Provide a summary of this practice.
Iteration Planning defines, assigns and schedules the development of User Stories for a single iteration.
For general principles of Agile planning, click here.
What is the overall goal or intention of this practice?
Iteration planning is used:
What are the schedule, cost, quality, frequency, performance or other expectations for completing this practice?
Iteration planning should not generally take more than 2-4 hours. More generally, to set your meeting timebox (in hours), multiply the expected iteration duration (in weeks) by 2.
What must have happened or been delivered for this practice to be considered complete?
What pre-conditions must be met before this practice is used?
This view shows a simplified version of this process. For full details, explanation and advice, click on the ‘Detailed process’ tab. For background such as entry and exit conditions, click on the ‘Context’ tab.
|1||Prepare planning meeting.|
|2||Initiate planning meeting|
|3||Agree iteration goals.|
|4||Finalise iteration stories.||For each story:|
|5||Translate stories into tasks.|
|6||Define non-story tasks|
|8||Commit to delivery.|
|9||Update Iteration Backlog.|
|10||Validate Iteration Plan.|
|1||Prepare planning meeting.|| |
|2||Initiate planning meeting||Iteration Lead.|
|3||Agree iteration goals.|| |
|Agreed iteration goals.|
|4||Finalise iteration stories.|| |
|Updated Iteration Backlog.||For each story:|
|5||Translate stories into tasks.|| |
|6||Define non-story tasks|| |
|Updated Task Cards.||Identify & schedule any additional tasks:||Typical non-story tasks include:|
|Updated Task Cards.|
|8||Commit to delivery.||Team.|
|Team commitment to delivering the iteration.|
|9||Update Iteration Backlog.||Team.|
|Updated Iteration Backlog.|
|10||Validate Iteration Plan.||Iteration Lead.|
|Finalised Iteration Plan.||Validate the plan against:|
Finally, the plan needs to be compared with the team’s historic velocity.
Click for more detail on validating plans.
Issues & risks
What are the key concerns in making a success of this practice?
- Iteration planning is not a one-off event, even within a single iteration. Release stakeholders are entitled to revise stories and their priorities at any point. But if they do, it’s their responsibility to make sure the team know about these changes in good time.
- The team should also carry out a periodic structured refinement activity.
- Formal replanning may not be required, but adjustments should be reviewed with the Product Owner.
- When working out which stories to implement first, try to create a mixture of story sizes, so that a bottleneck is not created and the whole team can be actively engaged as much as possible.
- The burn rate and velocity chart should be constantly visible to the team and under their regular review, and if major discrepancies arise, the Iteration Plan should be revisited.
- Whatever changes are made to the Release and Product Backlogs, only the iteration team may authorise changes to the Iteration Backlog.
- Although they need to be available to provide decisions and detail, it can be difficult for the team to express itself freely if the Product Owner is present throughout the meeting.