An optional planning session to make the Iteration Planning Meeting (IPM) more productive if needed.
30 min - 1 hour
Product managers, 1-2 engineers
If a team finds that an excessive amount of time in the Iteration Planning Meeting (IPM) is spent on revising stories before estimation, editing or grooming them in a smaller group beforehand can help the larger meeting produce better results.
A product backlog, or set of stories that may be promoted to the product backlog, which are not necessarily ready to be estimated
Before you begin, decide as a team whether the outcomes of your iteration planning meetings (IPMs) even make iteration pre-planning necessary. Common indications include:
Invite the tech lead, or a volunteer engineer who is sensitive to the causes of these problems.
Choose the first user story that you intend to be estimated in IPM, and read it closely as a group. If any typographical errors, placeholders, or other simple corrections are needed, perform them as you go.
Ask the engineer(s) to make any questions, comments, requests for clarification, etc. that would be necessary for them, or which they anticipate being necessary for the team, to decide they are ready to estimate. (Do not estimate the story until IPM.)
Discuss and revise the story accordingly in order to minimize these concerns.
If the needed changes can’t be resolved during this meeting (for instance, if it is found that more research is needed), remove it from the list of stories prepared for IPM and follow up afterward.
Not every concern needs to be caught. After all, one engineering pair can’t be expected to replicate the insights of an entire team. Focus on quickly resolving the aspects most likely to be problematic or disruptive during IPM.
Discussion of how to avoid these problems in the future is appropriate as well.
Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining user stories that were prepared for this meeting.
You know you are done when all stories staged for IPM are ready to be estimated according to the engineer(s) present. You know it’s working when improvement is observed in the issues identified in Step 1.
None at the moment.
None at the moment.