Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#5: Scott Dunn Shares Everything You Need to Run Sprint Planning

June 22, 2022     44 minutes

In this episode, Scott Dunn and Brian review the key aspects of leading an effective sprint planning meeting: its purpose, how it works, who attends, and ensuring yours are achieving the desired result.


Brian Milner and Scott Dunn discuss product ownership and leading a sprint planning meeting. 2020’s Scrum Guide introduced new guidance: sprint planning must go beyond the WHAT and the HOW of product backlog items to the WHY, specifically why is the sprint valuable?

Scott shares his firsthand experience of how to run an effective sprint planning meeting, including focusing on the ‘Why?’ plus practical advice on increasing an agile team’s motivation and engagement.

You’ll learn why the product owner-development team relationship is the linchpin of sprint-planning success and the primacy of preparation, forward vision, and a value-driven mindset.

Final advice includes better communication of expectations with distributed team members and aligning with the evolving nature of the tech landscape through trying new approaches.

Listen now to discover:

·       04:00 – How asking ‘Why?’ adds value and motivates, empowers, and engages teams

·       07:00 – Why the relationship between the product owner and development team is the linchpin of success

·       10:00 – What level of detail Scrum teams should be striving for during a sprint planning meeting

·       12:00 – The purpose of a sprint review and what needs to change in order to support inclusive collaboration

·       14:00 – How to leave room for discovery with minimal documentation

·       15:52 – How flexible requirements and ongoing conversation enable collaboration and employee engagement

·       17:00 – How to remain focused on driving value when facilitating sprint planning meetings

·       19:00 – The mindset shift required to define value through conversation and negotiation

·       21:30 – Craig Larman methodology - culture follows structure

·       22:00 – Why assigning work during sprint planning kills collaboration and team spirit

·       26:00 – The purpose of the sprint planning meeting and how to maximize the time allocated

·       27:30 – The restrictions of forward planning and how to find confidence in emergent architecture to align with the changing nature of tech organizations

·       30:00 – How product owners in sprint planning can improve efficiency through preparation

·       34:00 – Tips for distributed teams: adapting to remote working, improving communication, and more effective sprint planning

·       40:30 – The ‘Inspect and Adapt’ concept: the importance of trying new approaches and implementing new methods. 

Listen next time when we’ll be discussing . . .

Daily scrums with certified Scrum trainer, Julie Chickering. You’ll learn the true purpose of this 15-minute time-boxed event as well as common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid in this meeting.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

·       Larman's Laws of Organizational Behavior

·       David Hawks

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He’s passionate about making a difference in people’s day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

Scott Dunn is a Certified Enterprise Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer with more than 20 years of experience in management, project management (PMP), engagement management, and software development (MCSD). He is passionate about strengths-based teams and a solutions-based approach to people and organizational issues.

Show edited by Rhett Gill.