Sprint Planning involves story selection based on highest priorities for a specific sprint. Capacity of team also taken into considerations. It involves Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum team Members.
As a Offshore team we used to be involved in the discussion and Sprint planning. There were times where we felt that less stories are selected based on different measurements available of SCRUM but the problem was capacity of the team. We had lot of changes in Architecture and in tool and technology involved in the implementation. However, each time capacity of each team was considered before selecting stories and it helped a lot. In my experience, PO used to explain highest priority stories and then they used to explain specific stories with Definition of Done. Each team based on the relevance, used to ask questions and in case of missing clarity, business analysts at onsite used to explain it further.
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Outcome of Sprint Planning meeting was 1) Sprint Goal: One or Two sentences which describes what team needs to achieve in a specific sprint and 2) Sprint Backlog: User stories which are selected for current sprint for implementation.
We often used to forget Sprint Goal and in Daily Scrum we were asked to reiterate Sprint Goal so all are on the same page.
What I feel:
Again it comes to expertise part and less changes in the overall architecture. It helps the team to predict and work efficiently. It is always better to fix Architecture once and for all or upto near perfection.
Team has to have a final say in the selection of Sprint Backlog and that practice make roots of Agile methodology robust. Though we learnt our lessons from the previous sprint and based on it, effective sprint backlog can be selected and we estimate time in an effective manner.
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