Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Succeed with Your Agile Planning PlaybookSatish Thatte
schedule 1 year agoSold Out!
Although many people know that agile planning is different from big, up-front detailed planning done for traditional or waterfall projects, there are many misconceptions, or vague or partial understandings. Some people equate agile planning with minimal planning or just-in-time planning or “fluid” or “adaptive” planning. “Winging” an agile plan is expensive and doesn’t work well. If you don’t plan or plan poorly, no amount of execution effort would adequately compensate for poor agile planning. Agile planning is disciplined and rigorous, and the planning process itself is agile.
I will present a customizable Agile Planning Framework based on a core set of agile planning principles and practices, common to all organizations. The framework consists of four well-aligned agile planning levels, each driven by four steps, covering 16 agile planning practices (hence called “4x4 Agile Planning Framework”). Each agile planning level guides the next lower level of planning, which elaborates the planning done at the higher level but with a shorter time horizon. Planning retains its agility with periodic adjustments based on the feedback from the plan execution and changes in environment (market conditions, customer feedback, competitive responses, etc.).
- Product Vision and Strategy planning, with planning horizon of one to three years, and business initiatives or strategic themes serving as the planning unit taking several months to complete. This is the top level of planning.
- Release planning, with planning horizon of 2 to 6 months, and features that fit in a release cycle serving as the planning unit.
- Sprint planning, with planning horizon of 2 to 4 weeks, and stories that fit in a sprint serving as the planning unit
- Daily planning and Daily Scrums, with planning horizon of one work day, with tasks that fit a single work day as the planning unit. This is the bottom level of planning
At each planning level the following four steps are required:
- Select the planning method appropriate to your needs.
- Obtain required inputs appropriate for the selected planning method, and do necessary preparation ahead of the planning sessions.
- Apply the selected planning method and develop the necessary planning artifacts to drive the execution at that level, and guide the planning at the next lower level.
- Re-plan periodically to improve agility.
I will explain how to use Red Ocean and Blue Ocean Strategy frameworks, and how to harness the Lean Startup Strategy framework at Level 1 Agile Planning (Product Vision and Strategy).
VersionOne’s 9th Annual State of Agile Survey has indicated that the consistent process and practices is the top tip for success in agile. No two organizations are alike. No cookie-cutter approach to agile planning will work in a vast variety of situations. Context matters greatly. I will explain how Agile Champions can use the 4x4 Agile Planning Framework to develop customized Agile Planning Playbook appropriate to their organization, and how the resulting Playbook facilitates agile planning done by Agile Planners and plan execution by Agile Team Members in a standard and consistent way across an enterprise or at least across a set of projects or teams in a program or a portfolio.