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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Agile Estimating and Planning

Many of the questions after the presentation were directed at how one plans and estimates the larger project scope using Scrum. This is a major focus for us at High Moon over the next few months as we start new projects using Scrum. We adopted Scrum a year ago and have not gone through a full product dev cycle with it yet.

In antipation of this, I have been doing research and reading a few books. The best one out there is the book to be released by Mike Cohn this summer called "Agile Estimating and Planning" (the link to it is on the AGD website). I've previewed many of the chapters for this book and it seems very pragmatic.

However, there were great questions on how a project should allocate resources over the long-term. I'll comment more on these issues as we plan our next project and begin to work with our new publishers. Each publisher has their own set of expectations.

The bottom line is that we cannot trust the validity of long-term detailed scheduling. Most of us know this and do some form of granular time-boxing anyways. So I don't believe that Agile planning is that different. What is different is to assign a value to each element of your backlog to help adjust the order in which backlog elements are implemented. Also, identifying critical chains in the dev project is important.

More to come....

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