One of the biggest myths in agile is that it’s not possible to do planning beyond current sprint. Planning is one of the topics covered in the Scrum, Scrum Master and Product Owner courses. The approach described here – provide the velocity / number of storypoint the team can deliver per sprint and divide the product backlog in the future – is not always the version of the truth you want to communicate. Do we want to tell the outside world that we, according to forecast of the product backlog, have capacity to work with a given user story about +10 sprints? No. We do not want to be so detailed about the future. Instead we want to forecast discretely about the long term future and set firm goals for the near future.

Goal Setting. A goal that focuses on what the product should be able to do after the Super Sprint. It is a statement that motivates the team and enables it to work efficiently and effectively. The vision must be credible and visionary. This can be communicated to external stakeholders.

Super Sprint. What is the outcome of the team and how does it relate to the Super Sprint goal. The focus is on the team’s activities and how these contribute in relation to achieving the Super Spring Goal.

To be able to create a Super Sprint and Goal it is crucial to know what is needed and how to build it. Figuring out the overall plan is done through iterative refinement sessions with the Product Owner, team members and users.

Feature refinement

Who Product Owner with help from Developers
Why Build a feasible plan for the super sprint
What Refinement activities:
  • Prioritised features and epics
  • Expected delivery date from users
  • List of involved users available for collaboration

Feature planning

Who Developers and Product Owner
Facilitation is done by Scrum Master
Why Build a feasible plan for the super sprint
What Team plans how to deliver as many of the prioritized features and epics as possible:
  • Update realistic capacity for each team member in the coming super sprints
  • Create/update important dates
  • Create/update epics
  • Create/update features
  • Create/update goal setting with mapping features and important dates
  • Create/update user stories for the features
  • Estimate the user story
  • Scope the user story for sprint completion. Break up larger user stories to fit.
  • Plan the user story in a specific sprint
  • Create tasks for the first sprint
  • Verify that estimates matches capacity in the team for the coming super sprint or make adjustments
  • Note down dependencies, issues, risk, decisions that may hinder the progress

Plan review

WhoProduct Owner and Customers
WhyAssert that the plan is building what users and stakeholder needs
WhatIf necessary the Product Owner calls for a review of the super sprint plan before presenting at Goal Setting to make sure that potential gaps are identified and managed

Goal setting

WhoDevelopers, Product Owner and Scrum Master
WhyAgree on a long-term objective for the Scrum team. They must fulfill the long-term goal through short-term sprint goals.
WhatWalk through of super sprint plan to identify issues, dependencies and risks. Build a goal for the super sprint to be used as overall goal for the involved sprints.