August 5, 2021

How Sprint Planning supports Inspection - Back to the Foundations of the Scrum Framework (12)

Scrum is founded on empirical process control, and inspection is one of the three pillars.

During each of the Scrum Events, and throughout the Sprint itself, the Scrum Team and the stakeholders inspect based on a common understanding. Without this transparency, one cannot perform a valuable inspection.

Inspection is about detecting undesirable variances in progressing towards agreed goals.


Let’s take Sprint Planning to start with. 

Inspect what?

The Product Backlog

  • What does the Product Backlog show as most valuable right now?
    Is this still in line with our next goal(s),
    and with the feedback we got during the earlier Sprint Review?
  • How completely does our Product Backlog cover the next goal?
  • What more do we need to have a conversation about before we start the work in the Sprint?
  • Any Product Backlog Items needing some more discussion?

Some questions related to Inspection you want to see answered during Sprint Planning could include

  • Are the highest ordered items (which are expected to be selected for this Sprint) still in line with the Product Goal?
  • Are these the most value adding items at this moment towards our goal?
  • How does our Sprint Goal relate to the Product Goal?

PS. Some might argue that most of the above is to be covered during Product Backlog Refinement activities. Which is a fair point! Sprint Planning though allows this to be confirmed as there might be new insights since the last refinement and during the Sprint Review.

Inspection by whom? 

  • By the entire Scrum Team: the Product Owner, the Developers, and the Scrum Master.


"During Sprint Planning, the Scrum Team inspects the Product Backlog to ensure there are no undesired variances towards the Product Goal. Do you?"


Prompt: With your entire team, have a conversation about the next goal, what the Product Backlog tells you, and if there are no undesired variances between both.


I hope you find value in these short articles and if you are looking for some clarifications, or if this raises a number of questions, feel free to take contact at steven @ boostyourscrum . com

PS. Next week we'll look at Inspection and the Daily Scrum.

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How the Sprint Planning supports Inspection