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University System of Maryland

Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX


Speed is by far the most sought-after benefit of Agile.

First mover advantages, the economic cost of delays, and the enabling effect on innovation drive the search for speed. Agile offers the fastest means of attaining speed: managing scope. But beyond the hype over scope management, there are key principles of non-traditional task management that ensure the scope chosen is delivered as efficiently as possible.

In this course, you'll learn how to drive speed into any project by selecting and limiting work-in-progress through agile planning and task management. There are two principle roles involved, the scrum master and the product owner. However, the entire scrum team needs to understand the principles behind backlog refinement, sprint planning, and execution throughout the sprint cycle.

In this course we'll show you how to run effective sprint planning meetings that produce a sprint backlog ready to deliver on your sprint goals and release objectives. You'll learn the power of prioritizing backlog items, and why we agile planning and sprint planning isn't just a managed list you work top-down in priority order. Instead, scrum teams commit to achieving goals and work together to ensure the user stories that are highest priority get delivered in this sprint, so the upcoming sprint isn't delayed. This also means understanding your team capacity and how to ensure safe and on-time delivery of the highest items on the product backlog that actually matter to your customer.

While this course will not make you an agile certified practitioner (PMI-ACP), or certified scrum master (CSM), it offers a more fundamental agile certification based on agile principles and how sprint planning enables hyper productivity in industry today. You'll finish this course more than ready to continue your agile journey, which we hope takes you to the next course in the series on “Agile Innovation and Problem Solving Skills.”

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can earn 10 Professional Development Unit (PDU) credits, which are recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PDU credits are essential to those looking to maintain certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP).


  • Week 1: The first week focuses the discussion on Agile to its primary benefit, Speed, and how to easily calculate and prove its supremacy in benefits of any project management method because of timing impacts and market changes outside a project manager’s control.

  • Week 2: The second week explores why and how varying scope is the most powerful method to achieve speed; introducing the Exponential Pareto Principle and how to apply it effectively. Perhaps the most important lesson is that not all product backlog items are equal, and in fact, most don't matter at all!

  • Week 3: The third week dives into second tier methods for achieving speed through sizing, simplicity, and sprints with real-world examples ranging from air and space craft to software. Team members work together to ensure a smooth glide on the burndown chart by actively managing work in process during daily scrum sessions.

  • Week 4: The last week teaches ground-level techniques to avoid delays, increase speed, and apply a full range of planning, execution, and control techniques that will guarantee 2x or better improvement on traditional projects. This week is essential to producing a winning product backlog and release plan.

Taught by

John Johnson


4.4 rating, based on 277 Class Central reviews

4.3 rating at edX based on 21 ratings

Start your review of Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery

  • Taking the 'Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery' course offered by the University System of Maryland via edX was a truly enriching experience. The exceptional quality of the content and the impressive teaching style of the instructors mad…
  • Anonymous
    Taking the 'Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery' course offered by the University System of Maryland via edX was a truly enriching experience. The exceptional quality of the content and the impressive teaching style of the instructors mad…
  • Really great course with interesting examples on how to plan for faster agile team delivery. great to see building from the previous course. the examples given and external links were very useful. there were some spelling mistakes and omitted words that were distracting (especially on quizzes) and one time there was a quiz question that pertained to the next section.
  • Arkar Htet
    The "Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery" course offered by the University System of Maryland via edX is an exceptional resource for anyone looking to enhance their Agile practices. The course meticulously covers the essentials of sprint…
  • Anonymous
    There is a lot of good material, mostly towards the end of the course. However, there is supposed to be bonus material for verified students and only the first course in the series has that material and this one does not.

    Also a lot of the questions on the final tests I think are unfair (asking about specifics not covered), incorrectly (I answered exactly as found in the notes but was marked wrong), poorly worded/ambiguous, and lacking in quality e.g. major typos or boilerplate text that should have been removed but wasn't.

