Iteration Planning – Part 1

Although this material may be found in a variety of places on the web, clients have often asked me to provide them write-ups and explanations.  Enclosed is a brief summary of Iteration (Sprint) Planning Part 1 for Agile Teams.


The Iteration Goal or Theme has been identified by the Product Owner.   The Product Owner has a prioritized list (based on business value, risk and dependencies) of user stories (stories) that he/she wants the team to deliver by the end of the Iteration.

Note: the less prepared the Product Owner is the longer Iteration Planning – Part 1 will take (see Product Backlog Grooming to determine how to make Iteration Planning more effective).


1 to 2 hours


On Day 1 of the Iteration the Product Owner and Team discuss the prioritized stories.  The Product Owner will present the story to the team, and together they will create and agree on the stories acceptance criteria.

Once the team feels they understand the story, they will then conduct Planning Poker.  Planning Poker is an activity the Team conducts to determine the relative size of a story compared to other stories in their product backlog.  There are a variety of ways to size stories, but the simplest and often most effective way is to size a story based on Extra Small (XS), Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra-Large (XL).

The Scrum Master will assist the team by showing them their planned velocity vs. historical velocity, to make sure it is work the team can accept.  This will be further validated at the end of Iteration Planning – Part 2 when the team commits to their work.



  • Product Owner
  • Team
  • ScrumMaster


  • Anyone


This meeting concludes when the team feels they have enough work for the Iteration and are ready to task out each story in detail so they can determine the steps required to deliver the story for their Product Owner.  The team then moves on to Iteration Planning – Part 2.

Standard Scrum Ceremonies / Meetings

  1. Participants in this document refer to individuals critical to the meeting and are allowed to talk during the meeting. 
  2. Observers in this document refer to individuals allowed to observe meetings, but aren’t allowed to talk during the meeting. 

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