Sprint Planning, Principles That Can Be Implemented In A Startup

What Is A Sprint In Project Management For A Startup?

Sprint planning is essentially the meeting held at the beginning of every sprint. The meeting is just the start of where product items can be reviewed, prioritized, and fully planned. 

The goal of the sprint planning meeting is to prepare and align the team towards a common goal and to deliver a pre-defined functionality.

When scoping out what can be accomplished in the sprint, they must also plan how it will be delivered.

The rest of the week consists of set tasks towards reaching end goals.

How Does Sprint Planning Work In A Startup?

Let’s explain further…

Every startup project is broken into time blocks called sprints. The sprints in a startup usually take 2-4 weeks. 

A sprint planning meeting is when the complete team meet to determine the backlog items that will be dealt with in the sprint.

Three roles for sprint planning for startups:

  • Scrum masters: This is the person who facilitates sprint planning and scrum activities. They know how things will be done, and commonly facilitate daily stand-ups.
  • Product manager: This is the person who has deep knowledge of the product and its user, and they manage the items in the product backlog. 
  • Team members: They are the individuals of the team who work on the tasks given to them and follow all scrum scheduling.

The scrum planning work meeting is held as a collaborative process. It allows all of the startup team members to have input into when and how work happens.

How Does Sprint Planning Work In Startup Wars?

In Startup Wars, the student is able to have an introduction to planning work as they manage workloads. 

Workload management is a process of efficient distribution and management of workload across all of the team members. 

This distribution maximizes employee performance and it minimizes chaos, helping your startup team to feel satisfied at the end of the day.

The student will learn that a sprint planning meeting will need an agenda. This helps to keep their team focused. 

Sprint goal examples:

  • A discussion about the sprint’s ultimate objective
  • A review of the team’s capacity
  • A concrete look at the sprint backlog 

*What is a sprint backlog?  It is a complete list of the tasks needed to accomplish the project.

This should all happen before the student starts giving out tasks during the development sprint.

What is the purpose of a sprint review?

The sprint reviews allows the team to gather to review completed work so far. They can determine if any additional changes are needed together.

What Are The Advantages Of Working With Sprint Planning?

There are many advantages to working with sprint management planning that are both satisfying and productive for the entire startup team. 

Some advantages of working with sprint planning include:

  • Identifying team capacities
  • Saving time through realistic expectations
  • Providing clarity and transparency
  • Improving team communication
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Focusing on the end goal as a team

Be sure to discover your startup team’s capacity. 

How many team members do you have? Multiply that by the amount of hours that they can realistically and productively work during the game. 

Be sure to deduct the time spent in team meetings or spent on other tasks.

How To Set Up Goals For Sprint Planning?

There are a couple of things you can do in order to effectively set up goals for sprint planning. 

It is important to estimate the amount of time and effort it will take to complete each item on your backlog list. This information is needed by the scrum master and scrum product manager. It helps them to manage the budget properly, and to set a proper timeline estimate for the project.

Set SMART goals to help you complete your projects. 

SMART Goal examples for Startup Wars:

  1. Specific: We will write the product description today.
  2. Measurable: We will finish collecting data in 2 months.
  3. Achievable: We will finish training four members of our team per week.
  4. Relevant: We’ve seen how this product is needed, and should come to life.

SMART goals are the best sprint planning tools. They help to push your team further. They give your startup planning a sense of direction. They can help your team to be organized so that they can reach the team goals.

How should scrum teams plan work with smart goals? 

Well, the team goals must be relevant, with a focus on the outcomes, not just the work. 

This is all part of sprint planning best practices. A team must be flexible and open to changes as they arise in the startup Wars game – just like in real life!

Sprint Planning Tips

Wondering how to run a sprint planning meeting?

A student will learn through the Startup Wars game that they must be fully prepared for their sprint planning meetings with their sprint pre planning checklist. 

Preparation and collaboration are the key.

Sprint planning checklist:

  1. Bring a list of tasks and projected sprint timelines
  2. Have your data ready with proper estimations
  3. Confirm all items on the backlog together as a team
  4. Agree as a team on what the plan is going forward and what should be on the agenda for the next sprint
  5. Determine the team’s capacity together – with real data 
  6. End the meeting with a Q&A  session. This allows all of your team members to be clear on their tasks.

With a collaborative approach to sprint planning and sprint tasks, your entire startup team will be clear on all of the tasks in the backlog. This will help you all to determine the most important tasks to begin with – to prioritize towards success.

Making sure that your entire team is on the same page will help you all to know what ways to best tackle the upcoming challenges – and rewards – together.

Sprint Planning, Principles That Can Be Implemented In A Startup

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Charlotte Kane
Charlotte Kane Undergraduate Student, The Ohio State University

Startup Wars allowed me to understand everything that goes into starting a business in 90 days.

Darshita Bajoria
Darshita Bajoria Undergraduate Student, The Ohio State University

Startup Wars is an interactive way to learn and hone entrepreneurial skills while being a no-risk outlet. Great tool for those pursuing entrepreneurship.