Agile project management has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it offers teams the flexibility and adaptability needed to respond quickly to changes in a project’s scope or requirements. One of the key aspects of agile project management is sprint planning, where teams plan the work they will do over the next sprint. However, sprint planning can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, which can impact a team’s productivity and project success. In this article, we will explore ways to improve your sprint planning process and reduce the time spent on it. We will also discuss how resource allocation of team members and the Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira can help achieve this goal. “Sprint planning is a crucial aspect of any agile software development project,” says Hilli Balzer the CEO of PractiProject and an expert in work management processes. “It’s the foundation for the entire project, setting the goals and expectations for each sprint. However, it’s important to balance the time spent on planning with the need to actually start working on the project. Spending too much time on planning can delay the start of the project and reduce productivity, while too little planning can result in missed goals and poor quality work.”
How much time to spend in sprint planning?
Sprint planning is an essential part of any agile software development project, allowing teams to prioritize tasks and set goals for each sprint. However, the question of how much time to spend on planning can be challenging to answer. Spend too little time, and you risk missing goals and delivering poor quality work. Spend too much time, and you delay the project start and reduce productivity.
So, how much time should you spend on sprint planning? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, several factors can help determine the appropriate amount of time for planning. According to a survey by Atlassian, the average time spent on sprint planning is around 4.5 hours per two-week sprint. However, the amount of time required may vary based on factors such as team size, complexity of the project, and the experience level of team members. A study by McKinsey found that the average team spends between 5% to 10% of their time on sprint planning. This means that for a two-week sprint, teams should spend between four to eight hours on sprint planning. However, the actual time spent on sprint planning may vary depending on the project’s requirements.
Another factor to consider is the level of detail needed in the planning process. Some teams may need to spend more time planning to achieve a sufficient level of detail for the tasks involved. However, as Hilli Balzer, CEO of PractiProject and a software developer accountability expert notes, “It’s important to find the right balance between planning and productivity. Spending too much time on planning can result in reduced productivity and delays in starting the project, while too little planning can lead to poor quality work and missed goals.”
To help strike the right balance, it’s essential to set clear objectives and goals for the sprint and determine the level of detail required to achieve those goals. One useful rule of thumb is to spend no more than 10% of the sprint duration on planning. For example, if your sprint is two weeks long, you should aim to spend no more than one day on planning.
Another approach is to use a timeboxing technique, where you set a specific amount of time for planning and work to achieve as much as possible within that time frame. This technique can help ensure that the team stays focused and efficient during planning.
In conclusion, the amount of time required for sprint planning may vary based on several factors, including team size, project complexity, and the level of detail needed. While the average time spent on planning is around 4.5 hours per two-week sprint, it’s essential to strike the right balance between planning and productivity. Setting clear objectives and goals, determining the level of detail needed, and using techniques such as timeboxing can help teams streamline their planning process and achieve their project goals efficiently.
Effective resource allocation is crucial for a successful sprint planning process. It ensures that team members are working on the right tasks at the right time, maximizing productivity and efficiency. The Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira can assist teams with resource allocation by providing a visual overview of the team’s total capacity of allocated resources per related sprint. The Scrum Team overview per role or per person helps teams to allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that everyone is working on the right tasks at the right time. “Resource allocation is a critical factor in efficient sprint planning,” Hilli adds. “It’s important to have a clear understanding of each team member’s availability and skills to ensure that tasks are assigned to the right person at the right time. This is where the Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira can be a valuable tool for teams, providing a visual representation of each team member’s capacity and workload for a given sprint.”
KPIs to use for improvement
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a vital tool for measuring progress and identifying areas for improvement. In sprint planning, KPIs can help teams to track their performance, measure progress, and identify areas for improvement. The Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira provides a Sprints Dashboard View and Program View Report that presents both the sprint information, trends, teams performance and comparison, and much more Process Insights. Teams can use these features to track their KPIs, measure their performance, and identify areas for improvement. “By tracking KPIs related to sprint planning, teams can continually improve their processes and reduce the time spent on planning,” Hilli notes. “For example, teams can track metrics such as the accuracy of initial estimates, the percentage of planned work completed within a sprint, and the number of issues discovered during a sprint that should have been caught during planning. By analyzing these metrics and making adjustments to their planning process, teams can improve their efficiency and productivity.”
Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking Add-On for Jira
The Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira is a powerful tool for agile teams that want to improve their sprint planning, resource allocation, and KPI tracking. The add-on allows teams to plan their team and resource commitment for their sprint workload right in their agile scrum board. This helps teams to plan their sprints more efficiently and saves time spent on sprint planning. Additionally, the add-on provides a visual mode for planning sprint capacity, allowing teams to streamline the project workflow and achieve the project goals efficiently.
Sprint planning is an essential part of agile project management, but it can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. By using effective resource allocation, KPI tracking, and the Sprint Capacity Planning & Tracking add-on for Jira, teams can improve their sprint planning process and reduce the time spent on it. With these tools, teams can streamline their workflow, maximize productivity, and achieve project success.