Agile Planning

Overview

This category contains topics associated with the Agile Planning.  A lot of people seem to think that Agile Planning is very difficult and some think it is a waste of time because even very well-thought-out plans often don’t work out as expected. This issue is important because it is at the crux of selecting a methodology and planning approach for a project. Do I use Agile or plan-driven (aka Waterfall)?

One of the biggest factors that effects the planning approach is the level of uncertainty in the project.  In a traditional plan-driven environment, many people make the mistake of trying to make the level of uncertainty go away by developing a lot of assumptions.  The problem with that approach is that many times those assumptions will turn out to be wrong and might require extensive re-planning and re-work.

How Does Agile Planning Work?

Agile uses a very different planning approach that recognizes the level of uncertainty in the project.  Instead of attempting to develop a highly-detailed upfront plan, it is many times better to use a rolling-wave planning approach where the details of the plan are further elaborated as the project is in progress.

Many people seem to think of planning as an “all-or-nothing” proposition – either you develop a highly-detailed plan or you do no planning at all. I don’t believe that to be the case. There seems to be two major problems associated with why people have this difficulty with planning:

  • Dealing with uncertainty, and
  • Unrealistic expectations

Many people have difficulty dealing with an uncertain environment – they want things to be crystal-clear, black-and-white and, in an uncertain environment, they think that it is a waste of time to do any planning at all.

A related factor is that many people develop unrealistic expectations about planning.

  • If you develop a well thought-out plan, they expect that it should work every time.
  • Many people are also unrealistic that everything about a project will go absolutely perfectly all the time and
  • Murphy’s Law often contradicts that belief

Related Articles

Please check the articles associated with this category for more detail:

What is the Lean Startup Approach? How Does It Relate to Agile?

Lean Startup Process

Overview The “Lean Startup” approach is based on a book by Eric Ries of the same name. The fundamental problem that the book addresses is that many companies: Think that they know what the market and their customers want, Make a lot of assumptions based on that thinking Launch a long and expensive product development …

What is the Lean Startup Approach? How Does It Relate to Agile? Read More »

Why Is Planning Difficult? Is It a Waste of Time?

Why Is Planning So Difficult?

Why is planning difficult? A lot of people seem to think that planning is very difficult and some think it is a waste of time because even very well-thought-out plans often don’t work out as expected. This issue is important because it is at the crux of selecting a methodology and planning approach for a …

Why Is Planning Difficult? Is It a Waste of Time? Read More »

What are the Most Practical Ways to Do Project Planning?

What Are The Most Practical Ways To Do Project Planning?

I recently participated in an online discussion in response to a question that was asked on “What are the most practical ways to do project planning?” It’s a critical issue and it comes up a lot so I thought I would share some thoughts on this subject. Ways to do Project Planning – Factors to …

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Management of Uncertainty in Agile Projects

One of the biggest inherent advantages of an Agile approach is the management of uncertainty in Agile projects. To understand this better, we need to first understand the difference between: An Empirical Process Control Model and A Defined Process Control Model Empirical and Defined Process Models A key thing to understand in this context is …

Management of Uncertainty in Agile Projects Read More »

Agile Estimation Practices – What Is the Role of Estimation In Agile?

Agile Estimation

I participated in a discussion recently on the subject of Agile estimation practices: The individual who started the discussion indicated that his team was not very good at estimating. He asked whether it was important for them to become more proficient in estimating the level of effort required Overview Estimation can be very important and …

Agile Estimation Practices – What Is the Role of Estimation In Agile? Read More »

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