What is Velocity driven sprint planning in Scrum?

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Feb 09, 2022

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20 mins

Table of Content- 

  1. What is Velocity and what its benefits are?
  2. What is velocity driven sprint planning in scrum?
  3. Conclusion

There are various approaches that are followed by the agile team and if you are working towards better team planning and having a successful sprint then you must have come across the term- velocity driven sprint planning. There are various ways using which the team can have better sprint planning, but velocity driven sprint is making rounds in all the teams and there are all the right reasons for the same. So before we are going to explain all about it, we are going to start with the basics of velocity and why the team should have this in the project. Later on, we are going to explain the velocity driven sprint planning, the steps involved in this, and how this can be made more beneficial for the team. By the end of this, you are going to find all the knowledge you need and then go for scrum training with this information.

What is Velocity and what its benefits are?

One of the key metrics in Scrum, velocity is known as the amount of work that a team can do in a sprint. There are various points assigned to the stories or the work assigned in the sprint and then by the end of the sprint, the points are allocated which are against the completed user stories. Using this, the estimation can be drawn for the future points and this will effectively help the project planning and save costs and resources. There are so many benefits that are accompanied by this. Using velocity in the team, the team will be aware of how much work can be completed in one given iteration and this can be used to calculate the work limit for the next sprint. As partially done work is not counted in this, this can accurately measure the limit of work assigned in the next iteration.

Using this in the team, the team members will be able to see how much time they need to complete a task and how they can move up that time. This is very useful in increasing the efficiency of the whole project. It helps the team to know how many sprints are needed when they need to develop new features for their project.

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What is velocity driven sprint planning in scrum?

Now that we are aware of what velocity is, we will move to velocity driven planning in the sprint. There are two types of planning that are used in the scrum- Capacity driven planning and another is velocity driven planning. In velocity driven planning, the amount of work that will be completed by the team in the future is calculated on the criteria of the amount of work done by the team in the previous sprints. This is very valid and this has come out to be true when the work is calculated. On the other hand, capacity driven sprint planning depends on the commitment of the team to complete any task in the given time and a promise to deliver within those time limits. This is dependable on the capacity of the team to take on work and then deliver on what is promised. So today, we are going to focus on understanding what is velocity sprint planning and knowing all about it.

In velocity driven planning in the sprint, the number of stories that are being completed in a sprint is called average velocity. Using this, you can measure the outcome. There are various steps that are involved in this and we are going to have a brief look at them one by one and then discover various benefits associated with this type of sprint planning.

Knowing the average velocity

As explained above, the number of stories completed in a sprint is called average velocity and it is one of the major things that are needed for planning. It depends on the team whether they want to go for the recent sprints or want to check for the further old sprints. This is going to give them an idea of how much work is getting done in each sprint. This can be used as an indicator of how much work can be added in the upcoming sprint and this will help in delivering efficiency in the project. It is advisable to not only look at the last sprint as this is not going to be an accurate indicator.

Having a look at the product backlog

As we have learned in the scrum master certification online, the product owner is responsible for maintaining the product backlog and there are various items that are needed to be added in the sprint work from the backlog. So, when the average velocity of the team is determined, the next task is to assign those tasks in the sprint. There are various things in the product backlog, but the top things are chosen and this will match the decided average velocity of the team. This is based on the priority of work items in the backlog and the work that can be delivered in that sprint.

Knowing the tasks

There are many other steps that are needed in the sprint planning as the team cannot just leave the sprint planning here only. They can see the tasks that are needed to be added in the sprint and then see what the capacity of the sprint is and then deliver as per their work limit. The tasks can be divided into sub-tasks and the work can be distributed in the sprint and then it can be seen that the sprint is full or there is some space to add more items from the backlog. With this involvement, better sprint planning can be achieved and the team will be more mindful of the tasks that are included in the sprint. With this, the list of tasks that will fit perfectly in the sprint can be made and this can be done keeping the average velocity of the team in mind.

Estimating the tasks

Now that the team is aware of the tasks that are in the sprint, having estimation for each of them will help the team to deliver best. This is one of the best practices in sprint planning. Having tasks and the number of hours assigned to them will give the team an overview of the time needed to complete this sprint and this will help in better planning of the sprint and dedicated the right amount of hours in each task.

Benefits of velocity driven sprint planning

Now we know how to calculate the velocity and go for the sprint planning, let’s have a look at some of the benefits that come with this type:

When the team is going to use velocity driven planning for their sprint, they are going to consider an uncertainty that always comes when the team is working on a user story. So with this, that can be taken into account and this leads to better estimation of work in the sprint and hence helps in having an effective delivery of the product.

Having a better idea about the release cycle in agile is going to be very beneficial for the project and with the velocity sprint planning, the team can know all the dependencies and flow while working on the user stories. This will aid in having an efficient release plan for all the sprints.

With the velocity sprint planning, the goals are more clearly defined. The team is aware of the work that is needed to be completed in a given time frame and with the commitment and their capacity; they will be able to deliver their honest work which will help in getting closer to the vision of the project. Hence, with this better goal achieving can be done.

As in velocity, the points are calculated when the user stories are done completely. There is no point for the user story that is not finished in the print. This will help the team to be more accountable for their work and their capacity as they will work towards attaining this goal and finish the user stories to the end in order to add points for that.

The velocity sprint planning includes the burn-down chart and this helps the team know what is going on in the project. It shows the amount of time that is remaining to complete all the remaining work and this will help the team to know how much time they have left to complete the work in the sprint.

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In the velocity sprint planning, there are various teams involved. This includes the scrum master, the product owner, and the development team along with other team members. The backlog items of the product are brought to the table by the product owner and keeping the average velocity of the team in mind, those items are added in the sprint. You will see in your scrum master certification online training that Velocity is becoming more and more popular and the number one choice of the team for estimation and seeing how much work can be added to the sprint. In the forecasting of the work to be done in the given sprint, this parameter plays a major role and it delivers accurate results as well. With the right practices and the commitment from the team, this planning can bear fruits for the projects in the end.

So, if you are also looking to learn more about it and discover other things related to the scrum and agile methodology of working in the team, then going for csm certification online from StarAgile should be on your list. Here you are going to learn with the best minds that will help you learn all the things related to scrum in an efficient way. So find the best CSM Training for you and start walking towards your career goals.

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