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57+ Sprint Planning Questions For Facilitators

sprint planning resource cover

A good sprint planning meeting helps teams become aligned, feel focused, and get ready to deliver valuable increments of work.

Just like retrospectives, which require thoughtful questions to elicit meaningful insights, sprint planning benefits from a set of well-crafted questions to help check you’re prioritizing the right work, that the work is clear to everyone, and that you’re clear about the expected impact of the work.

In this article, we’ll explore 43 essential sprint planning questions grouped by themes to help your team achieve sprint success.

๐Ÿ“š Related reading: 

Product Backlog questions

  1. What are the top priority items in our product backlog?
  2. Whatโ€™s the best way for us to prioritize product backlog items?
  3. Have stakeholders provided any new requirements or feedback that affect the backlog?
  4. Does anyone have clarifying questions about any of our product backlog items?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Backlog Refinement questions

  1. Are there items in the backlog that require further grooming before inclusion in a sprint?
  2. Is our product backlog prioritized or do we need to do that now?
  3. Are any of our product backlog items too big to fit in one sprint?
  4. Are there any new items or changes to existing backlog items that are not currently reflected?
  5. Are there any stale PBIs or issues we should clear out?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Planning Poker questions

  1. What is the context of this user story or task?
  2. Do you believe this user story or task is well-defined, or does it need further refinement?
  3. Do we have all the information we need to make an informed estimate?
  4. Does anyone have any questions about the user story or task we will estimate?
  5. What similar user stories or tasks have we worked on in the past, and how do they compare?
  6. Do you have any personal experience or expertise that might affect your estimate?
  7. What is the most optimistic estimate you can provide, assuming everything goes perfectly?
  8. What is the most pessimistic estimate you can provide, considering worst-case scenarios?
  9. How confident are you in your estimate?
  10. Is there any additional information or discussion needed before we finalize the estimate?
  11. Whatโ€™s the reason behind the difference in our estimates?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Sprint Goal questions

  1. What is the overarching goal or objective for this sprint?
  2. Does our sprint goal align with our larger product vision?
  3. How does the sprint goal contribute to the broader project or product vision?
  4. Which user stories or features are most important for achieving our sprint goal?
  5. What criteria will define success for this sprint?
  6. Is our sprint goal realistic and achievable?
  7. Have we taken on too many or too few tasks for this sprint?
  8. How motivated do you feel towards this sprint goal?
  9. Whatโ€™s the expected impact of achieving the sprint goal?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Capacity and Velocity questions

  1. What is our team’s capacity for this sprint in terms of available hours?
  2. Are there any team members with planned time off during this sprint thatโ€™s not already recorded?
  3. Based on historical data, what is our team’s average velocity and how many story points of work should we plan?
  4. How should we handle unexpected interruptions or support tasks during the sprint?
  5. Are there any factors we havenโ€™t discussed that could impact capacity or projected velocity?
  6. Based on our poker estimation, have we taken enough or too many story points into this sprint?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

User Stories and Tasks questions

  1. What user stories or tasks will we commit to delivering this sprint?
  2. Have we broken down user stories into manageable, actionable tasks?
  3. Are there any dependencies between user stories or tasks we need to consider?
  4. Do we have a clear Definition of Done for each user story or task?
  5. Are there any specific acceptance criteria that need clarification?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Team Collaboration questions

  1. Do we share a common understanding of the sprint’s objectives and user stories?
  2. Are there any potential risks or blockers we should be aware of?

Sprint Timeline questions

  1. Is everyone clear on the planned duration of this sprint?
  2. Is everyone clear on when this sprint starts and ends?

Definition of Done and Acceptance Criteria questions

  1. How will we ensure that user stories meet the Definition of Done before considering them complete?
  2. What criteria will we use to accept or reject user stories or tasks?
  3. Are there specific testing or quality assurance requirements for this sprint?

Sprint Risk Management questions

  1. What potential risks or challenges do we anticipate for this sprint?
  2. Do we have mitigation plans in place for identified risks?
  3. How will we address unforeseen issues that may arise during the sprint?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading:

Continuous Improvement questions

  1. What lessons can we apply from previous sprints to enhance this one?
  2. Are there any action items from our last retrospective that we want to factor into this sprint?
  3. Are there any process changes or experiments we want to implement in this sprint?
  4. How will we measure the success of these process changes or experiments?

Scrum Events questions

  1. Have the sprint review and retrospective meetings been scheduled?
  2. Have we opened up a retrospective board early so we can note down our reflections throughout the sprint? Do we want to do that?
  3. Have we scheduled a time and place for the daily standup?
  4. Do we want to do the retrospective, standup, or any other event asynchronously?

๐Ÿ“š Further reading

Customize sprint planning questions to your needs

Effective sprint planning is vital for Agile teams to deliver value consistently. These 43 sprint planning questions, organized by themes, will help your team prepare, collaborate, and execute each sprint with precision and purpose. Customize and adapt them to suit your team’s unique needs, and watch your sprint planning sessions become more efficient and effective.

Try Parabol Sprint Poker for Better Agile Estimation Meetings

Sprint Poker by Parabol is a free tool that lets teams estimate with precision, encouraging nuanced conversations. With a fun and customizable deck, you can help your team get aligned in real-time or asynchronously. Getting set up is easy โ€“ just import your product backlog items directly from your chosen tool, estimate them in Parabol, and we’ll automatically export your story point scores to your backlog!

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies

Gareth is the Content Lead at Parabol. He has spent his career helping people and organizations around the world communicate better. He likes learning languages, cycling, and journalling. He originally hails from Wales, but lives and works in Munich, Germany.

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