more effective planning and estimation course

More Effective Planning & Estimation

Learn how can you make Agile planning and estimation more effective in your organization. Let our experience with hundreds of teams illuminate the path for your team.

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About More Effective Planning & Estimation

  Duration: 1.5 – 3 day course
  Resources: Workbook

Learn the most effective methods and practices for planning, estimating, and managing Agile projects.

The real-world practices presented in this class 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 our clients. These concepts are illustrated throughout the seminar with numerous hands-on exercises.

After the course, your team 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
  • 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

This course is designed for:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Project Managers
  • Leads
  • Others interested in learning how to better plan, manage, and scale their Agile software projects

We offer our courses online-virtually, privately at our training facility in Seattle, or at your location.

Customize this course

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

“Agile development doesn’t mean no planning, but it does call for a different kind of planning. This practical course addresses the real world issues we’ve seen in working with hundreds of teams, including estimation for Agile teams, product planning, and the nuts and bolts of planning sprints and releases.”

Steve McConnell, Author of More Effective Agile