Estimating and planning is an important aspect of the Agile methodology. Every plan will help in building a platform to develop a project and estimation will help in filling the gap and remove the hindrances in the software development process. The Agile Methodology roughly provides an idea of how a project manager can plan and estimate to make project success. Estimating and planning are the two factors which influence the outcome of any project.
Agile planning is all about measuring the speed at which a team can turn user stories into functional production-ready software. Estimating and planning are critical for the success of a software development project. It may involve various challenges due to estimation done by the wrong person which leads to mismatch in the process. It is a waste, if a team works without any specific requirement, and moreover if the tasks are not assigned properly, it may result in excess time and efforts. Agile planning bears a great significance when compared to Non-Agile planning.
The step-by-step actions are taken through the user stories, whereas in case of Non-Agile planning, the focus is more on the problem. Often a question arises as to how one should implement Scrum for a large-scaled software development. It can be through 5 levels of Agile planning because they render flexibility on how you and the organization want to implement planning, based on teams, environment, and culture.
The planning levels start with product vision which includes product owner taking care of the entire product right from the beginning with respect to the product structure as well. Product roadmap planning, which focuses on implementing the product involves product manager and the product owner. The next step is release planning where the project manager and his team involves and delivers the releasable product.
Coming to Iteration Planning, it is basically an event where all team members determine how much of the team backlog they can commit to deliver during an upcoming Iteration and the entire work slots are determined. The team summarizes the work as a set of committed iteration goals. The end stage is the daily commitment planning where the team discusses the progress of the project and updates are given.
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Agile planning life cycle includes involvement of stakeholders, updating the status of the project and checking through what has to be improved for the further action and later improvements through Build-Measure-Learn cycle.
The last phase deals with the Estimation step wherein the project expert’s opinions are taken into consideration for the development of the project growth, and breaking the bigger tasks into smaller units which helps in understanding the requirements better. Later, estimation is done through Retrospectives. This involves looking back at events that took place, or works that were produced, and at the end delivers a high quality software.
Planning and Estimation is hard, estimates can be made as accurate as possible through a proper collaboration with the Product Owner.
In summary, Agile estimation is a team sport where the team members-
- Estimate smarter not harder
- Learn from past experience.
Only a right planning and estimation deliver the best product.