    Overall I found some value in the class but think it wasn't as good as I expected and certainly comes across as a rush job by UMD.
  • Anonymous
    You don't get a degree. You already know that. What you gain are very useful insights around Agile planning and more specifically some of the underlying concepts.
    You'll need to reflect on the concepts in order to maximize learning. Moreover you'll need to get one or more books from the suggested ones to deepen your understandings.
    If you have experience in fast-paced environments (eg . s/w development) you'll get the content easily.

    Overall a nice module.

    I would like to see more content on Agile estimating though.
  • Profile image for Subimal Banerjee
    Subimal Banerjee
    I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. "Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery" by John Johnson through the University System of Maryland on EdX is a highly valuable course for anyone looking to enhance their Agile project management skill…
  • Anonymous
    This course exceeded my expectations in enhancing our sprint planning process. The content is comprehensive and well-structured, covering everything from principles to practical tips. The instructors provide real-world examples and address common challenges, making it valuable for both beginners and experienced Agile professionals. Highly recommended for anyone looking to optimize their sprint planning process.

  • Profile image for Gurumahesh G
    Gurumahesh G
    The UMD's "Sprint Planning" course on edX was exceptional. High-quality content and engaging instructors made it a goldmine for Agile learners. Clear explanations with real-world examples fostered a deep understanding of sprint planning in Agile delivery. The course's interactivity and resources solidified the knowledge. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to boost their Agile skills.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course. Added a lot to my knowledge. I used to work using waterfall and lean management. Not knowing much of Agile and worried how to implement it efficiently. The concept and how to apply it was clear and easily explained. I recommend this course for anyone new to Agile and want to expand his/her horizon professionally and even personally.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the course more than I'd expected, and look forward to finding ways to incorporate more speed into my team's processes. I can also see that I have a lot to learn. (I fall into the classification of "unofficial project manager" or "default…
  • Anonymous
    Sprint Planning for Faster Agile Team Delivery was informative and provided a high-level view of sprint planning utilizing multiple methods. The course would benefit from a couple of case studies as a conclusion to help bring the various topics into action and help the learner put them all together.
  • Anonymous
    The course, instructor and materials were well organized. The only suggestion for improvement is to refine the transcript and written materials to be accurately worded vs the audio and to correct typographical errors.
  • Anonymous
    Good course, since it is distributed worldwide, it would be good if it was also possible to do it in Spanish, for all that audience, who, although they live in Latin America, as is my case, here in Chile, courses can be given in Spanish.
  • Anonymous
    The course was interesting. The video updates did not match the summary points. During the Knowledge Checks and the final I had to guess the answer to almost 1/2 of the questions. Also, to earn the extra point, I must identify the tags located on this website. I have not located the tags so I am unable to provide the correct answer. I will continue learn more about Agile but I was disappointed with the content in this course.
  • Profile image for Tecne Mexico
    Tecne Mexico
    I love the course and I am really sure that will help on mo formation and performance at work and even is giving me the idea to open my own bussines based on the new knowledge. The only thing I do not understand is this thing whit the tags for final survey. It is really hard to find and response on that.
  • Anonymous
    Course was good.

    One of the question in final quiz about positive capability ROI for the leasing of car or going by taxi is totally wrong. In the example done in lecture it is 0.5 whereas answer in the quiz is suggesting 0.7. It is contradictory.
  • Anonymous
    The course was very beneficial and informative specially for us in DT.

    It’s showing all the techniques to move to a speint agile management.
  • Profile image for Jorge Ramírez Cacho
    Jorge Ramírez Cacho
    A must-take course; even it's tricky to catch the ideas in some moments, at the end everything makes sense. Don't rely just on your notes or in the videos, you really need to think further to pass the exams and get a good grade. Good for future project managers in the IT industry.
  • Anonymous
    Sprint planning for faster Agile team delivery is just as useful as Agile itself even though it is felt like an add-on Agile course. May be to try in the future to conceive a one full course on applied Agile?

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