Agile Ceremonies

NOTE: Since this post references project workflow and you may want further clarification, check out my other post regarding project workflow here.
Please take a look at the summary below which explains the type of meetings and practices throughout the lifecycle of our projects that we’ll be focusing on improving and adjusting as we grow as an agile organization.  Remember that every team and organization customizes things to match how they work so this is not meant to be prescriptive. Use it as a guide and go from there with your team.SAM_1313
Read through the list of ceremonies we plan to implement noting what you believe we are already doing well and what we could be doing better or just differently.  Those are the things we need to highlight and take action together to address them.
  • Project Initiation (New – Proposed)
    • Review the benefit, justification, success metrics and release plan for approval to move forward
    • Teams provide estimation based on above (CPE)
    • Meeting(s): Project Intake
      • Objective: Approve or Reject the proposed project
      • Owner: Product Owner
      • Meeting Attendees: Leads from Product, Design and Tech (decision makers)
      • Duration: ~1hr
      • Prep: Complete the project request through JIRA and move to “PROPOSED” status
  • Project Release planning (Committed)
    • Product Owner presents the approved project, explains the goal of each release (if there is more than one production release) and the scope of features that are requested in each release
    • User stories are not all written in detail yet in this stage but the high level features are prioritized prior to the meeting so that the team can size the stories they would work on based on their team’s historical velocity over time
    • Teams review the scope and priority against other projects, interdependencies across teams, adjust priority based on technical or design reasons and determine the projected completion date with milestones throughout
    • Meeting(s): Release Planning
      • Objective: Ensure everyone on the project understands the goal, scope and priority of the release(s) and are able to project the completion date by the end of the meeting
      • Owner: Product Owner
      • Meeting Attendees:  Members from all teams impacted by work to complete the project.
      • Duration: Depends on project complexity but usually a full day
      • Prep: Prioritize the list of features for each release (if more than one for the project)
  • Project Backlog Grooming (Committed-Ready)
    • Product Owner creates the user stories for the features in each release
    • User story includes all agreed upon data before ready for tech sprint planning such asŠ
      • Feature description and purpose
      • User Scenarios/Flows
      • Design/UI/UX (PSDs, wireframes, etc.)
    • Design team works with Product to come up with visual design, user experience and UI for each story where appropriate
    • User story is not ready for sprint planning until all elements are provided
    • Grooming is continuous throughout the release as design, improvements and bugs are addressed
    • Meeting(s): Design Reviews
      • Objective:  To review new stories and design proposals and agree on stories that are ready to be presented in the next sprint planning
      • Owner: Product Owner
      • Meeting Attendees: Product Owner, Design team, Tech Lead, QA Lead
      • Duration: Depends but typically 1-3hrs a week
      • Prep: Complete user stories that are ready for review by Design team (user scenarios, user flows, required data, etc.)
  • Sprint planning (Ready)
    • Product Owner presents the users stories for consideration in the sprint with help from the scrum master based on team’s velocity
    • Each team member uses their capacity per sprint to make commitments on the stories that will be requested for the sprint to determine what they are able to do
    • Team should understand their velocity to determine how many stories they will be able to review during sprint planning.  This helps the Product Owner in preparing for each sprint knowing how many stories to have ready.
    • Meeting(s): Sprint Planning
      • Objective: Determine which stories that the scrum team is committed to complete by the end of the sprint
      • Owner: Product Owner and Scrum Master
      • Meeting Attendees: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Delivery Team members
      • Duration: depends on length of the sprint but usually 1-7 hours in single day
      • Prep: Teams close out the prior sprint stories for any incomplete work, team members determine their capacity for the sprint if different from the norm, Product Owner ensures the backlog is in priority order and the proposed stories are Ready for sprint planning
  • Daily stand ups (In Flight)
    • Delivery teams meet daily to ensure their progress is on track to meet commitments and discuss improvements or impediments
    • Meeting: Daily Stand Up
      • Objective: Raise issues that have not been resolved and need immediate action, agree and communicate progress on the current sprint which results in removal or addition of committed stories on the sprint backlog
      • Owner: Delivery Team
      • Meeting Attendees: Delivery Team members, Scrum Master, Product Owner
      • Duration: 15 minutes or less
      • Prep: Each team members adjust their remaining hours in the current sprint, reviews the sprint backlog and burndown chart to identify any issues, impediments, and the product owner/Scrum Master reviews progress and priority noting anything in the current sprint that may need to change to keep the project on track

Share your ideas, comments and links!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: