Plan the number of sprints and user stories that fit into each sprint. The number of sprints varies from company to company, as does the time each sprint lasts. Anaplan implementations have a baseline of four sprints of four weeks each. This does not mean all Anaplan platform projects take this much time. Nor does it mean that large projects will take this little time. Start with four sprints of four weeks each and adjust as you plan.
Decide the number of sprints and sprint durations once you have totaled up the user stories you have and how much time and resources each user story will take. Keep in mind, a sprint should not last longer than four weeks. Sprints that last more than four weeks are no longer a sprint, and the iterative nature of the Agile process could be lost.
Give each user story a priority:
- P1 – Must have (highest priority)
- P2 – Nice to have
- P3 – Should have
- P4 – Won’t be able to fit in this release
The project sponsor assigns each story its priority rating. Any user stories that do not fall under these priorities - effectively the P4 user stories - are initially put in the backlog. When you have the raw stories in priority, the time of truth arrives where you see how your stories, resources and time match up, or you may find out they don’t match up.
The following table illustrates how to calculate your initial sprint plan. This implementation contains four sprints of two weeks each. Imagine you have one full time Anaplanner working on the project and the customer provides 25% of someone’s time each week to the project. Based on a 40-hour work week, you have 100 hours for each sprint to complete the user stories. Next, total up the user story hours and see where you are with each sprint.
As shown in the chart, sprints one and three have a deficit. These sprints contain too many stories and not enough resources. However, other sprints contain a surplus.
Move user stories around so that you have them more evenly distributed. Remember: only priority one items should be completed in the first two sprints.