Planning Meeting Sound Bites

Your planning meetings might include sound bites like these:  


In this example, each person is executing their role perfectly. The Product Owner is doing a great job of clarifying the priorities, the Team Member is raising obstacles, and the Scrum Master is facilitating a shared vision.

Product Owner
aka Partner-Getting-Married #1 

My top three priorities for this sprint are choosing the flowers, finalizing the menu, and creating the favors.

Team Member
aka Partner-Getting-Married #2

It seems ambitious to do all of those big projects at the same time.

Scrum Master
aka Sister

Hmmm...maybe we don’t all have the same understanding of those projects. Let’s talk about what you’re each imagining; maybe we can find ways to simplify.


In this example, the Team Member has raised a concern, and the Scrum Master is helping to facilitate good communication by calling on the Product Owner to make some prioritization decisions.

Team Member
aka Partner-Getting-Married #1

I’m really anxious that we’re not going to get anything done this week, because you’re working overtime, I have to travel, and we’re hosting a Halloween party.

Scrum Master
aka Friend/Emcee

That’s a good point; capacity is pretty low this week. What are the most important things we need to get done?

Product Owner
aka Partner-Getting-Married #2 

Well, the only external deadline is that we owe the DJ some money to lock in her contract, so we definitely have to pay that. Otherwise, I’d like to prioritize sketching out our vows, because I’m worried it might take longer than expected. If we can do that, I’ll feel good about where we are.


In this example, the Scrum Master is using data to spark an honest conversation, and the Team Member is being transparent about what she feels she can reasonably accomplish.

Team Member

I’m not sure we should plan to make the favors this sprint. That just seems like a lot.

Scrum Master

Well, we estimated it would take about 10 hours. Last sprint, we were able to put in 16 hours. Does something seem off in our estimates?

Team Member

Yeah, now that I know more about the favors, I think it’s probably a bigger task than we originally estimated.