

  • Sprint
  • Sprint Planning 
  • Daily Scrum 
  • Sprint Review
  • Sprint Retrospective

Sprint Planning is the first event of the Sprint which is a container of all the other 4 events. Sprint starts with Sprint Planning and finishes with Sprint Retrospective. 

Who Attends

The entire Scrum team i.e. Product Owner, Developers, Scrum Master participate in the Sprint Planning. 

Other people can attend this event but only if needed or requested by the Scrum Team. Other people generally join as subject matter experts (SMEs) and help in clarification of the PBIs or help developers in creating their plans. 

For example, once we invited a GDPR law expert into our Sprint Planning session to get some clarification around related PBIs. On many occasions, we have also invited technical experts such as architects who have provided technical guidance. 

Time Box 

8 Hrs for 1 Month-long Sprint. For shorter Sprints usually, it is shorter. 

Key Discussions 


Generally, the Product Owner may have got an idea of what should teamwork be on to maximise the value of the product. The Product Owner discusses this with the rest of the Scrum Team members and together Scrum Team finalise the Sprint Goal. 

As Developers are self-managing, they decide how much they can deliver and hence their input is essential in crafting the Sprint Goal. 

Tip: Always start Sprint Planning with Product Goal so that Scrum Team can connect the dots and see the big picture. 


Based on identified Sprint Goal,  Scrum Team forecasts what they can achieve in the Sprint and select PBIs. Product Owner and Developers discuss PBIs and increase their shared understanding. 

Team capacity, past performance and Product Backlog are key inputs that help this discussion. 

Tip: Enter into the Sprint Planning with a better understanding using Product Backlog Refinement activity in previous Sprints. 


Developers create their plan to convert selected PBIs into the Done increment. Generally, this is done by breaking the PBIs into smaller tasks. 

Definition of Done plays a crucial role. It guides the discussion around what needed to be done to have a usable and potentially releasable increment. 


Product Backlog

A or ready Product Backlog is  necessary to initiate a Sprint Planning. However, readiness should not be a constraint. If Scrum Team has Product Goal and some ideas how to implement that, then it is good enough to start. 

Scrum Team Capacity  

What is the size of Scrum Team ?
What are the skillset of the team?
What skills require to get the work ‘Done’ ?
Are some people of training/holidays ?
Is any Developers also supporting other projects/products or non-product related activities ? 
All these questions can help in understanding what is the capacity of the Scrum Team for a particular Sprint. 

Scrum Team’s Past Performance

If this is new kind of work which we have never done it before?

If team has done similar work before?
Have we done exactly the same work before? 
Have we got empirical evidences from previous Sprints ( e.g. Throughput, Velocity) ?
All above questions helps Scrum Team to understand how much they should pull from the Product Backlog. 

Definition of Done

The Definition of Done is a formal description of the state of the Increment when it meets the quality measures required for the product. Scrum Guide 2020

Definition of Done helps especially in ‘How’ discussion on the Sprint Planning. Helping on creating plan to convert PBIs into a ‘Done’ Increment. 

For example: if Definition of ‘Done’ that Product need user guide/notes, then Developers needs to include this as part of their plan. 


Previously developed Increment and value/learning obtained from it, can also be a great input for the Sprint Planning. This can  help in identification of Sprint Goal and what PBIs should team select. 

Previous Sprint Retrospective Improvement Actions 

The previous rule of having at least one improvement action from the previous Sprint Retrospective has been omitted from latest Scrum Guide (2020). However, this is still a really good practice. As part of their continuous improvement Scrum Team should discuss how they can implement identified high priority improvement actions such as adding another layer of review/testing to increase the quality of the Product.   


Sprint Backlog that consists of Sprint Goal (Why) + Selected Product Backlog Items (What) + Flexible Plan (How)

This Sprint Backlog gets discussed daily in Daily Scrum.