Planning

Articles

Person crossing a natural rock bridge above the sea Agile Estimates versus #NoEstimates: Bridging the Gap

Agile teams can easily get puzzled by the heated debate happening between advocates for estimation and those in the #NoEstimates camp. However, by comparing how they solve these problems, we can identify many common practices between the two groups and see they are not truly at odds—they actually complement each other. Let's bridge the gap.

Andre Rubin's picture Andre Rubin
A player running up to kick a football for kickoff Kickoff Meetings Give Your Agile Projects a Running Start

Agile projects are ideally a collaborative effort among the team members and with the customers, and the planning process should be a similar endeavor. Everyone should get a clear understanding of the project as well as their respective roles and responsibilities. As the saying goes, well begun is half done. A well-planned kickoff meeting sets the tone for a successful project.

Jane Thomson's picture Jane Thomson
Three people To Kick-Start Your Agile Project, Begin with a Minimum Viable Team

You've heard of a minimum viable product, which has only enough features to create a working model and provide feedback for further development. If you want to get started on a new project quickly, Allan Kelly suggests assembling a minimum viable team—only a few people, with only the necessary skills. They begin work right away, with a small budget and tight feedback loops, driving down risk.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Football plays Your Strategic Planning Should Be Agile, Too

What has agile taught us about trying to plan everything up front? It usually doesn’t work. So why does your company still use a yearly strategic planning approach that takes six months to develop and requires significant time and effort to pivot to new opportunities and challenges? We need to rethink strategic planning to incorporate design thinking, collaboration, and agility.

Phil Gadzinski's picture Phil Gadzinski
Lines of code Project Teams Need to Overcome Their Fear of Coding

Many organizations appear to suffer anxiety at the thought of programming. They want to get everyone but the programmers in a room to discuss a project down to the minute and the dollar, without a full understanding of the coding required. But a few hours of code experimentation generates far more understanding than days of debate by architects and analysts. Don't be scared of programming.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
A pile of documents Slim Down Your Test Plan Documentation

Test plans are essential for communicating intent and requirements for testing efforts, but excessive documentation creates confusion—or just goes unread. Try the 5W2H method. The name comes from the seven questions you ask: why, what, where, when, who, how, and how much. That's all you need to provide valuable feedback and develop a sufficient plan of action.

László Szegedi's picture László Szegedi
Man surrounded by sticky notes Streamline Your Agile Requirements by Avoiding Bloated Backlogs

In agile development, a bloated backlog results from teams accumulating huge lists of requirements, usually in the form of user stories. Retaining every possible story for building the product weighs down the backlog while squeezing (or obscuring) the highest-value stories. The best way to help minimize this risk is to optimize the time spent defining and refining the product priorities.

Michelina DiNunno's picture Michelina DiNunno
Model airplane Build One before Building Many: Learning from Agile Feedback

When you're working on a project and are presented with a big story or requirement, resist the urge to treat it as a single piece of work. One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto is to deliver working software frequently. This allows you to learn from what you built and make adjustments. See if you can break down the request and find a small piece of work within the big.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Clock Estimating Cost of Delay in Agile Projects with Time-Value Profiles

The cost of delay for releasing a product can be due to many factors, but that value loss can seem like an abstract concept. Attaching hard numbers to a release timeline in the form of a time-value profile helps the development team and business stakeholders have a conversation about how long they have to build a product and when it would be best to enter a market.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Transparency The Transparency Experiment: Improving Accuracy and Predictability in Scrum

Using the iterative and incremental agile development framework Scrum should help manage product development, but some teams still have difficulty delivering features in a predictable manner. This organization decided to address the mismatch between what was being committed and what was accomplished by doing an experiment in work transparency.

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