Sprint Planning duration

Last post 04:06 pm August 9, 2019
by Timothy Baffa
17 replies
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11:45 am March 6, 2018

Hi All,

 

Scrum guide specifies that Sprint Planning could take up to 8 hours for a month-long sprint. Is it proportionally reduced for shorter sprints (For example: '6 hours or less' for 3 week sprint/ '4 hours or less' for 2 week sprint) or is '8 hours or less' applicable to all sprint durations? Please let me know.

 

Regards,

Kiran

07:09 pm March 6, 2018

See http://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html#events-planning

"Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter."

01:05 am March 7, 2018

The phrase "proportionately shorter" hasn't appeared in the Scrum Guide since the October 2011 version. The July 2013 version does not contain this phrase. Starting in July 2013, the Scrum Guide simply says that the event is "usually shorter".

Personally, I think that the "proportionately shorter" is a good starting point. I think it's a warning sign if your Sprint Planning for a 2 week Sprint takes 8 hours. For a 2 week Sprint, it may be a good idea to start with a 4 hour Sprint Planning. However, it may be much shorter.

From my experiences, the actual duration of the Sprint Planning depends on the team, how well refined the backlog items are, and how good the Product Owner and Development Team is with ordering the product backlog. If you are investing enough time in refinement and what gets refined matches what needs to get done next, I've consistently seen a 2 week Sprint planned in about an hour and a half.

03:09 am March 7, 2018

Duration of Sprint Planning is very important factor to make this event effective. I definitely agree with Thomas that the "proportionately shorter" is a good starting point. 

There is also one problem I guess about time-box events. At least in my company (where i am working), I see many examples of Sprint Planning when the Team are boring at this event. And the reason of this is that SM says that the event must be for 6 hours however it is absolutely enough to spend 4-5 hours. Due to this the Sprint Planning is transforming to Sprint retrospective for example and so on. 

03:42 am March 7, 2018

@Orkhan Efendiev, maybe your SM should take PSM test; Scrum Guide explicitly says that meetings should not run longer than absolutely needed, and there's a corresponding question on the test, I believe in both PSM I and II. If you want to bring Lean into the mix - running meeting for the sake of the meeting is an egregious example of waste.

06:23 am March 7, 2018

Hi Alex. 

I meant examples from my company but not from my team :)) in my team (where I am the product owner) everything is ok. At least I hope so 

08:50 am March 7, 2018

You could use this formula for the maximum time box (in hours) for Sprint Planning:

Maximum Sprint Planning Time box (in hours) = Sprint duration in weeks (expressed in decimal values) X 2

 

Examples:

(a) For a 3 week sprint, you have 3.0 multiplied by 2 which gives you a 6 hour maximum time box

(b) For a Sprint which lasts 2 weeks and 2 days (.4 of a week), you have 2.4 multiplied by 2 which gives you a 4.8 hour (4 hours and 48 minutes) maximum time box

 

I highly doubt that there will be exam questions like (b) but this can happen in practice. You could use this formula as a rule of thumb.

03:24 pm December 27, 2018

I wanted to clarify the time-box for the Sprint Planning session. Even if a Sprint is less than a month, the team could, in principle, still take the full maximum 8 hours, is that right?

09:51 pm December 27, 2018

Even if a Sprint is less than a month, the team could, in principle, still take the full maximum 8 hours, is that right?

They could take the maximum of eight hours, but that doesn’t say much about principle. It might be better to say that, in principle, they would reduce the time taken unless they have reason to believe, as Scrum professionals, that their situation does indeed warrant an eight-hour event.

06:01 am December 28, 2018

Sprint duration for my team is 2 Weeks and we take usually 1.5 hours for sprint planning. Although we have allotted 4 hours for this event. When team is mature , duration of events can be shorter. It is about using our time efficiently and able to complete our work. If you do not conduct Refinement meeting than sprint planning would take little more time than you have estimated.

02:17 pm January 2, 2019

I wanted to clarify the time-box for the Sprint Planning session. Even if a Sprint is less than a month, the team could, in principle, still take the full maximum 8 hours, is that right?

As already pointed out, yes, planning could still take all those 8 hours. However, you should ask yourself (and -selves) whether it's actually wise to spend so much time in one day rather than have a more proportional approach in order to avoid waste, protect team members from exhaustion, secure the necessary focus, and actually get to the point you need to be since a new sprint has started.

I've never experienced sprint plannings longer than 2 hours. And frankly speaking, even for a 4-week sprint, and even with 9 (or more!?) Scrum team members, the goal should be to have the meeting (and any meeting for that matter) as short AND efficient as possible, otherwise you get into many other problems (of which trust loss is often minimized as importance).

 

05:10 pm January 5, 2019

If a team timebox the Sprint planning to 6 hours for a 2 week sprint, does this violate the scrum rules?

05:53 pm January 7, 2019

From the Scrum Guide:

Sprint Planning is time-boxed to a maximum of eight hours for a one-month Sprint. For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter. 

Prashanth, why would a 6-hour time box for Sprint Planning violate anything in the Scrum Guide?

 

08:22 am January 8, 2019

Should the maximum duration of sprint planning be proportional to the sprint duration? If the planning is time-boxed to max 8 hours for a one-month sprint, should a 2 week sprint be time-boxed to 4 hours?

 

01:32 pm January 8, 2019

To put it differently, the Sprint planning should be time-boxed to a maximum of 8 hours for a 4-week sprint. So if the planning for a 4-week sprint lasts more than 8 hours, this will be against the Scrum Guide.. right? On the same not, if the planning for a 2-week sprint lasts more than 4 hours (considering the thumb rule of 2 hrs/week), will this violate what is given in the Scrum Guide? 

05:51 pm January 8, 2019

Where are you coming up with the "thumb rule"?  There is nothing to indicate that in the Scrum Guide.  This is all the Guide says

 For shorter Sprints, the event is usually shorter.

It doesn't say "the event must be shorter" or "the event will be shorter" or "the event duration is proportional to the sprint duration".

The current revision of the Scrum Guide states. Note that this statement is in the section that describes that events in Scrum are timeboxed

The remaining events may end whenever the purpose of the event is achieved, ensuring an appropriate amount of time is spent without allowing waste in the process.

In fact the Guide was revised several years ago to remove (look at the section for 2011 to 2013 differences) to address these type of things.   If I remember right, that was the time that the phrasing "proportionally shorter" was replaced with "usually shorter" and the statement above was introduced.

So as long as you are not exceeding the 8 hour time box that is mentioned and achieving the purpose of the event I wouldn't call it a problem. However, I would investigate the reasons why it can't be done in a shorter duration. It seems like some waste is involved. 

By the way, all of what I just said has been mentioned in this thread by multiple people.

01:55 pm August 9, 2019

In the exam if the question comes asking the duration for 3 weeks Sprint, then what would be the right answer 6 or 8 hrs?

04:06 pm August 9, 2019

@Ajay,

What does the Scrum Guide say about the length of the Sprint Planning event?

@Daniel actually summed it up very well in his post.