Avoid Surprises at Sprint Planning, create a Definition of Ready
There has been a lot of talk over the years about having a definition of “Done” or “being Done”, but I think it is just important to have a definition of Ready.
- Review the scope and understand the stories
- Task the stories
More and more, I see teams conduct part 1 earlier, during the previous Sprint in backlog grooming sessions. The goal is to work ahead just enough to limit the number of surprises during Sprint Planning and consequently, the Sprint. To know what is just good enough, you should define your Definition of Ready. i.e. What does it mean for your team to be ready to start a Story in a Sprint?
- Reviewing Epic or MMF (Minimally Marketable Feature) stories and breaking them down into Sprint Sized Incremental Stories
- Having conversations with the Product Owner (PO), Stakeholders and/or customers to understand their needs and working with the PO to document the Acceptance Criteria
- Discussing new stories and providing a rough sizing estimate so they can be prioritized
- Thinking about what will be needed to implement the story: New HW or SW? New Knowledge? New Architecture? Paying off accumulated Technical Debt?
- Working on just enough design to keep things flowing. It is common for UX Designers to work about a half a Sprint ahead of the rest of the team.