Agile Estimating and Planning book review
September 3rd, 2013
While we do not practice “agile development” but rather (extremely) “lean agile”*, I have the need to understand different angles on planning to improve our ability to predict shipping dates.
This book is very accessible, with loads of examples and use-cases. It provides a good red line to follow, working from the lowest levels (estimating a story) to the highest levels (implementing for large distributed teams). I especially enjoyed the example at the very end, where you follow a team in their first agile workflow.
- Reasons for planning we previously did not consider enough, like “Reducing risk and uncertainty”.
- Mis-using storypoints in our planning tool (Pivotal tracker) due to the lack of understanding their meaning. Mistakes include re-estimation for the wrong reasons, treating story-points as a measure of “time”, not planning in iterations.
- Financial prioritizations, with different types of revenue/benefit (lower maintenance cost for example)
- How to prioritize desirability
- Iteration and release planning.
I recommend this book for anyone who does any planning in the software industry, in teams of any size. You will walk away -at least- with a better understanding of why we’re getting it so wrong all the time.
* I think I recently saw this referred to as “half-assed agile” on twitter
Pointy haired boss