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Sprint Roadmap: Steps to Build a Winning Sprint Plan

The goal of every sprint is to provide enough value to customers and stakeholders that they want to work with you again. A successful sprint roadmap will help make this happen. This blog post will walk you through the process of building a winning plan for your next sprint and give examples of what not to do along the way.

Review Your Product Roadmap

Before you start the sprint planning process, take time to review your product roadmap. Compare it with where you are today and what you learned from previous sprints.

This is a great opportunity for stakeholders to offer input on how they feel the product has been progressing over time, as well as their vision for its future. Asking questions like these can help guide this conversation:

  • What parts of our strategy have succeeded? What parts haven’t worked out so well?
  • How does my team’s progress compare with expectations, compared to other teams performing similar work?
  • What initiatives would I like to see completed in the next few months/weeks/days?
  • Does my backlog align with current priorities, or should we reprioritize?

This is also a good time to review your product roadmap with stakeholders, if you haven’t already.

Update User Stories and See Your Product Backlog

Now that you’ve reviewed your product roadmap, it’s time to update your user stories and see your product backlog.

Start by identifying the most important things that need to be done in order for your team to achieve its goal. This is usually a combination of what will have the biggest impact on customers and what can be completed in the shortest amount of time.

From there, you’ll want to create user stories for each item on your list. As a best practice, try to keep them short and sweet, with enough detail so that they can be easily understood by everyone involved in the project.

Your product backlog should now be filled with all the work that needs to be done in order to achieve the sprint goal. You can then work with stakeholders to prioritize this backlog based on time, value, and dependencies.

Propose a Sprint Goal

Now that you have your product backlog in order, it’s time to propose a sprint goal. This is the one-sentence summary of what you hope to achieve during the sprint.

The goal should be something that can be realistically achieved within the timeframe of the sprint and helps move the product closer to its ultimate destination.

Use Your Experience for Sprint Planning

Your experience will help you create a realistic sprint timeline and determine how many items to include in your sprint backlog.

As a best practice, we recommend using one-week sprints so that each story can be completed within four working days and the product owner has time to review it before moving on. Of course, this timeframe may vary depending on your company’s needs.

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