Shrinking Timeboxes

This week I scheduled a Sprint Planning Meeting to select the backlog on a project. Our normal time box for this meeting is about 4 hours. Since this is the 4th Sprint for this project and these meetings have generally only been going 90-120 minutes in the last few planning meetings I actually scheduled the meeting for only 90 minutes.

When the meeting happened we got into some important discussions around the Sprint goal and the largest feature for Sprint #4. Unfortunately much of this discussion really got going the last 30 minutes of the meeting. We couldn’t extend the meeting since the product owner had other meetings to attend, so we came to a quick conclusion and agreed to a slightly vague goal.

The lesson here is you’re better off sticking to a half day schedule for the meeting even if you get through it in less time for most Sprints. I compounded the issue with only setting up the meeting a week in advance so I really couldn’t find a 4 hour window for the meeting at that point. Lessons learned.