First of all sprint planning is a ceremony in the Scrum Framework and when we are a scrum team, following the scrum ceremonies must for all the scrum members. We can consider it as a custom or duty or part of success formula; need to follow it – simple.
Now, being a participant of scrum if one member refuses or avoid to be a part of Scrum Planning or any other ceremonies, as a scrum master my role will be vital with my own unique skills.
Talking about a solution here, there is not a single key to unlock. Applicable solutions are mentioned below and they gets implemented based on the situation and gets improved time-to-time.
– 1st and the most important for me is: spreading awareness & benefits about the scrum and scrum values-ceremonies-pillars etc. Seems the strongest tactic for me to apply.
– Try a more friendly way to know the real reason. Meet off the ground in his/her own comfort zone. Important thing is to know the problem and work on it.
– If blocker elements for him are within you, as a scrum master, remove those blockage elements from yourself via improving or convincing – whatever is applicable.
Remember the problem is – *not* team member but inside the team member. Either the attitude or the ignorance about the scrum.
Also, in the worst case scenario, to replace the team member is one option – as this behavior degrades the quality of the deliverables and ultimately it increases the risk of team failure.
Visualize the solution and make it real.
First, what is the reason, why Scrum team avoiding the Sprint Planning meeting?
Second, listen the team issues by facilitating various techniques.
Third, try them that they will find out their solutions by coaching.
I would make him/her understand by explaining that going on a short trip is always productive with a map in hand or with a plan in mind rather than wandering off without knowing the important features of the place where by he/she will be wasting time, money and value.
A team member not attending the planning meeting
First talk to the Team member to find out the reason for not attending the meeting. Need to understand the cause of this behavior.
Need to explain the importance of the planning meeting. How he can communicate this to all the parties involved about his absence if there is a genuine reason and ask for a reschedule of the meeting well in advance. (Planning in scrum is a team even to discuss on the requirements. It’s a team’s responsibility and everyone is equally important to share their understanding and assumptions if any.)
Need to explain the impact of not having his presence in the planning meeting and the impact it has on the entire team with few practical examples.
Either the person is fresher or new to agile or on leave during the planning phase. Make sure before he goes on leave the planning is done and he /she is included in the sprint cycle. Generally, developers working in a particular product or organization do get comfortable with a specific area of code or have never like experimenting with new technology, etc. And this leads to major problem like they think. Why one must listen or be a part of sprint review/ planning meetings to discuss about a feature you are unlikely to help develop in the Sprint or ever? So this becomes a challenging to a scrum master, such that he must be e sure of a creating a right-sized team which doesn’t escape from responsibilities instead should make everyone to work on every feature.
Being a Scrum Master, I should be a facilitator in this situation. Since, Sprint Planning answers the following:
What can be delivered in the Increment resulting from the upcoming Sprint? How will the work needed to deliver the Increment be achieved?
I should understand the following from the team & team member:
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