Usage in Sprint Planning
Forecasting the releases of the sprint
This release planning board has a critical role to play during the sprint planning meeting.
The Sprint Planning starts with an additional step, shared between the various Scrum teams who shares the same resources required to push to production:
- Adding urgent topics: some topics are not yet developed but are urgent and shall be released before the end of the sprint. Such topics are added in advance to the release planning board, so that they can be included into the sprint releases forecast.
- Priorizing topics and forecasting the releases of the sprint: the order of the topics of the release planning board is updated and a tentative date is assigned topics that the teams will try to release during the sprint.
The releasing strategy is also refined through this sprint releases forecast. For instance we wish to use team downtimes (days off, Scrum meetings) to wait on external dependencies. Likewise, we want to maximize the number of releases with no external dependency on the days when the team is fully active.
We set up a strategy that will both maximize the number of releases and minimize risk.
Synchronizing with external dependencies
This release forecast will enable the teams and the external dependencies to synchronize with each other. The interactions with such entities being weaker and less casual, we must be more rigorous in the synchronization: by providing tentative dates.
An additional input for the development team defining the increment forecast
Once than this release forecast is done, each team can then proceed with the typical Scrum sprint planning… taking into account the load of the releases planned during this sprint!
Thus the team will adjust its increment forecast accordingly to the number and complexity of the releases planned during the sprint.
Copy-writing the release forecast on the Scrum boards
Finally the Scrum boards of the teams are filled up with the US of the sprint, the corresponding technical tasks… but also with the releases that the team took charge of!