About the Author

Foreword by Robert C. Martin

Foreword by Jim Highsmith

Foreword by Gabrielle Benefield



Part I: The Problem and the Goal

Chapter 1: The Purpose of Planning

Why Do It?

What Makes a Good Plan?

What Makes Planning Agile?


Discussion Questions

Chapter 2: Why Planning Fails

Planning Is by Activity Rather Than Feature

Multitasking Causes Further Delays

Features Are Not Developed by Priority

We Ignore Uncertainty

Estimates Become Commitments


Discussion Questions

Chapter 3: An Agile Approach

An Agile Approach to Projects

An Agile Approach to Planning


Discussion Questions

Part II: Estimating Size

Chapter 4: Estimating Size with Story Points

Story Points Are Relative



Discussion Questions

Chapter 5: Estimating in Ideal Days

Ideal Time and Software Development

Ideal Days as a Measure of Size

One Estimate, Not Many


Discussion Questions

Chapter 6: Techniques for Estimating

Estimates Are Shared

The Estimation Scale

Deriving an Estimate

Planning Poker

Why Planning Poker Works


Discussion Questions

Chapter 7: Re-Estimating

Introducing the SwimStats Website

When Not to Re-Estimate

When to Re-Estimate

Re-Estimating Partially Completed Stories

The Purpose of Re-Estimating


Discussion Questions

Chapter 8: Choosing between Story Points and Ideal Days

Considerations Favoring Story Points

Considerations Favoring Ideal Days



Discussion Questions

Part III: Planning for Value

Chapter 9: Prioritizing Themes

Factors in Prioritization

Combining the Four Factors

Some Examples


Discussion Questions

Chapter 10: Financial Prioritization

Sources of Return

An Example: WebPayroll

Financial Measures

Comparing Returns


Discussion Questions

Chapter 11: Prioritizing Desirability

Kano Model of Customer Satisfaction

Relative Weighting: Another Approach


Discussion Questions

Chapter 12: Splitting User Stories

When to Split a User Story

Splitting across Data Boundaries

Splitting on Operational Boundaries

Removing Cross-Cutting Concerns

Don’t Meet Performance Constraints

Split Stories of Mixed Priority

Don’t Split a Story into Tasks

Avoid the Temptation of Related Changes

Combining Stories


Discussion Questions

Part IV: Scheduling

Chapter 13: Release Planning Essentials

The Release Plan

Updating the Release Plan

An Example


Discussion Questions

Chapter 14: Iteration Planning

Tasks Are Not Allocated During Iteration Planning

How Iteration and Release Planning Differ

Velocity-Driven Iteration Planning

Commitment-Driven Iteration Planning

My Recommendation

Relating Task Estimates to Story Points


Discussion Questions

Chapter 15: Selecting an Iteration Length

Factors in Selecting an Iteration Length

Making a Decision

Two Case Studies


Discussion Questions

Chapter 16: Estimating Velocity

Use Historical Values

Run an Iteration

Make a Forecast

Which Approach Should I Use?


Discussion Questions

Chapter 17: Buffering Plans for Uncertainty

Feature Buffers

Schedule Buffers

Combining Buffers

A Schedule Buffer Is Not Padding

Some Caveats


Discussion Questions

Chapter 18: Planning the Multiple-Team Project

Establishing a Common Basis for Estimates

Adding Detail to User Stories Sooner

Lookahead Planning

Incorporating Feeding Buffers into the Plan

But This Is So Much Work


Discussion Questions

Part V: Tracking and Communicating

Chapter 19: Monitoring the Release Plan

Tracking the Release

Release Burndown Charts

A Parking-Lot Chart


Discussion Questions

Chapter 20: Monitoring the Iteration Plan

The Task Board

Iteration Burndown Charts

Tracking Effort Expended

Individual Velocity


Discussion Questions

Chapter 21: Communicating about Plans

Communicating the Plan

Communicating Progress

An End-of-Iteration Summary


Discussion Questions

Part VI: Why Agile Planning Works

Chapter 22: Why Agile Planning Works

Replanning Occurs Frequently

Estimates of Size and Duration Are Separated

Plans Are Made at Different Levels

Plans Are Based on Features, Not Tasks

Small Stories Keep Work Flowing

Work in Process Is Eliminated Every Iteration

Tracking Is at the Team Level

Uncertainty Is Acknowledged and Planned For

A Dozen Guidelines for Agile Estimating and Planning


Discussion Questions

Part VII: A Case Study

Chapter 23: A Case Study: Bomb Shelter Studios

Day 1—Monday Morning

Estimating the User Stories

Preparing for Product Research

Iteration and Release Planning, Round 1

Two Weeks Later

Planning the Second Iteration

Two Weeks Later

Revising the Release Plan

Presenting the Revised Plan to Phil

Eighteen Weeks Later

Reference List


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