What is a sprint planning meeting?

Sprint planning meeting is one of the events which is necessary to sketch an initial plan just before starting a sprint development. It usually falls on the day -1 of every sprint, where all team members together do a set planning activities to make sure achieving a clear in detail plan on developing features which draw a high business value with high returns. 5 most important activities happening during this meeting are:

  1. Understanding business needs and business values of prioritized stories or features.
  2. Initial complexity (size)estimation in terms of story points, t-shirt sizes as absolute estimation.
  3. Preparing a task breakdown structure for an easier tracking the progress of a feature or a story.
  4. Testing strategy, build, integration and deployment plan necessary for a smooth sprint delivery.
  5. Plan to mitigate any risk and identifying cross-team business dependency

What are the different steps in a sprint planning meeting?

Distributed Environment:

Where team members distributed across different geographical areas, sprint planning meeting mostly happens during the overlapping time of different time zones.

SPM-I: Sprint planning meeting-I:

This meeting is mostly driven by the product owner, who walks through all top stories or features from the product backlog and walks the team through its acceptance criteria’s. Responsibility lies with the development team to clarify any questions for a better understanding of those features explained by the product owner. Here team gets an understanding of business priorities and product owner gets a view on technical complexity & challenges. This sprint planning meeting also enables product owner and team to review “Definition Of Done“.

SPM-II: Sprint planning meeting-II: 

This meeting is mostly driven by the development team and so a product owner presence is not needed during this planning meeting. Here the development team does a thorough analysis of those features explained by the product owner and prepares a set of questions to clarify. The team also estimate by story sizing and prepares a list of all tasks necessary to complete a story.

SPM-III: Sprint planning meeting-III:

During this planning, meeting team clarifies their open questions from the product owner. Product owner may do a small adjustment on the priority of backlog items with inputs from the development team, primarily by team’s estimation on complexity and dependency of a specific story. Finally, team commits by team capacity. The team also can use some time for Backlog Grooming session during this planning meeting.

 Collocated Environment:

Where team members are collocated at a common bay with radiating a lot of information with a visual board around which displays a clear progress with various stages of development using post it notes or cards as well architecture diagrams and product vision statements.

SPM-I: Sprint planning meeting-I: For a collocated team sprint planning meeting I include need clarification of high priority stories till the number of stories product owner wish to be completed in that sprint. It does not necessarily means that team need to complete all. Team member also estimates story points or any relative sizing methods.

SPM-I: Sprint planning meeting-II: During SPM-II meeting , team members mostly do tasking of high prioritized stories and commits to complete by available capacity.


  • ScrumMaster facilitates sprint planning meeting.
  • Team determines capacity of team by summing up individual availability for that sprint.
  • Team picks up the top backlog item and estimates how long the tasks will take to complete.
  • Team continue picking up next backlog items till there is available team capacity.
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