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How self-management makes your Sprint Planning more effective (45)

November 16, 2023

We started this Scrum foundation series explaining we see four underlying concepts of the Scrum framework. In the past series of mails we covered the three pillars of Empiricism, and we covered the Scrum Values.


Now that we understand that we need trust, which is built up by living the Scrum Values, to bring transparency and as such have a good basis to inspect and adapt, we can have a look at the self-managing aspect of the Scrum Team.


👉 Self-managing, meaning the team internally decides who does what, when, and how.


During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team takes decisions, making it self-managing.

Allowing to take more decisions = more mandate = more autonomy = higher motivation =  higher effectivity.


Now what can the Scrum Team decide during each of the Scrum Events?


Let’s take Sprint Planning to start with.

  • The Scrum Team agrees why they will take on this next Sprint. Why do we want to keep working on this product? What is the reason we still invest time in it? The Product Owner understands the market and makes a proposal to the team, then together they agree why this Sprint is indeed valuable.
    And so they decide the Sprint Goal.
  • The Scrum Team also agrees which items from the Product Backlog are needed to achieve this Sprint Goal and which of these are realistic to take up during this Sprint.
    And so they decide what Product Backlog items they will include in the Sprint.
  • The Scrum Team furthermore agrees how they will implement the selected items into the Increment. What steps do we need to take? What are the building blocks? In which sequence will we take them up? How will we reach the expected quality level? How will we collaborate? …
    And so they decide how, when, and who.
  • PS. They also decided how to do their Sprint Planning.


These are only a few examples of what a Scrum Team can decide during Sprint planning.


Self-managing is about having a mandate to take decisions.
During Sprint Planning, the Scrum Team decides on why, what, how, when and who​.

Note: Without a clear goal, without clear accountabilities, and without a clear boundaries, self-management will not occur.​

Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate how self-management can be improved during Sprint Planning.

Also think about what additional insights or input the team would benefit from others outside the team about purpose and goals, the team's accountabilities and the boundaries they have to work within.

I hope you find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.

Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.

Self-management during Sprint Planning

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