Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Agile Project Planning Area


Initial planning sets up the initial direction, which is continually updated based on new discoveries (business and technical). Therefore, planning is a continuous work that endures the whole project.


- A plan is built when the project starts and updated it continually throughout the project.
- Estimations are performed for all requirements. The time invested in estimation should be directly proportional to the level of approval and understanding of the requirement (A greater lever of understanding and approval enables a greater level of detail on the estimation)
- All involved members should be involved in estimations, aware of the plan and committed to the success of the project.

Standard Practices

- In the 'Release Planning' meeting, a backlog that contains all stories known so far is constructed. As there is a great deal of uncertainty and unknowns, stories are estimated roughly, to have a first approximation to the dimension of the project.
- If the project is too big, it is a common practice to slice the project in releases. First release should contain the most important business functionality, what is needed more urgently or what lets the company enter a field.
- During the execution of the project and as more is learned about the project, estimations and forecasts are updated to reflect the gained knowledge in the plan.
- A common technique for doing the estimation is the Poker Planning, where all members of the project contribute their wisdom (this technique relies on the Wisdom of Crowds)
- Involvement and transparency enable full commitment of the team.


  1. Nicely put Federico, short and sweet.

    I have found that Fast Estimation (based on Planning Poker) is great to use when you want to roughly estimate an initial Project Backlog.

  2. Thanks a lot Andrew! I read the Fast Estimation technique and it seems really useful. Did you come up with it? What I did in those situations in the past is timebox the describing story + discussions + estimation to 5 minutes. That allows to do 12 stories p/hour, which is fast but much slower than Fast Estimation.

  3. Hi Federico,

    I cannot claim to have come up with it, I am sure someone else has done it prior to myself and probably referred to it as another name. However I have found that many people are not aware of the technique, and for people who have seen Planning Poker it is a natural fit that works well.