Sprint is one of the important but most commonly forgotten events of the scrum. For any new scrum team sprint is considered as the source of various headaches. Most of the time such consideration to it is because of the inability to achieve the required value for it. The reason for such inability is generally because the team is not used-to to the simple fact of continuous learning. This becomes a challenging task to change a mindset, for people who work under the orders of superiors or are told by someone else or doing things in a specific way.
Some of the common signs of failing of sprint planning and letting you know that you are getting away from the right direction are as follows
Consistent Absence of Product Owners at Sprint
Product owners are the responsible person for sprint planning and implementation. So their presences in sprints event are important. But due to one or the other reasons your product owners are consistently absent in sprints? This results in the team assumption of important work. The acceptance criteria and boundary conditions will be left for the team to be decided which is very risky.
Improvement Items are not focused on
In most of the cases, the team discusses a lot about their issues in a sprint but they fail to detect the root cause of the issues or don’t decide on doing measures to solve them. These results in poor conduction of sprints where there are no long-term benefits are achieved and the team misses to learn from real-life experiences.
Tasks are assigned to team members individually before a sprint
Teams sometimes try to assign tasks beforehand or start early in taking follow-up considering that they can save time or spend time for real work. This results in counterproductive measures as this reduces self-organization and collective ownership behavior. As tasks assigned by others will decrease the accountability and potential learning of a team member.
Discussing issues that can’t be solved
One of the common methods of failure is dwelling or discussing continuously on the issues they are clear they can’t solve. Issues such as presented by organizational dysfunction or constraints fall in this category. It results in a waste of sprint time and a reduction in productivity due to a negative mindset towards the problem.
Avoiding Changes during Sprint
Avoiding changes during a sprint and only completing the backlog means a successful sprint is a wrong consideration as this will affect the sprint planning. This will restrict the team on information and waste time on successful sprint planning as they will not have the required information and flexibility. One must encourage the team to be flexible until it does not affect the sprint goal.
To avoid these key points of sprint planning failure one must take the responsibility of their own seriously and should think thoroughly on every aspect considering its negative and positive impact.