Breaking agile: Sprint planning

In my daily work as an agile coach i have observed a wide range of wisdom pearls that all contribute to the break down of the agile mindset. Read this and the following blog entries to get hints on how YOU can sabotage your project with high impact!

  1. Let all team members decide what they want to work on individually. There should be no cohesion in planning just because you work agile.
  2. Plan that the product owner can not attend or be in the vicinity during the meeting. The team already know the plan for the future.
  3. Ensure that the project manager has detailed time estimates prior to the meeting so that the delegation will follow quickly.
  4. Work in silos. Tasks that have a character to walk across people’s skills should be broken down. Everybody knows how ineffective it is when you need to communicate, coordinate and cooperate in a sprint .
  5. In many cases, the sprint planning session can be canceled with a clear conscience, as the team continues to work on outstanding issues that were not completed in the previous sprint. There is no need to stop and verify the direction yet.
  6. If the product owner participates in the meeting, he should not be speaking. It is the team and its autonomy that drives the project and not a common goal defined by the product owner.
  7. Sprint planning can often be performed so that each team member only estimate the tasks he will solve. This results in a swift sprint planning meeting where everyone can return to their desks as soon as they have filled in their own estimtes.
  8. The product backlog does not have to be prioritized and internally ranked by the product owner before the meeting. It can often be done “on the fly ” either by the team or the product owner.
  9. Estimates of the tasks must be informed in advance and preferably be calculated either by the product owner or lead developer without involvement of the rest of the team.
  10. It is important that the team is planning tasks filling up 120 % of the available capacity. If this is not done there is a risk that people sit and surf in the middle of the Sprint .

I really hope that these observations will be accepted and adopted in teams all around the world. Feel free to inform me of implementations and other pearls of wisdom on this matter.