Sprint planning is one of the four Scrum ceremonies. It’s held at the beginning of every sprint to define the goals and backlog while keeping the team in sync.
Since sprint planning is crucial for a successful sprint you need to be able to improve the flow of information, save time and avoid mistakes during this process. To achieve this, you can use sprint planning software or a sprint planning template.
Having a structure around your sprint planning process can make a big difference for your agile team. A sprint planning template will enable you to organize your sprint meetings more effectively, set focus and align everyone on the team. In this guide, we will provide a downloadable template to help you set sprint goals, assign tasks, and track backlog items.
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What is a Sprint Planning Template
A sprint planning template is a tool used by project managers to plan and track the progress of sprints or short-term projects. The template typically includes a sprint goal and a list of activities and deliverables to be achieved during the sprint.
Sprint planning templates can be customized to fit the specific needs of a project. Most sprint planning templates come with various features that help the product development team manage sprint meetings, track story points, write user stories, plan workflows, and track progress in one place.
A sprint planning template can be the make or break since it provides a foundation for your planning process. Without solid planning, sprints can easily be set up for failure due to unrealistic goals. With the right template, your agile team will have all the resources they need to collaborate and complete the set project tasks.
💡 Sprint planning templates can be used for various sprints and multiple teams besides product development, including design, marketing, and operations.
What Are the Benefits Of Using a Sprint Planning Template
When planning a project, having a template can save time and effort. It provides structure to the process and ensures that all the essential aspects of the sprint are discussed by the team. That makes it easier to develop a product that meets the expectations of both the stakeholders and the end users. But that’s not all.
There are more benefits to using a sprint planning template. Let’s discuss the most important ones.
Provide Structure to Your Meetings
To give you more context into the importance of a sprint planning template, let’s talk about the sprint planning process.
In scrum, sprints are the fundamentals of product development. Sprint planning is part of the scrum framework, where the scrum team discusses what needs to be delivered and how it will be delivered.
Sprint planning kicks off every sprint and usually involves the scrum master, product owner, and software development team. The focus of these meetings ranges from backlog item identification and prioritization to user story estimation and team capacity determination.
With the number of people involved in the sprint planning process, it’s relatively easy for things to get out of hand. This is where a proper meeting structure comes into play: it helps maintain order and ensure every team member is aware of their roles. This is what a scrum sprint planning template provides.
The templates ensure every agenda is covered and all agile team members understand the focus of the current sprint. It makes your sprint planning meetings more productive and efficient.
Easily Review Team Performance
Sprint review is crucial for identifying blockers and improving the performance of your scrum team. A great review session should evaluate the team’s velocity, sprint goals, and if they were achieved successfully. This helps identify the team’s capacity for future sprints.
A sprint planning template makes it easy to look back at the agile sprint plan from a wider perspective to understand team performance and capacity. It shines a light on the team’s work and allows the team to quickly identify areas for improvement.
Many teams also rely on sprint planning software to provide structure to performance monitoring. These platforms allow users to set team effort – by days, hours, or story points – and keep track of the software development progress via a built-in dashboard. Some sprint planning platforms, such as Tara, also allow you to compare actual team effort against the predicted effort.
By understanding team performance, capacity, and velocity, your team can plan more productive sprints.
Keep Track of Backlog Items
A sprint backlog is what all agile team members should have in mind going into the next sprint. An effective sprint planning meeting should result in well-documented backlog items, making them easy to get back to during the next sprint.
With a well organized backlog the scrum master can plan more effectively. Scrum teams can also achieve the sprint goal faster when they have all the backlog information available at the snap of a finger.
To enable quick access to the sprint backlog, you need a sprint planning template, or a powerful tool like Tara. Our sprint planning tool provides a zero-config interface where teams can easily access their backlog items while sprinting. It also lets users categorize tasks by status, type, or priority with #Labels, delivering more development visibility.
Set Sprint Goals & Assign Tasks
We’ve mentioned how important it is to identify and review sprint goals. With a sprint planning template, it’s easy to set the goals and expectations for the team so the product owner can move onto the next step – assigning tasks to team members.
Free Sprint Planning Template
For the readers of this post and our agile community, we have created a downloadable sprint planning template that can easily be shared with the rest of your team. We hope that our template will make this process a breeze and help you plan more productive sprints 💫
How Tara Can Help Your Sprint Planning
We live on our product, and all sprint planning and management at Tara, is completed on Tara. We run simultaneous sprints on Tara – across all teams – and as a result of effective sprints we’re now on a weekly cadence of releases in our product.
At Tara, we are building a sprint planning tool that helps agile teams stay organized and ship faster, with visibility. It should streamline the process and makes work more manageable, especially for product owners.
For modern agile teams that move fast, it’s important to have a tool that (1) provides structure for sprint planning and (2) makes setting sprint goals and assigning tasks easy, saving them time for building and shipping features. That’s what Tara is about. A modern interface with an intuitive sprint planning page where teams can create and drag-n-drop tasks into each sprint, with overload alerts and other insights to help teams plan smarter.
Transparency and communication are key to effective sprint planning, and teams can achieve this with Tara’s collaborative interface. You can collaborate seamlessly on tasks and docs with our multi-player editor and commenting feature, powered with instant notifications. Every member of your team will get complete visibility across milestones, requirements, and tasks.
There are more to come for and we’re excited to see how our sprint planning features could deliver real value to teams 🙌