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Topics: Agile, New Practitioners, Scrum
How to approach Sprint planning?
As someone who has had more experience with waterfall, how do I approach planning for sprints in an agile project? We do not currently have scrum masters in our part of the world. Any guidance at all would be helpful. Thank you!
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Jonathan -

Agile does not enforce the use of sprints. Scrum does. Rather than impose a specific framework on a team, it is better to identify a delivery approach which works for them and their context.

You might want to learn more about Disciplined Agile...

Kiron
...
1 reply by Mayte Mata-Sivera
Jun 16, 2020 5:00 PM
Mayte Mata-Sivera
...
Kiron, I understand your point, is not good practice to impose a specific framework, however I have a handful friends that are doing Scrum "Because management said that we need to be Agile".

So, I will assume that is what happen to Jonathan.
Jonathan, is there a mandate to adopt a specific agile approach? There are books on how to accomplish what you're asking about, some of which recommend training. If you don't have a mandate to do this right away, part of your plan should be to get people trained in the right areas.

Help us understand your situation so we can provide relevant, contextual thoughts on the matter.
Jun 16, 2020 8:04 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Jonathan -

Agile does not enforce the use of sprints. Scrum does. Rather than impose a specific framework on a team, it is better to identify a delivery approach which works for them and their context.

You might want to learn more about Disciplined Agile...

Kiron
Kiron, I understand your point, is not good practice to impose a specific framework, however I have a handful friends that are doing Scrum "Because management said that we need to be Agile".

So, I will assume that is what happen to Jonathan.
Jonathan, correct me if I'm wrong... however I'm assuming that there is a specific mandate from your organization to "Be more Agile" and use Scrum and sprint plannings. So, my recommendation is to train yourself and/or request some budget to your manager do to some training.
Start being familiar and be familiar with the glossary, and after if you like it, maybe you can get a Scrum Master certification.
As my peer's state.

Educate (arm) yourself
Ask questions (which you're doing. Keep going!)
Understand the goal
Understand the intent
Understand the rationale
Understand the options
Educate others
....
Which hammer is needed for this thing (and why!)
These are very good perspectives. Thank you for sharing everyone!

It had not occurred to me that many organizations instinctively use scrum when they're told to adopt an Agile methodology, but perhaps that's the most widely accepted approach. Good point.

That being said, I don't have a better alternative that is simple to apply, and I enjoy the flexibility of the method. That said, my team has decided for this project we're not going to run a strictly textbook version of Scrum (not going with all of the ceremonies) as we're very small and the project is quite lean at the moment.

Requesting for further training is something on my mind. I've been thinking between PSM, CSM or PMI-ACP - so many choices!
...
3 replies by Aaron Porter, Kiron Bondale, and Mayte Mata-Sivera
Jun 17, 2020 8:23 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
The moment you don't use all the practices of Scrum (sometimes known as Scrum-but), if the team doesn't understand the implications of the changes they are making (e.g. through support of an experienced agile coach), they are not likely to get the benefits they were hoping for.

This is a classic case of "method prison" and is one of the main reasons why Disciplined Agile's toolkit choice-based approach works.

Kiron
Jun 17, 2020 10:16 AM
Aaron Porter
...
Which ever approach you take, make sure the right people get the right training. I inherited a team that said they were using scrum, but the people they called product owners had not received product owner training. The product owner's managers didn't quite grasp the role, or the process, either, so it was up to me to guide them.

I've had product owner training, so it wasn't a major issue to guide them. Things just would have gone smoother if all involved understood their roles.
Jun 17, 2020 12:01 PM
Mayte Mata-Sivera
...
As other mentioned, training is key!
What @Kiron said is critical to understand do not fail. People need to stop to use Scrum as synonim to Agile. In fact, just to comment, I posted a comment on Al Shalloway on the matter and he agree with me on that (in fact I expressed this as a concern of a post he was made). You plan iterations and increments just in case you are using this type of project life cycle. You do not plan sprints unless you are using a method/framework where sprints are defined. Including that, you must not fail in the trap about today DA is the reveled truth because the PMI. On the other side, Agile project do not exists. What exists is a project that is using a project life cycle (waterfall for example) and you will use Agile approach on it. With all that said to plan something in Scrum you must follow Scrum which is inside the Scrum Guide. The Guide is clear about that.
Jun 16, 2020 11:19 PM
Replying to Jonathan Lee
...
These are very good perspectives. Thank you for sharing everyone!

It had not occurred to me that many organizations instinctively use scrum when they're told to adopt an Agile methodology, but perhaps that's the most widely accepted approach. Good point.

That being said, I don't have a better alternative that is simple to apply, and I enjoy the flexibility of the method. That said, my team has decided for this project we're not going to run a strictly textbook version of Scrum (not going with all of the ceremonies) as we're very small and the project is quite lean at the moment.

Requesting for further training is something on my mind. I've been thinking between PSM, CSM or PMI-ACP - so many choices!
The moment you don't use all the practices of Scrum (sometimes known as Scrum-but), if the team doesn't understand the implications of the changes they are making (e.g. through support of an experienced agile coach), they are not likely to get the benefits they were hoping for.

This is a classic case of "method prison" and is one of the main reasons why Disciplined Agile's toolkit choice-based approach works.

Kiron
Jun 16, 2020 11:19 PM
Replying to Jonathan Lee
...
These are very good perspectives. Thank you for sharing everyone!

It had not occurred to me that many organizations instinctively use scrum when they're told to adopt an Agile methodology, but perhaps that's the most widely accepted approach. Good point.

That being said, I don't have a better alternative that is simple to apply, and I enjoy the flexibility of the method. That said, my team has decided for this project we're not going to run a strictly textbook version of Scrum (not going with all of the ceremonies) as we're very small and the project is quite lean at the moment.

Requesting for further training is something on my mind. I've been thinking between PSM, CSM or PMI-ACP - so many choices!
Which ever approach you take, make sure the right people get the right training. I inherited a team that said they were using scrum, but the people they called product owners had not received product owner training. The product owner's managers didn't quite grasp the role, or the process, either, so it was up to me to guide them.

I've had product owner training, so it wasn't a major issue to guide them. Things just would have gone smoother if all involved understood their roles.
Jun 16, 2020 11:19 PM
Replying to Jonathan Lee
...
These are very good perspectives. Thank you for sharing everyone!

It had not occurred to me that many organizations instinctively use scrum when they're told to adopt an Agile methodology, but perhaps that's the most widely accepted approach. Good point.

That being said, I don't have a better alternative that is simple to apply, and I enjoy the flexibility of the method. That said, my team has decided for this project we're not going to run a strictly textbook version of Scrum (not going with all of the ceremonies) as we're very small and the project is quite lean at the moment.

Requesting for further training is something on my mind. I've been thinking between PSM, CSM or PMI-ACP - so many choices!
As other mentioned, training is key!
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