Category Archives: Release Planning

Can the Team promise a date?

I think this is an important question. To promise? Umm.  What does a promise mean?  Can Joe Namath promise a Super Bowl victory? (He said ‘guarantee’… and, oddly, his Jets team did actually win it.) *** Let’s say you have a fairly big project, that maybe requires 3 releases that happen every 3 months.  So, […]

Can we make a promise?

Well, can we? There are some who do ‘waterfall’ (well, to be fair, something very roughly like the waterfall that Dr. Royce defined in 1970), and some of them seem to believe that we know enough early on, and change will be small enough for the rest of the effort, that we can promise a […]

Agile Release Planning workshop – Comments

I have many comments to add to the blog, and many topics to discuss.  Let me start with this one. Last week we had another Agile Release Planning workshop, in Montreal.  (We do one almost every week.)  The workshop is mainly about taking a real set of work (about 6 months of work for one […]

Question: Building user stories remotely…

Question: Hi Joe! Quick question – what have you found to be the best approach for creating user stories for the team members that are participating remotely? We have a release planning meeting for a group that has three team members in Connecticut and will be dialing in for the meeting. We have GoToMeeting and […]

Is It Really important to estimate initial velocity?

Question: “Is it really important to have a SP estimate before the first Sprint starts?” I think he means an estimate of the initial team Velocity before the first Sprint Planning Meeting. Answer: The short answer to his immediate question: Yes, it is important. Why? It makes it a tighter meeting (SPM, Part 1), and […]

Agile Velocity | Estimating Initial Agile Velocity

Agile Velocity by Lean Agile Training Here is a method for estimating initial Agile Velocity that may work for you. I expect you to use it in the context of Agile Release Planning. (Anything useful should be credited to Jeff Sutherland; any issues should be credited to me.) First we take some assumptions or identify […]

Question: The Basics of Agile Contracts

Melinda asks: “How can SCRUM/Agile Methods be effectively leveraged for responding to RFP/proposals for Fixed Price & Fixed Date contracts especially when the Scope (i.e., Product Backlog) is more adaptive to change? When would CRs be required, if at all? How can we help customers understand and be confident that they will receive greater value […]

Planning Poker Tools

Mike Cohn has the phrase ‘planning poker’ registered.  So, this is acknowledgement of that. And, like Kleenex, that’s what we call the thing itself.  It no longer has a generic name. (Well, the real name is maybe ‘wide-band delphi estimation using the Fibonacci sequence.’  But planning poker or priority poker are faster.) And, as some […]

Agile Contracts – Question 1

Adela asks this question: Imagine we have a brand new project. And we must bid on it, and we want to use the agile-scrum method.  How should that work? This is a good question.  I will answer it quickly here. Too quickly.  I have partly answered it in my book, Agile Release Planning. And partly […]

What does it mean to be ‘Ready’?

Jeffry Hesse wrote this blog post. [Link now broken.  Sorry!] It inspired me to write the post below. The new Scrum Guide says that PBIs (product backlog items) must be well-understood and granular enough for Sprint Planning. PB Refinement is the process we use to get them to Ready. Those are not quotes, but that […]