Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Succeed with Your Agile Planning Playbook
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.
Outline/structure of the Session
I will first present the customizable 4x4 Agile Panning Framework, its four planning levels, and four steps driving each planning level:
I will then present a brief overview of 16 planning practices. Some example of these practices are:
- For Product Vision and Strategy Planning, select and apply either Blue Ocean or Red Ocean strategic planning or some other custom strategic planning framework. If the degree of uncertainty about real customers and their needs is very high, you may start with the Lean Startup method.
- For Release Planning, apply either Fixed Time/Flex Scope (Velocity or Capacity-based) method, or Fixed Scope/Flex Time (Velocity or Capacity-based) method
- Visually monitor workflow at each planning level and also monitor alignment across planning levels using appropriately designed Kanban boards (epic boards, story boards or task boards)
- Re-plan periodically at a frequency appropriate at each level in response to execution feedback and changes in environment to improve agility
I will explain how to do planning at each level with modest effort by Agile Planners (typically 5% or less) and minimize waste.
Finally I will present how to customize the 4x4 Agile Planning Framework to develop an Agile Planning Playbook that is well-integrated with your Agile Lifecycle Management (ALM) platform. Agile Planning Playbooks implemented as an “out-of-band” solutions (such as Wiki or SharePoint or some document management system) remain less effective as they are not connected to your ALM platform.
As a concrete example, I will briefly demonstrate an Agile Planning Playbook implemented using VersionOne ALM platform, and its Communities, Templates, Reporting and Customization capabilities. Please note that the 4x4 Agile Planning Framework and Agile Planning Playbook derived from the Framework are independent of VersionOne ALM platform or any other ALM platform.
Learn different roles in agile planning: Agile Champion, Agile Planner and Agile Team Member. If you expect to play one or more of these roles, you will learn how to be more effective in those roles.
Understand how to do agile planning at each level, align those plans across levels, and keep the planning process itself agile.
Learn how to customize the 4x4 Agile Planning Framework to your own situation to develop your Agile Planning Playbook.
Understand how to do agile re-planning to improve planning agility, and improve your agile planning process on an ongoing basis based on actual experience and inputs from the environment
Understand how to integrate agile planning at the Daily Planning level with Daily Scrums (Stand-ups).
Understand how to identify and then eliminate or minimize waste at each level of agile planning process.
ScrumMasters, Product Owners, Agile Team Leads, Project/Program managers
schedule Submitted 2 years ago
People who liked this proposal, also liked:
Steve Ropa - DevOps is a Technical Problem AND a People ProblemSteve RopaThe Software Craftsman in ActionVersionOne
schedule 2 years agoSold Out!
Gerry Weinberg once said of consulting “There is always a problem, and it’s always a people problem.” The world of DevOps is emerging rapidly, and just like the early days of Agile, is still working on refining exactly what DevOps means. So often, the focus is either on the technical aspects of the various tool, or on the people problem of “bringing Ops into the room”. But what is the problem that DevOps addresses, and is that problem more of a technical problem, or a people problem? We will explore this, and look at the possible intersection between the two “problems” and how a DevOps approach can help overcome them.
Sally Elatta - Enterprise Agility Starts with Healthy Teams, How Healthy is YOUR Agile Team?Sally ElattaPresident and Enterprise Agile CoachAgile Transformation Inc.
schedule 2 years agoSold Out!
Have you been adopting Agile methods across several teams but wondering if there is a consistent way to measure their health and progress? What does it even mean to be a "healthy" Agile team? Take a deeper dive with our dynamic Agile Expert, Sally Elatta, as she walks you through the top 5 metrics you need to be looking at to measure the health and performance of your Agile teams and how you can create a continuous growth process where teams, programs and portfolios are getting better quarter after quarter.
- How do you really measure TeamHealth and what metrics should you look for?
- Why it's important to look at both Qualitative and Quantitative measures and not just focus on 'hard metrics'.
- How to create a continuous quarterly growth process that is predictable and measurable.
- Go through a TeamHealth retrospective simulation!
This will be an engaging and hands on session where attendees get to color a blank TeamHealth radar using crayons and have a tangible output they can share with their teams.
Steve Ropa - Building Software CraftsmenSteve RopaThe Software Craftsman in ActionVersionOne
schedule 2 years agoSold Out!
There has been a lot of talk lately about Software Craftsmanship. Most of this talk has been centered around how to take existing, skilled programmers and turn them into Craftsmen. What about those who are just entering the field? In this talk, we will explore a new approach to fulfilling the entire journey from Apprentice to Master, both from a personal and organizational level. We will also look at how to get such a program started, and how to bring the existing team along.
Tom Friend - How to explain Agile, Scrum, and Lean in DoD terms to turn Military Decision Maker skeptics into Agile Change Agents.Tom FriendTom Friend Agile ConsultantOwner, Agile On Target LLC (SDVOSB)
schedule 2 years agoSold Out!
Have you ever been part of a team working to win over a DoD organization to Agile and were blocked with skeptics that assert that Agile is “just the next new fad.” This session will give you the hard facts and skills to win over these skeptics by showing that Scrum, Agile, and Lean are in fact Military war fighting methods that are battle tested, quite literally. This presentation will walk the audience through how the Agile and Military iterative problem solving methods map to one another. The desired objective in doing this is to provide examples and narratives that can be put into your agile tool box for when they are needed.
This presentation has been given via several venues over the last year to include: The AFEI Agile in Government Summit, The DoD CIO Software Assurance COP, Southern Fried Agile 2014, and several Agile meet-up groups.
About me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasfriend
Thanks for taking the time to consider my proposal.
Tom Friend / Agile Consultant / LtCol USAF (Ret)
CSP, ACP, AHF, FLEX, CSM, PSM, ATP
Talk: (980) 939-3477