Agile Planning and Estimation

Agile Planning and Estimation

We offer this course privately at your location, online, virtually, and at our Bellevue, WA campus.

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About Agile Planning and Estimation

  Duration: 1.5 – 3 day course
  Resources: Workbook

Learn state-of-the-art methods and practices for planning, estimating, and managing Agile projects. The real-world practices presented in this course are based upon evolved concepts and support both basic Scrum projects and Agile at scale—and they have been proven on the ground through extensive use by Construx’s clients. These concepts are illustrated throughout the course with numerous hands-on exercises.

After the class, attendees will understand and be able to effectively plan and estimate their projects in days instead of weeks, and be able to confidently forecast project completions with accuracy.

Agile Project Planning Strategies

  • The Agile Paradigm Shift: No More Planning Around Activities That Don’t Matter
  • The Purpose of a Project
  • What do We Mean by Planning and Estimating?
  • Deliverables-based Planning
  • The Minimum Viable Product
  • Object-Oriented Planning and Design by Contract

Envisioning: The Foundation for Planning

  • Begin With The End in Mind: The Product Vision
  • Who Owns the Vision?
  • Creating an Effective Product Vision: The Elevator Test

Planning by Focusing on Deliverables

  • User-centered Functional Design
  • Prioritizing Users and Features

Effective Agile Work Decomposition

  • Agile Work Breakdown Structures
  • Creating the Product Backlog
  • Hierarchical Story Mapping: Prioritizing the Product Backlog

Agile Estimation

  • The Purpose of Estimation
  • Why Estimation Is Hard, and Why It Doesn’t Have to Be
  • Agile Estimation Concepts
  • Story Point Estimation Principles
  • Playing (and Winning) the Estimation Game
  • Agile Estimation Practices
  • Estimation Practices for Large Projects
  • Effective Organizational Estimation Practices

Release Planning

  • Backlog Sequencing Strategies
  • Release Planning Principles
  • Project Staffing and Budgeting
  • Creating the Project Schedule
  • Avoiding “Schedule Chicken”
  • Understanding Scope, Team, and Project Velocity

Backlog Refinement

  • What is Backlog Refinement (Grooming)?
  • When and How to Groom
  • The Definition of Ready

Effective Sprint Planning

  • Using Velocity as a Guideline, Not a Straightjacket
  • Planning the Sprint
  • Sprint Planning Smells
  • Estimation During Sprint Planning
  • A Discussion on Commitment

Component Task Creation and Estimation During Sprints

  • What is a Task?
  • Dynamic and Static Task Decomposition Approaches
  • Rules for Sizing Component Tasks
  • Lightweight Task Estimation Practices

Tracking and Forecasting

  • Using Burndowns to Assess Progress Against Plan
  • Agile “What-If” Scenario Planning
  • Forecasting Project Completion Criteria
  • Project Tracking’s Critical Metrics
  • Tracking Feature Progress towards MVP

Back to Work Action Plan

  • Immediate Actions to Maximize the Leverage of Your Learning
  • Continuing Actions to Improve Your Long-Term Project Management capability

After taking this course you will know:

  • Agile Project Planning Strategies
  • Envisioning: The Foundation for Planning
  • Planning by Focusing on Deliverables
  • Effective Agile Work Decomposition
  • Agile Estimation
  • Release Planning
  • Backlog Refinement
  • Effective Sprint Planning
  • Component Task Creation and Estimation During Sprints
  • Tracking and Forecasting
  • Back to Work Action Plan

Scrum Master, Project Managers, Leads, and others interested in learning how to better plan, manage, and scale their agile software projects.

“John provided detailed instructions that were tailored (on the fly) to our specific needs. Also, John was able to provide infinite help in giving us direction to help bring agility to our organization.”

Mark Wase, TransUnion

“Excellent and exciting. Helped to renew faith and hope in where our company is going.”

S Svaby, Nextgen

“Simple, pragmatic solutions which we can try to put in place and analysis of our current project issues.”

Neil French, Alstom

“It helped me understand ways to address the many problems we are facing.”

Jason Kidwell, CIC Plus

“Everything was very valuable. Most important was to show how to organize it.”

Sebastian Tomaszewski, SonoSite

“I can’t pick just one part. It was enlightening to learn all the things our team is doing incorrectly, inefficiently, or not at all. I am taking so many nuggets of information back to my team!”

Susan Torgerson, Expeditors

“Describing backlog refinement and its value to the scrum process. This was immensely helpful.”

Dave Heberer, Tableau

“Combination of best practices, practical knowledge, and supporting metrics. One of the best, most informative trainings I’ve taken.”

Adam Jordan, Shell

“I finally understand Story Points!”

Scott Emerson, Roche

“Different ways to do Estimations ranked according to situation. Great negotiation strategies! Great class. Quite informative. Class notes can be used as reference for later review/more info. ”

Ruben Pascual, Shell

Customize this course

Your team has unique challenges. Learn about the ways we can customize this course to fit your needs.