16 September 2021

Agile planning, monotoring and adapting

Agile planning, monotoring and adapting

  • Acceptance criteria
  • Burn-down chart
  • Burn-up chart
  • Cumulative flow diagrams
  • Definition of Done
  • Iteration
  • Kanban boards
  • Lean manufacturing, lean-agile software development
  • Process tailoring
  • Reflection
  • Reflexive improvement workshops
  • Release planning
  • Rolling wave plan or rolling look ahead plan
  • Stakeholders
  • Time boxing
  • User Story
  • WIP limits

Acceptance criteria

  • The acceptance criteria doesn’t be too vague (remember the T of INVEST for defining good User Stories) and cannot be easily tested. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
    • Acceptance criteria is typically defined in tandem with User Story definition during release planning; however, acceptance criteria can also be defined during iteration planning once a story has been picked for the iteration.
    • The one steadfast rule is that acceptance criteria must be defined before development begins.
    • Like agile planning, the definition of acceptance criteria is constantly evolving as the conversation with the Product Owner matures.
    • [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • During release planning, acceptance criteria are typically recorded on the backs of User Story cards.
    • Agile team testers will use this acceptance criteria in their verification tests.
    • [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • Acceptance test criteria should be written at the last Responsible Moment while Velocity, Product Backlog and release length are essential input for release planning.

Burn-down chart

  • A Burn-Down Chart is a plot of work remaining to reach a given goal on the vertical axis, and time on the horizontal axis.
    • Each point on the chart shows how much work was left to do at the end of that day (or week, month or other time period).
    • Regular review of progress charts such as burndown charts or Burn-Up Charts for the project you are managing can immediately identify problems and allow you to control them early.
    • Identifying problems early and highlighting corrective action you have taken will impress your clients and gain you their confidence and trust.
  • More at Burn-Down Chart

Burn-up chart

  • A Burn-Up Chart, or burnup chart, tracks progress towards a projects completion.
    • In the simplest form of Burn-Up Chart there are two lines on the chart:
      • A total work line (the project scope line)
      • A work completed line
  • Burn-Up Chart
    • The vertical axis is amount of work, and is measured in units customized to your own project.
      • Some common units are number of tasks, estimated hours or story points (in agile project management methodologies).
    • The horizontal axis is time, usually measured in days.
  • More at Burn-Up Chart

Burn-up vs burn-down chart

  • Overview :
    • Burn-Down Chart and Burn-Up Chart are two types of charts that project managers use to track and communicate the progress of their projects.
    • A Burn-Down Chart shows how much work is remaining to be done in the project, whereas a Burn-Up Chart shows how much work has been completed, and the total amount of work.
    • These charts are particularly widely used in Agile and scrum software project management.
  • More at Burn-Up Chart vs Burn-Down Chart

Cumulative flow diagram (CFD)

  • A diagram used by Kanban is the Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD), which describes the overall flow through the Kanban system; it provides a measurement for every significant step in the workflow.
    • Like Burn-Up Charts , cumulative flow diagrams are information radiators that can track progress for agile projects.
    • Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFD) differ from traditional Burn-Up Charts because they convey total scope (not started, started, completed) of the entire backlog.
    • Tracked items can be features, stories, tasks, or use cases.
    • By tracking total scope, Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFD) communicate absolute progress and give a proportional sense of project progress (e.g., On Day 14: 15% of features have been completed; 15% have been started; and, 70% have not been started). [Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility. Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott.]
  • More at Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD)

Definition of Done (DoD)

  • Definition of Done (DoD), the team makes it into congruence with the Product Owner, and Definition of Done (DoD) is used to keep the meaning of ‘done’ consistent and unambiguous to all.
  • In a Task board the ‘done’ column holds tasks that have been completely developed, tested or verified, and integrated into the product and require no further attention.
    • The ‘done’ column should not hold incomplete tasks, but ones that are truly completed. [Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility. Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott.]
  • More at Definition of Done (DoD)

