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Agile Project Planning Tips

written by: Michael Kirkham-Jones • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 3/16/2009

Agile Project Planning requires a team to do the tasks from a prioritized list, break the tasks into small ones and then execute each iteration within the estimated time frame.

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    A key distinction between Agile Project Planning and the traditional or standard project planning is that Agile Project Planning is expected to be collaborative in nature and wider in scope as the entire team partakes in planning and scheduling.

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    Scheduling Tips

    In a traditional approach, project planning work must not commence until all the formalities are completed and documented. But according to the recently developed Agile Project Planning methodology, only short term plans are made for a single iteration. This type of planning provides each iteration the required stability to weave subsequent plans around.

    In a iterative development system, project planning is organized into a series of short, fixed-time duration mini-projects called Iterations. These iterations, though compartmentalized on functionality, should adhere to the demands of the end purpose. When a project has multiple stages, there is a need to determine which stage to implement when and in what order. It is also necessary to decide when and how often to produce a completion report.

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    Iteration Planning

    Each task should be estimated for two or three days duration, and tasks which may take longer than three days should be broken down further. Objectives must be clearly set for each iteration and it is critical to track the progress during each iteration. Keep in mind that each iteration has its own analysis, design, implementation, and testing activities.

    It is widely accepted that when setting out with Agile Project Planning method, many teams find it difficult to fulfill iteration planning in the fixed amount of time allotted to it. In many ways, iteration planning is a brainstorming session. It is best to first create major tasks and then break them up into smaller tasks and if need be, a small part of that work into still finer chunks.

    It is perfectly acceptable for the tasks to be small in size. Creating tasks in the iteration planning meeting is a problem solving process. This is where you do lot of analysis and design work. There will be a need for speedy access to information for iteration planning. A computer with a web browser and access to Google is a a great way to increase execution speed..

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    Your Team

    In any Agile Project Planning, all the team members must participate and feel a sense of belonging. Yet another key factor is each member must choose his area of work rather than being assigned one. It is quite common on Agile Projects for the entire team to collectively do the planning and not the project manager alone in isolation.

    Another important aspect of Agile Project Planning is an ongoing training program. Training must begin at the start of a project so that all team members can learn the fundamentals of any fresh skills needed for the project. Training should also be available throughout the project, particularly for new members. For Agile Project Planning, the whole team must participate at every stage as everyone's experience, skill, and expertise will be useful to complete the list of tasks.

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    References

    Reference for writing Agile Project Planning Tips: Agile Project Planning