Iteration Planning is a 1-Day Workshop
You’ve done all the up-front planning necessary to get the release off to a good start. Now it’s time to start the work. Sprint planning is the first step when you are using time-boxed iterations. This session is designed to help you learn how to break down the work, create your big visible information radiators, and to estimate what you will be able to complete during the sprint. The first goal of any agile team is not going faster, it is to become predictable.
This session will help you get started down that path.
Deciding on a Sprint Length – Some teams use one week, some two, some four or even six weeks as their sprint length. We will consider the unique attributes of the organization, the team, and the technologies involved and decide on a strategy for establishing a starting sprint cadence.
Designing Your Tracking Board – The team will assess how work flows through their system and how they can best visually model that work using story boards, task boards, or kanban boards. Many teams end up with a combination of both.
Breaking Down Stories Into Tasks – The team will begin the process of designing the system, breaking down user stories into digestible tasks, and estimating those tasks in actual hours.
Estimating Tasks – The team will be introduced to a variant of planning poker to quickly estimate their tasks in actual hours so that they can better understand their capacity in the sprint.
Establishing Big Visible Reports – The team will construct a project burn down chart, a feature burn-up chart, a cumulative flow diagram to show scope changes, and a sprint burn down. We will also discuss if it makes sense to track actual hours worked and/or comparing actuals against estimates. Many teams find value in these practices, especially when they are just getting started.
Assigning Work to the Team - Some teams will choose to pre-assign user stories and tasks, others will choose to create a pull system where work is assigned just in time. We will explore the pros and cons of both approaches and create a workable strategy for the team.
Making the Sprint Commitment - The team either succeeds together or fails together. We will decide together if the team has made a reasonable commitment and are confident they can deliver the work they’ve agreed to deliver.
All this will be done with real features, and real user stories, in preparation for the team conducting their first iteration.