Agile is an iterative and highly flexible methodology that allows teams to easily identify and adapt to new challenges, resulting on better outcomes at a faster speed. For those beginning to experience the Agile way, it can be beneficial to study The Scrum Guide. Despite the flexibility that comes from Agile, some level of planning is required and having a sprint planning excel tool can be the differentiator that allows the individual and team to operate more efficiently. This free and customizable Sprint Planning tool features:
For the sake of simplicity, we have prepared a “How to” guide to help you navigate through the use of this tool and customize all labels and tabs to your needs.
Once you download the tool, you will receive a blank version ready to be populated and customized accordingly to your sprint. It should look like the following:
1. Insert your name and sprint number: Click on cell B2 and insert your name or your company’s name, then click on cell C3 and insert the number of your current sprint.
2. Insert the start and end date of your sprint, the sprint duration will change automatically.
Now, after you browse around the tool, we believe it’s best to set up the legend before you start inputting your items.
3. Click on the “Legend” worksheet. Once in the “Legend”, do not change anything else besides items 4 and 5, otherwise you may run the risk of “breaking” other features within the worksheet.
4. Start populating the categories that are relevant to your future tasks such as (answering e-mails, budgeting, etc.). Currently, you can populate 5 categories by just replacing the items that have been pre-populated for you. To populate extra items, right click in one of the categories, click on “insert”, then click on “table rows above” (image below).
5. Populate the members of your team by substituting the pre-populated fields. In case you need more fields for members, repeat the step above to insert rows. It is important to follow this step to add a row to the table, otherwise other features within your excel will not work.
In case you are using this tool for personal purposes and do not need extra members, just delete the additional members by selecting the cells you would like deleted, right clicking on the selected cells, press “delete”, then “delete table rows”.
Now, you are ready to start populating your tasks within your Sprint Planning Tool. Click on the button “Current Sprint” and start populating the table with the items you would like to track.
In case you wish to add more items to your list, follow the explanation given earlier.
Under task, you can add your first item, then choose the project category from one of the categories you have previously inserted in the Legend tab. All that you need to do is simply click on the cell and choose from the drop down menu (for example, if you click on cell C8, you will see a small arrow beside the cell in which you can click and he drop down menu will show). Then, you can choose the priority level, the owner, and the status by following the same actions.
Note that other functionalities of your worksheet are buttons and slicers:
The Effort Estimated portions is designed to follow Story Points based on Fibonacci sequence, according to some sprint planning exercises in Agile. However, you may feel free to use minutes or hours instead.
The Backlog tab can be filled very much in the same way as the “Current Sprint” tab and it also features buttons and trackers.
We hope this tool helps you and your team to become more agility driven, which in turn will lead to increased productivity! To gain further insight regarding Agile transformation, please refer to McKinsey and Harvard Business Review material. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, shout us an e-mail at [email protected].