Iteration

  • Iteration planning :
    • Iteration planning occurs before every iteration [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
    • When a team performs iteration planning, it prioritizes features or User Stories to develop in the forthcoming iteration by priority and Velocity.
      • The most valuable User Stories are typically developed first and the team’s estimated Velocity helps plan how many User Stories or features should be developed in the iteration. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
    • When defining the length of iterations, the team should consider how it will deliver valuable chunks of product functionality, the definition and development of User Stories, and the acceptance of User Stories by customers. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
    • During iteration planning, the team follows three steps to create an iteration backlog :
      • 1) The team decomposes large or complex User Stories into multiple, smaller stories,
      • 2) The team breaks each User Story into development tasks, and
      • 3) The team estimates the task effort or duration, typically using ideal hours. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • Iteration backlog :
    • An agile team creates the iteration backlog during iteration planning [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • Change report :
    • A change report is typically authored after a Sprint has completed. [Agile Project Management with Scrum. Ken Schwaber.]
  • Iteration review :
    • Iteration review is a step where stakeholders look at the progress by looking at working software.
    • Because the Product Owner is responsible for ROI and has the most knowledge on what the complete objectives are for a product, the Product Owner should lead the Sprint Review. [Agile Project Management with Scrum. Ken Schwaber.]
  • Progress :
  • Tasks
    • The acronym SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-boxed) helps the agile practitioner remember the characteristics of a well-defined Task.
    • More at Tasks board and Kanban Board
  • Tasks board : an agile team often uses a Tasks board to monitor and control progress.
    • A Tasks board identifies tasks to be completed during an iteration and their progress. [Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility. Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott.]
    • More at Tasks board and Kanban Board
  • Kanban boards
    • Kanban, Japanese for billboard or signboard, is a scheduling system for just-in-time (JIT) production developed by Toyota in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • Work in process = WIP :
    • A lean manufacturing philosophy is to eliminate waste.
    • One defined waste type in the lean philosophy is inventory, which is also referred to as work in process (WIP).
  • Lean manufacturing, lean-agile software development
  • Process tailoring
    • Project trade-off matrix : the project trade-off matrix classifies the constraints of scope, schedule, and cost as fixed, flexible, or accept.
    • [Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products – 2nd Edition. Jim Highsmith.]
  • Reflection
    • During reflection an agile team takes a break after completing an iteration to pause and contemplate about its performance.
      • Topics include :
        • lessons learned from successes and failures, such as programming methods that were highly efficient or inefficient;
        • how to reinforce successful practices, such as new testing standard practices;
        • how to discourage negative practices, like straying from team approved coding standards in order to make an iteration deadline.
        • [Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game – 2nd Edition. Alistair Cockburn.]
  • Reflexive improvement workshop
    • Sprint Retrospective are reflexive improvement workshops :
      • Reflective improvement workshops are a cornerstone of the Crystal methodology.
      • While all agile methodologies incorporate reflection into their standard practices, Crystal terms the practice ‘reflective improvement workshops.’
      • [Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game – 2nd Edition. Alistair Cockburn.]
    • Setting the stage for a retrospective means creating a safe environment that is open and honest. [Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great. Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber.]
  • Release planning
    • Blitz planning :
      • Blitz planning incorporates story dependencies and involves using cards to plan a project where timeline, tasks, and story dependencies are identified and considered. [Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game – 2nd Edition. Alistair Cockburn.]
    • Parking lot :
      • An agile practitioner can use the project parking lot and story card layout to summarize a release plan. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
    • Release planning :
      • Release planning helps the customer and agile team determine what should be developed during each project timeframe or phase, and when a product will ideally be ready for release. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
      • Planning for a release occurs during release planning. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
      • In release planning, the agile project manager discusses the product vision with the development team in detail.
        • This ensures that the proper requirements, acceptance criteria, and priorities are established. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
      • For new product development projects, it’s good to plan at least 5 adaption points in a release, we analyze the performance at the end of iteration so we should have some minimum number of iterations which helps us in adapting based on the discovery we make at iteration end.
  • User stories or features :
    • User Stories or features are first assigned to iterations during release planning.
      • The User Stories are features are then decomposed into tasks during iteration planning so that the tasks may be assigned to specific developers.
      • To help manage planning and monitoring, a rule of thumb for estimating task duration is that each task should take approximately four hours to two days of development work.
      • [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
      • More at User Stories
  • Velocity :
    • The team uses its Velocity to pick the number of User Stories to develop in the upcoming iteration. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • We calculate cost and time budget at release level based on estimated size and Velocity.

Rolling wave plan or rolling look ahead plan

  • When using a rolling wave or rolling look ahead plan for complex projects, only work that is about to be completed for the next few iterations – where requirement details are better understood – are planned.
    • The plan includes all interdependent agile project teams to ensure successful integration of tasks.
    • [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]
  • In large, complex projects, agile project leaders can facilitate iteration planning by using a rolling wave or rolling look ahead plan, which involves making plans for the next few iterations at a time. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders are a critical component of the agile framework where the latest increment of product functionality is demonstrated to the stakeholders for inspection, feedback, and adapting. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

Time boxing

  • Timeboxing is a realistic estimate or expectation of how long an action, task, or event will take to perform.
    • Some tasks cannot be performed in the initial timeboxed estimate and are good candidates for reevaluation and possibly further decomposition into more tasks. [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • Avantages of Timeboxing :
    • Establishes a WIP Limit
    • Forces Prioritization
    • Demonstrates Progress
  • Timeboxing in Scrum

User Story

  • User Stories are prioritized based on customer value.
    • Value is determined by return on investment, growth of team knowledge, and risk reduction.
    • [The Art of Agile Development. James Shore.]
  • The team should meet with the customer to determine if and when the User Story should be completed. [Agile Estimating and Planning. Mike Cohn.]

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