How is your project planning process? You and your team are working on a large project and you have been asked to adopt an agile approach your project planning process. Let’s face it, many of us don’t have the time to sit and read a book on agile development. To help simplify things, here are some basic tips and a few key points to keep in mind when planning out your projects:
Breaking down requirements into tasks:
Once you have successfully planned out and clarified, your requirements, the next step in the project planning process is to start planning out your tasks. Large requirements (or user stories) should be broken down into smaller more manageable parts. In other words you identify the result of what your user is looking for and break it down into smaller parts that your project team can work on individually.
Surface-level planning: Initially you will need to create a rough outline of your tasks and loosely define them. Set milestones and rough estimates. For example you may set a timeline of two months, during which time you will deploy an initial version of your software, that really only includes a bare minimum or basic level of features. You will then release a new version every month following that deployment.
Keep things simple: Life happens, and unforeseen issues are almost inevitable, so don’t get bogged down in the details, keep this definition broad so you can adapt your tasks, and goals to the project as it builds and takes shape. Always remember the basic principles of an agile project planning process:
– Continuous feedback
– Short and rapid iterations
– Good estimation & tracking
– Strong automation
Define tasks in terms of deliverables: The language that you use to define your tasks is very important, try to avoid speaking in terms of what you are going to do and instead focus on what you want to deliver.
Create realistic task estimates: Estimate your tasks in terms of hours rather than days. Record and keep track of “actual hours” spent on tasks and projects. You can then use this data to more accurately estimate future projects and the time you will realistically need to perform the work.