Agile Planning Process

Plans are worthless, planning is essential. — Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the myths about Agile is that it is disorganized coding with no documentation or regard to planning. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, planning is one of the more important aspects of Agile, and occurs all the time. On any agile project, you will perform considerably more planning over the lifetime of the project than with traditional processes.

The Agile planning process allows the Product Owner to define the business value of desired features. Cost estimates provided by the development team are used to choose what needs to be done and what needs to be deferred. The effect of this planning process is that it is easy to steer the project to success.

The planning process in Agile can be described a list of steps that are repeated for each release:

  • The User Stories are written, prioritized and estimated
  • Release Planning selects the stories to be completed, and creates the schedule
  • The project is divided into Iterations of 1-3 weeks, implementing the highest business value stories first
  • Iteration Planning starts each iteration
  • A Standup Meeting starts each day, keeping the whole team on the same page.
  • The Project Velocity is measured during the iteration.
  • Retrospectives are performed at the end of each Iteration and Release.

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