Category Archives: Release Planning

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: It Helps to Have a Plan

This idea is a bit controversial, depending on who you talk to. First, let’s agree partly with the opposite idea. It can be painful to have a plan.  It can hurt.  Especially if managers have locked it in stone, as we say, and want to punish us if we are a day late (it is […]

Ideas behind Agile Planning: Iterative and Incremental

When we start the work (and the plan) we do not know everything. As I have suggested, if we know half of everything we need to know (to have a perfect plan) that, in my experience, would be a better-than-average start. So, we start. And we start with the notion that the plan will never […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Adapting Better

In 2001, “Responding to Change over Following a Plan” seemed like a pretty aggressive step. (That is the last of the four Agile Manifesto lines.) Today, from a customer’s viewpoint, it is not enough. Customers want a better adaptation to change, and not just attitude or relatively obvious things like more or faster releases. They want […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Responding to Change

The line from the Agile Manifesto is: “Responding to Change over Following a Plan.” But let’s take this further in two main ways. 1) Change can be good. To me, in Waterfall, we always thought of change as bad. It was mainly bad because it forced us (eventually) to change the plan which was a lot of […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Get Everyone Involved

OK, it sounds good, get everyone involved. But what does it mean? And why do we suggest it? It means many things. Here are some: Everyone gets to contribute. Eleven heads are better than one. Get everyone on the same page at the same time. Visibility. Everyone can see it at the same time. We can […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Prioritize Our Stupidity

We could phrase this as “prioritize our learning,” but I find it fun and a good chuckle to be humble enough to admit we are stupid. Human beings, at least in regard to planning, are stupid in two ways: (1) incompletely informed, and (2) we just do stupid things. But I am referring particularly to the initial […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Speedy

General George Patton said: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Part of this is an acceptance that all plans are imperfect and are based on incomplete information, including incomplete information about the future. We do the best we can to plan in a quick time-box, and […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Openness

One of the key ideas behind planning is Openness. What does that mean? Many things. Let’s list a few. Everyone can see it… the current state of our planning. Everyone can voice an opinion… within a reasonable time-box. “It’s too long, it’s too short, too big, too small, too cheap, too expensive…” as examples. And […]

Ideas Behind Agile Planning: Planning, Not the Plan

There are people in Agile that call themselves the “no-estimates” group. They hate “planning” that used to crush people. And, at least, this is how planning is perceived sometimes. But they overreact. Yes, they are right that planning should never be used to put people under a lot of pressure—certainly not to crush people—but life always includes […]

The key purpose of Agile Release Planning

The following email lacks some context, but I wanted to post it anyway.  This is what I usually say (enact) at the end of the Agile Release Planning segment or workshop.  Hope it helps you.  This was said in a recent email to a class, as you’ll see. *** Hi all, There was something important […]