We have sprint planning sessions before each sprint. Sprints are typically 2-weeks long, although we sometimes vary the length for various reasons (such as hardening sprints, or just to align the schedule).

A sprint planning generally works like this:

  • The week before the sprint planning call, the product manager (???), engineering manager (Shane), and scrum master (Mukund) have a chat about the goals and priorities for the sprint. This takes into account the overall project plan, current development progress and status, and so on.
  • The Friday before before the sprint planning call, the scrum master requests that the developers make estimates for the unestimated tickets on the Next-Sprint-Proposed milestone and on the New Tasks milestone. (Details about estimation below.)
  • Average points are calculated based on the returned estimates, and the respective tickets are updated with these point estimations. Any issues in estimating tickets are discussed on the developer list and in the Jabber chatroom.
  • A sprint planning call is held on Tuesday, and the team puts in as many tickets as it seems like will fit into the time (avg. points/day * number_of_days) based on the ticket estimates. The average points/day can be determined from the Burndown page. Sometimes we estimate lower when developers are on holiday, or higher if we have more developers available.

Estimation works by "points" rather than by hours or days or anything like that. The idea is that absolute measurements are hard for people, but relative measurements are not difficult (for example, you can tell which of two rocks is bigger but not make a good estimate about how much they weigh). Originally this was done by engineers picking a single ticket and using that as the basis for estimation (ticket A is 5 points, so this is about 7). Now engineers have a "feel" for how many points they think a ticket will take to complete. New engineers will have to look at the tickets on the previous sprint and use that as a basis for their own estimations, until they acquire their own feel.

The scrum master should look at the ScrumMasterAdministrivia page.

Sprint planning notes, by meeting:

Previously we had two teams, and sprint planning was done separately. Notes may be found here:

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Oct 3, 2013, 7:38:15 AM