Tag Archives: readiness

Scrum “Inputs”

The Product Backlog is often described as the primary input to Scrum.  The Sprint starts with Sprint Planning and Sprint Planning starts with the Product Owner and the Product Backlog.  In principle, this makes perfect sense and hopefully it is enough for most teams and organizations to just start with the Product Backlog.  And if you don’t have a Product Backlog, then just start without one, get some stuff done that the team thinks is important, invite some people to the Sprint Review and most likely one of those people will end up becoming the Product Owner and gradually take on the responsbilities of that role.  I believe in just starting if you can.  I even wrote a blog post about this a while back and I stand by it.

I have served as a Scrum Master and coach for a number of teams and I have identified some patterns that I think are worth addressing.  Newly-formed teams tend to ask for (and need) a little more help than this in order to feel ready to start.  And I have learned from experience that it is usually more effective for the adoption of Scrum and team development for the team to feel ready enough to just start.

The Scrum Guide recognizes the following inputs to Sprint Planning:

  • Product Backlog
  • Latest product increment (not applicable to first Sprint)
  • Projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint
  • Past performance of the Development Team (not applicable to first Sprint)
  • Definition of “Done” (implicitly)

A newly-formed team often needs to address the following before the first Sprint:

  • Product Backlog
  • Projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint
  • Definition of “Done”

If these are not addressed before the first Sprint, then they will likely need to be addressed during Sprint Planning, which can place a lot pressure on a new team (especially in environments where it is difficult to build shared understanding of the work).

Product Backlog

Keep it simple.  It’s an ordered list of all the features, functions, enhancements and fixes that might be needed in the end product.  Get the Product Owner to blow these things out into a list.  It doesn’t need to be a complete list.  Just the most important things right now.  A good test is to give the Product Owner 5 minutes.  Whatever the Product Owner can think of in 5 minutes is important enough for the team to start working on.  There are all kinds of techniques that can be used to order the Product Backlog.  The simplest way is to just have the Product Owner eyeball it.  If people are uncomfortable with this, then introduce the other ways.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.  It will get better and become refined and adapted as you go.

Projected capacity of the Development Team during the Sprint

Multiply the number of working days in the Sprint (total days minus Sprint Planning, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective, rounding down) by the number of Development Team members by the average percentage team member dedication (hopefully 100%).  If you have weird things going on with team member allocation (not 100%) then you may find it helpful to refer to this blog post.  According to what the Scrum Guide says about Development Team size and Sprint duration, this number could theoretically be smaller (Sprint less than one week), but in most cases no less than 12 (3-member Development Team in a one-week Sprint) and no more than 207 (9-member Development Team in a one-month Sprint with 23 days – the maximum number of weekdays in a month).

Definition of “Done”

This is a list of all of the activities that will go into the intended Increment of the first Sprint in order for it to be done.  The team needs to know this before it can estimate the items in the Product Backlog as a team.  Estimation is not a requirement of Scrum, but is often very helpful in refining the Product Backlog, tracking velocity and making projections into the future based on historical actuals.

Planning with the Product Backlog, projected capacity and Definition of “Done”

In the first part of Sprint Planning, the team looks at the items at the top of the Product Backlog in order to determine what can be done in the Sprint and the Sprint Goal, keeping in mind that it will need to complete the items according to its Definition of “Done”.  Once the team has set a Sprint Goal, it can then create a set of tasks that represent how the work will get done.  All of the tasks should fulfill a specific attribute of the Definition of “Done” or be about the technical parts of the system that need to be built.  The team should try to create a set of tasks each of which are a one-person day effort or less.  Count the number of tasks.  If the number of tasks are close to the number of days of the team’s capacity, the team can be confident that it has a decent Sprint Backlog.  If not, then the the Sprint Backlog and likely the Sprint Goal will need to be adapted.


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1595.00
Nov 19
2019
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1599.00
Nov 22
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
London
C$1795.00
Nov 22
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Nov 22
2019
Details
BERTEIG Real Agility Series:: Five Essential Agile Tools for Project Managers
Online
C$0.00
Nov 25
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1795.00
Nov 26
2019
Details
Licensed Scrum Master® (LSM)
Toronto
C$1595.00
Nov 27
2019
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1599.00
Nov 29
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1595.00
Dec 3
2019
Details
Kanban Management Professional® (KMP II)
Toronto
C$1795.00
Dec 5
2019
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1599.00
Dec 6
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$2199.00
Dec 7
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1595.00
Dec 9
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$1195.00
Dec 10
2019
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1525.00
Dec 10
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1795.00
Dec 11
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Dec 12
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$1869.15
Jan 10
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$1015.75
Jan 16
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Jan 17
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster® (CSP-SM)
Online
C$1869.15
Jan 18
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Jan 18
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I) [PSF Courseware]
London
C$1296.25
Jan 21
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Jan 21
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Jan 23
2020
Details
Licensed Scrum Master Product Owner® (LSMPO)
Toronto
C$1695.75
Jan 28
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Feb 1
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Feb 4
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Feb 6
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1270.75
Feb 11
2020
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Feb 11
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Feb 25
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Feb 27
2020
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$1015.75
Mar 4
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Mar 7
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Mar 8
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1270.75
Mar 9
2020
Details
Licensed Scrum Master® (LSM)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Mar 10
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Mar 21
2020
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (A-CSM)
Online
C$1359.15
Mar 22
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Mar 24
2020
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Mar 26
2020
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Mar 31
2020
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
London
C$1525.75
Apr 1
2020
Details
Kanban Management Professional® (KMPII)
Toronto
C$1525.75
Apr 2
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1270.75
Apr 20
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I) [PSF Courseware]
Toronto
C$1270.75
Apr 27
2020
Details
Professional Scrum Master® (PSM I)
Toronto
C$1270.75
May 26
2020
Details