You Might Need Better Release Planning if…..

The following bit I wrote was just published as the Tip of the Month in Agile University’s newsletter for February.

  • IF your agile team is just getting into the flow in a nascent agile enterprise, and if your teams have been head down so long meeting near term iteration objectives that they are starting to ask about the bigger picture – then there is something wrong with your release planning process (inadequate team vision)
  • IF your company organizes special projects to emphasize new initiatives and project managers spend time meeting about them – then there is something wrong with your release planning process (new epics not factored into release commitments)
  • IF late discovery of interdependencies amongst teams prevent increased velocities of system- level deliveries – then there is something wrong with your release planning process (interdependencies not considered in release commitments)
  • IF your team invests too little time in longer term architectural initiatives and big refactors – then there is something wrong with your release planning process (architectural runway given insufficient consideration in release commitments)

IF you and your teams find yourselves experiencing any of the above problems, don’t worry so much about the symptoms, focus on improving your release planning process.

IF you’d like to learn more on this topic, Agile Release Planning (synchronized, multiple-level release planning for agile teams of teams building systems of systems) is one of the critical, but little understood, enterprise skills I’ll be covering further in my upcoming Agile University Course, Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for the Large Enterprises, which will be offered in London (Southwark) on February 27, 2008 and in Boulder, Colorado on March 18, 2008. A free copy of the book will be provided to all attendees who register for the course.

Also, I’ll be blogging about the value and mechanics of this important skill in the weeks ahead.

One thought on “You Might Need Better Release Planning if…..

  1. Note from the editor: The following comment is from my friend and world class agilist, Alexander Yakima from Kyiv, Ukraine

    – IF company release planning HAS to be initiated not by product owner, but by other person then something is wrong with the release planning in the company.

    In my own experience release planning requires (in order of priority):
    – high discipline
    – communication, communication, communication
    – adequacy

    First of all every company must understand that the quality of release planning is automatically turning into quality of their business and thus must INVEST in release planing and do the release planning on time and with clear understanding that the output is how they will spend next 2-3 months and what they will get as a result. (discipline)

    Communicate with every person within a company that you at least slightly suspect could help you with your release planning. Product manager, sys admin, tester, dev manager, web developer… You need to collect all possible colors on your release palette to paint an adequate picture. (communication)

    Adequacy means that the release planning process must be comprehensive, must reflect lessons learned, must reflect well-thought-out company business needs along with actual company capabilities.

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