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questions to ask during sprint planning

Example questions for every type of Agile meeting

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Posted by: Lucid Content Team

Unproductive Agile meetings are simply not agile. Whether your meeting gets off track with excessive, disparate conversation or it’s a room full of crickets, every team needs guidelines in place to help direct the meeting.

For project leads and Scrum masters, this means asking the right questions to improve productivity, align cross-functional teams, and avoid disruptions. These questions should foster collaboration and while guiding teams through using the Agile framework. 

That’s why we’ve outlined questions you can ask during every type of Scrum event.

Sprint planning questions

Sprint planning meetings should involve setting expectations, reviewing the backlog, and covering upcoming tasks for the two-week sprint. During this meeting, teams should highlight any potential roadblocks that may occur and halt progress. 

Fulfill those goals with the following questions: 

  • What did we learn at sprint review and sprint retrospective that needs to be considered in our planning conversations today?
  • What is at the top of the product backlog?
  • What do we need to know about these backlog items in order to fully commit to getting them done in the upcoming sprint?
  • How much of the product backlog do we think we can complete in the upcoming sprint?
  • Do we need more clarification on this feature?
  • What is our confidence level regarding this (sprint backlog) as a reasonable plan for this sprint?
  • How is this yet-to-build backlog item similar/relative to other known/completed work we have done in the past? How does this comparison help us estimate the relative size of the new work?
  • What outside help will we need to succeed with our plans?
  • What’s the biggest risk that may prevent us from completing this sprint? 
  • Who is taking time off during the next sprint? How should we plan differently given the team’s (adjusted) capacity?

Scrum daily standup questions

Typically held every morning during a sprint, daily standups set the stage for the day’s work. They give team members the opportunity to share what they're working on and how that work contributes to the current sprint’s goals. 

Make the most out of your daily Scrum standup with these questions: 

  • Are we on track with the sprint goal?
  • Are we working on the most important items?
  • Do we have any new requests?
  • What do we still need to learn in this sprint?
  • Have we identified any new risks?
  • Who would benefit from another pair of eyes on something?
  • Who could use some help? 
  • Who has some time available to help?

Sprint review questions

A sprint review occurs at the end of every sprint to discuss what the team has accomplished during the sprint. The goal is to collect actionable feedback to improve upcoming sprints and take stock of their progress in the overall project or product roadmap. 

Ask these questions to make sure your team covers every essential aspect of the sprint: 

  • What questions do you have? 
  • How would you use this product?
  • What excites you about the product increment we reviewed? Why is that?
  • How do you feel about the product increment we reviewed? Why is that?
  • If you could change one thing about the product we’ve built, what would you change? Why is that?
  • Let’s say one feature should be eliminated. Which feature gets your vote? Why did you choose this one?
  • What’s your favorite feature or characteristic about this product? Why is it your favorite?
  • What do you really hate about this product? Why is that?
  • What other product on the market should we learn from? Why is that?
  • How can we improve future sprint reviews?

Sprint retrospective meeting questions

The Sprint retrospective immediately follows the Sprint review. Not to confuse the two, the review focuses on what the team has accomplished during the sprint, and the retrospective is about how the team accomplished the task. The goal is to improve the development process. 

Use these questions to guide your retrospective: 

  • What did we do well—that if we don’t discuss we might forget?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What are we feeling about the upcoming sprint now that we have identified these issues?
  • What have we learned?
  • What still puzzles us?
  • What are the most important things we learned today?
  • Does anyone have an “appreciation” to share with another team member?
  • Where are we confused or unclear on any of the items we discussed today?
  • Are we in agreement on what action item(s) we will take from this sprint retrospective into the upcoming sprint planning?

Visualize your sprints with Lucidchart

Equipped with effective questions to help guide all of the different Agile meetings you can keep your teams focused and start achieving better results for each sprint. But it doesn’t end there. Use Lucidchart to organize each of your meetings and document all of your processes in one place. 

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With the right questions—and an intelligent diagramming platform—in hand, your team can become more agile.

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