Meet our sprint planning document

Sprint planning document for sprint 62 Elmo, where it usually sits, in plain view on my desk

Let’s say you have a team of eleven knowledge workers, who have a wide portfolio of responsibilities, and you need to get a bunch of tasks done, across multiple projects, within a two-week window. How would you keep focus on everything that needs to be done?

Here’s one of the tools we’ve developed to help us do it: we call the sprint planning document.

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How we name our sprints

Ask a couple of programmers how many spaces you should indent your code and you may be in for a long and heated conversation. (The correctly answer is four, obviously!)

I had no idea, until I started looking into it this week, that asking an Agile project manager whether and how you should name your sprints might spark an equally passionate debate.

The main argument against naming sprints seems to be because iterations are ephemeral: they last a very short time. They are transitory, fleetingly short-lived and brief, temporarily impermanent and… well, you get the idea.

But compared with the age of the universe you could argue that so am I. And I quite like having a name. It makes things easier for me (when applying for a bank account, say) and it makes things easier for my friends too (for example, when they spot me across the street and want to attract my attention. It’s easier to shout ‘Gareth!’ than something more descriptive like ‘Ahoy there, big Scottish bloke wearing the green coat and the black hat!”). Without names, everyone would address one another like David Dimbleby does when picking out audience members on Question Time.

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