Sprint 0 is essentially a planning sprint. Some organizations conduct kick-off meeting prior to Sprint 0; however, it is customary to include the action points which are generally taken care of during a kick-off meeting such as clarify product vision, stakeholder main objectives, business drivers, role/responsibilities and communicate release planning.
Sprint 0 is also used as a training ground by the organizations new to Agile/Scrum. The team gets introduced to major Agile ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Daily Stand up, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.
The entry criteria for the Sprint 0 are availability of the first-cut product backlog; ballpark estimates for the project; approval of funds and an Agile team. As all planning related inputs are now available the Sprint 0 can begin to achieve following objectives:
1. 1. Plan for meeting compliance requirements such as FDA code 21 CFR Part 11 for Pharmaceutical projects
2. 2. Understand the project environment including tools
3. 3. Plan for integrating test management process and software development process
4. 4. Determine sprint durations for the rest of the project. Please note that Sprint 0 duration need not be the same as regular sprints. It could be of one week, too.
5. 5. Finalize ‘Sprint 1’ and ‘Sprint 2’ user stories
6. 6. Determine story points for ‘Sprint 1’
7. 7. Make sure that all ‘sprint 1’ user stories have been signed up by the team members. Self organizing teams is the hallmark of Agile and the practice should be followed from the Sprint 0 itself.
8. 8. Revisit Release Planning
9. 9. Get team’s concurrence on all major issues
10. 10. Conduct Sprint 0 retrospective and pave way for ‘Sprint 1’ to begin