project planning

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User Story Points versus Man-Hours: Estimating Effort Better

Effort estimation is a major challenge for all the stakeholders of a project. Most people generally underestimate situations that may block progress and consider only the best-case scenario for a project. Your choice of estimation method may not be helping, though. Which would be better for your team: estimating by man-hours or by user story points?

Nitish Tiwari's picture Nitish Tiwari
The Case for #NoEstimates

The #NoEstimates movement isn't really about no estimates. It’s about working in a sufficiently agile way that you don’t need estimates. When you break down your work into smaller chunks, you provide more value by delivering working product than you do by estimating. What would it take for you to work that way?

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
How Do Your Estimates Provide Value?

If you are agile, you might spend some time estimating. If you’re using Scrum, you estimate what you can do in an iteration so you can meet your “commitment.” But estimation is a problem for many agile projects. The larger the effort, the more difficult it is to estimate. You can’t depend on ideal days. Do your estimates provide value? To whom?

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Instead of MVPs, Maybe We Should Be Releasing SMURFS

The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS!

Matthew Barcomb's picture Matthew Barcomb
Taking Vision to Reality: Using Agile to Drive Product Delivery

Product development organizations that skip or rush through critical preplanning activities run the risk of failure. Organizations that use a more agile approach to product development ensure that the teams work on the right things, have the right amount of dialogue with their business partners, and produce the right amount of value to the product.

Jack Walser's picture Jack Walser
Planning Feature Velocity by Understanding Team Behavior

When planning releases, it’s important to understand where team effort is being spent. By using high and low watermarks, a project manager can determine a suitable approach to take when setting expectations and determining whether it is necessary to alter team behavior to focus more on getting those features into a release.

Dave Browett's picture Dave Browett
Making Sense of #NoEstimates

A couple of years ago, the Twitter hashtag #NoEstimates appeared. Its purpose was to start a discussion about alternatives to estimations, but the idea of a project without explicit estimates is odd to most people in software development. However, if you start exploring it, you may find better sources of information to rely on.

Gil Zilberfeld's picture Gil Zilberfeld
Common Misconceptions about Agile: Agile Is Just a Project Management Framework

When it comes to transitioning to agile, if a team only goes off what it's heard from other teams and doesn't take a class or read any books about the process, misconceptions can abound. And that leads to problems. Read on to have three common agile myths debunked and to learn why agile is a cultural change, not just a project management framework.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Common Misconceptions about Agile: There Is Only One Approach

Many teams think they're agile. They might work in iterations and have a ranked backlog, but they don’t see the value they could be seeing. Usually that means they have a number of false impressions about agile. Read on to have three common misconceptions debunked and to learn what you need to do to make your agile transition successful.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
'Tis the Season for Annual Planning: How to Have a Jollier Experience This Year

One of the primary goals of annual planning is to translate aspirational strategic plans into realistic execution plans. Sadly, rather than delivering plans we can all feel good about and believe in, too often it leaves us depressed about the work ahead of us. This article shares five practical principles to remove the emotions associated with annual planning.

Catherine Connor's picture Catherine Connor

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