Agile teams often see a great benefit when they work in sprints because there is enough clarity on what needs to be delivered at the end, the scope for each user story, task or bug fix is well-defined and they no longer need to worry aboutbeing pulled into ad-hoc tasks.
While all these factors help teams complete work predictably sprint after sprint, there are a bunch of other reasons why their sprints might completely go wrong.
Not taking into account how many days everyone on the team is available for during the sprint.
Assigning more work to a person than what they can handle.
Underestimating the time your team would take to complete an item.
So, how can teams solve these problems? Enter, Advanced sprint planning!
Scrum teams can use capacity planning for their sprints so that,
There is clear visibility on who's available for the sprint and for how many days.
There is a fair distribution of work and no one is particularly overloaded unless it was intentional.
They can estimate how much time an item needs to spend on every stage from start to finish.
(eg: 4 days for development, 2 days for review and 3 days for testing)
Now, let's go ahead and plan an imaginary sprint using the new advanced sprint planning feature.
Quick note: This feature is available only on the PRO plan.
Step 1: Pick prioritized items from your backlog and put them in your sprint
Step 2: Assemble your team
The first step is to figure out who's going to be on this sprint so that we know how many days each person is available for the entire duration.
1. Go to backlog and sprint page > Expand the sprint you want to plan
2. Click on the plan capacity link
3. This takes you to the sprint planning page and you can manage who's in your sprint from here> click on manage
You can add people to the sprint and also mention how many days they are available for the sprint. By default, it assumes everyone in the sprint is available for the entire duration but can you modify this.
Step 3: Estimate effort in days for statuses where work happens
Once you invite your teammates, each person can add effort estimates for statuses they are responsible for on each item taken for the sprint. To do this, click on the "Estimate" link next to each item in the list view.
Adding effort in days for each status gives your team an opportunity to discuss the amount of work involved and estimate with fair accuracy.
Step 4: Balance the work!
Sometimes while planning sprints, teams assign more work to specific people without realizing and you end up with an overworked colleague. To prevent this, we can also show you the remaining capacity for each person in the sprint.
You can see that Vishal has been assigned more work than the number of days he is available for. If you don't re-assign some of Vishal's items, it could very well be a bad sprint for him. To re-assign some of his work, click on his profile to quickly pull up his items in this sprint.
You can now re-assign some of his items to others in the sprint.
Step 5: Start the sprint
Great job in successfully planning this sprint. You can now start this sprint. As your sprint progresses, your team can also monitor how many days items spend in each status using the "Progress pulse" section in every item.
You can see how many days an item spends in a particular status and know if it has overshot the effort estimate for a specific status.