Project Management

How to Plan Work at the End of the Year

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Depending on your organization, the last few weeks of the year probably look very different from the rest of the year. For many companies, no new features are allowed during the holiday season; deployments or anything that would be a change will have to wait until after the new year. Additionally, team capacity fluctuates, as people take time off or go away, and planning around the missing team members becomes even more difficult. For a development team that works within iterations of mostly standard size, this can be disruptive. It would be easy to not plan for this time, and to let it go unmanaged, or do the opposite, and try your hardest to make it seem like a normal iteration. No matter what you do, though, it won’t be normal, and it does need to be planned.

So, what should project teams do during this holiday period? It probably doesn’t make sense to plan just like any other period, but not planning isn’t an option, or at very least, not deciding how to use the time isn’t an option. Let’s look at four ideas for what teams can do at the end of the year, to best make use of the time and people available, while trying not to create more stress and frustration.

Take On No New Work

For many teams, each iteration contains a balance of new work and carryover work. Old efforts should be finishing up, while new ones are just getting started. …

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