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How Sprint Planning supports Adaptation - Back to the foundations of the Scrum framework (23)

October 28, 2021

Remember that Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and that adaptation is the third pillars, following transparency and inspection. 

During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team and the stakeholders adapt what they deem necessary in order to minimise any deviations to acceptable limits which they have identified during inspection.


Adaptation is making adjustments in order to minimise any deviations to acceptable limits concerning agreed goals.


Let’s take Sprint Planning to start with. 

Looking at the Product Backlog, the Product Goal, and the current Increment, taking into account their capacity, their past performance and their Definition of Done, the Scrum Team creates, adapts, their Sprint  Backlog. They agree on the Sprint Goal, select Product Backlog Items,  and create an actionable plan to implement these. Together these form the Sprint Backlog.


Sprint Backlog = Sprint Goal + Selected Product Backlog Items + Actionable Plan to get to a Done Increment


The Sprint Planning event typically goes through a number of iterations: a first idea of the Sprint Goal will change when selecting Product Backlog Items. And these will change when creating an actionable plan.

Iterate. Adapt. 

The entire Scrum Team takes part in this exercise: the Product Owner, the Developers, and the Scrum Master.

Note that not everybody needs to be involved together all the time in these conversations. It is perfectly possible that the team splits up to in parallel come up with an actionable plan for different Product Backlog Items, and then join all together to explain to each other how they see to turn their item into a Done Increment. Other team members can give feedback, and another round starts.

Iterate. Adapt.



Does your Scrum Team have a solid Sprint Backlog. One that includes a Sprint Goal, Product Backlog Items needed to achieve this goal, and an actionable plan to get it into a Done Increment?



Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate your Sprint Planning:

  1. Do you have a clear Sprint Goal bringing focus?
  2. Has the team identified Product Backlog Items deemed to be needed for achieving the Sprint Goal?
  3. And is an actionable plan available to turn the Sprint Goal into a Done Increment ?

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


Next week we'll have a look at Adaptation during the Daily Scrum.



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.
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