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project plan preparation based on Agile development
Network:60



Hi,

I am preparing a Gantt chart project plan for a pure Agile based Software development. I am confused as to how should i go about preparing the plan and tracking the same. How do you also do resource levelling, since in my case, we have a single team that are working on 2-3 product releases that should go to market at the same time.

Note:
1. Currently, we are not doing a backlog scrub of all tickets that are supposed to be in the release. Upfront we will not know how many points will it take to complete the release.
2. When the PO indicates that a particular ticket needs to be part of the release, the respective Tech Lead will go and update the estimate effort of the JIRA ticket. The ticket is added into the current active Sprint. If it doesn't get done in the current Sprint, then it will automatically move to the next Sprint, when the current Sprint is closed.

thanks
Robert.
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Network:1652



The problem is you are trying to make a gantt chart to use a discipline (Agile is not a method) or a framework (Scrum) or a method (DSDM, XP, etc) does no support it. But let me say I am facing the same situation in my actual work place because it was impossible for me at this time to make corporate governance people about has not sense to make a gantt using things like Scrum or DSDM. So, i have to do that to pass audits. Because I am facing that my recommendation is try to forget about it. The best source I read is from two people I have the pleasure to work with: "Agile Project Management" from Jim Highsmith and "Agile Estimating and Planning" from Cohn. But believe me, to make a gantt chart for pure Agile based projects is pure wasted. When you run the process you will understand why.
...
1 reply by Robert Poddar
Jul 27, 2018 7:21 AM
Robert Poddar
...
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your inputs..

Yes, it is frustrating, since i am caught right in the middle of traditional project planning versus Agile development.. by doing this, i see myself doing stuff on the plan which maybe an overkill, but haven't found a common ground... i am now trying to see some Agile project plan templates to understand how it is done..

Robert
Network:1967



Hi Robert, there are some fundamental challenges in what you're trying to achieve.

That said, MS Project does have an Agile template which will simplify the process of maintaining a backlog and assigning each backlog item to a sprint. You can capture the dates for each sprint bucket as needed (2-week, 3-week, 4-week) iterations. These dates would live at the summary level (sprint level). All backlog items pulled in would simply fall into that sprint bucket timebox. The Gantt will depict the same. You can also add a column to capture story points for tracking velocity across the sprints or capture your team members and allocation for measuring capacity to help understand the load each sprint can handle, whichever fits the situation best.
...
1 reply by Robert Poddar
Jul 27, 2018 7:43 AM
Robert Poddar
...
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your inputs.. we don't use MS Project as a project planning tool. We use Smartsheet.. I will download a free trial of MS Project and hope to get hold of their Agile template to understand how to plan..

At the beginning of the project, my Product Owner and management are asking when they have a project plan indicating when a product release will be made.

Before starting the development, should we:

1. Do a backlog scrub of all tickets that are meant for the release?
(By backlog scrub, i understand that description of each ticket needs to be define clearly, so that Dev & QA can implement and verify the feature respectively. Provide estimate for each ticket.
2. Do Iterative/Sprint planning - Before starting the development, indicate which tickets will be in which Sprint. Based on Velocity, be able to predict the number of Sprints to make a release.
3. Prepare a project plan, based on Point 2.

thanks
Robert.
Network:60



Jul 27, 2018 5:35 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
The problem is you are trying to make a gantt chart to use a discipline (Agile is not a method) or a framework (Scrum) or a method (DSDM, XP, etc) does no support it. But let me say I am facing the same situation in my actual work place because it was impossible for me at this time to make corporate governance people about has not sense to make a gantt using things like Scrum or DSDM. So, i have to do that to pass audits. Because I am facing that my recommendation is try to forget about it. The best source I read is from two people I have the pleasure to work with: "Agile Project Management" from Jim Highsmith and "Agile Estimating and Planning" from Cohn. But believe me, to make a gantt chart for pure Agile based projects is pure wasted. When you run the process you will understand why.
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your inputs..

Yes, it is frustrating, since i am caught right in the middle of traditional project planning versus Agile development.. by doing this, i see myself doing stuff on the plan which maybe an overkill, but haven't found a common ground... i am now trying to see some Agile project plan templates to understand how it is done..

Robert
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jul 27, 2018 8:13 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Robert, check you inbox. I have sent a message to you. Regards
Network:60



Jul 27, 2018 6:46 AM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Hi Robert, there are some fundamental challenges in what you're trying to achieve.

That said, MS Project does have an Agile template which will simplify the process of maintaining a backlog and assigning each backlog item to a sprint. You can capture the dates for each sprint bucket as needed (2-week, 3-week, 4-week) iterations. These dates would live at the summary level (sprint level). All backlog items pulled in would simply fall into that sprint bucket timebox. The Gantt will depict the same. You can also add a column to capture story points for tracking velocity across the sprints or capture your team members and allocation for measuring capacity to help understand the load each sprint can handle, whichever fits the situation best.
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your inputs.. we don't use MS Project as a project planning tool. We use Smartsheet.. I will download a free trial of MS Project and hope to get hold of their Agile template to understand how to plan..

At the beginning of the project, my Product Owner and management are asking when they have a project plan indicating when a product release will be made.

Before starting the development, should we:

1. Do a backlog scrub of all tickets that are meant for the release?
(By backlog scrub, i understand that description of each ticket needs to be define clearly, so that Dev & QA can implement and verify the feature respectively. Provide estimate for each ticket.
2. Do Iterative/Sprint planning - Before starting the development, indicate which tickets will be in which Sprint. Based on Velocity, be able to predict the number of Sprints to make a release.
3. Prepare a project plan, based on Point 2.

thanks
Robert.
Network:1059



Robert -

In general, I'd recommend having one MSP activity per sprint. If team members are dedicated to a single pod/product, then the resource allocation would be 100% to each of those sprint-level activities. You don't need a breakdown of activities any lower than that.

As far as the number of activities leading to a release goes - you will have a ROM estimate at the beginning based on t-shirt sizing. As knowledge of the size of the backlog improves, you can refine the number of sequential sprint activities.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Robert Poddar
Jul 30, 2018 3:00 AM
Robert Poddar
...
Hi Kiron,

The thing is that the same resources are used for 2 product releases.. both of these products needs to be released at the same time, hence i am not sure how to do resource levelling, since all the resource aren't 100% "dedicated" to a single product release.

I understand that based on historical data, i can prepare a plan with total number of Sprints that was made for a similar product. The only issue is that how do you upfront be able to indicate which tickets will go into which Sprint? In actual, we can have a situation, wherein the tickets in the current Sprint, get pushed to the next Sprint, if it isn't completed/done.

How does one project to the top management about the progress of the project, since there isn't any baseline..

I am 100% confused and not sure if i am asking the right questions..

thanks
Robert.
Network:1652



Jul 27, 2018 7:21 AM
Replying to Robert Poddar
...
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your inputs..

Yes, it is frustrating, since i am caught right in the middle of traditional project planning versus Agile development.. by doing this, i see myself doing stuff on the plan which maybe an overkill, but haven't found a common ground... i am now trying to see some Agile project plan templates to understand how it is done..

Robert
Robert, check you inbox. I have sent a message to you. Regards
...
1 reply by Robert Poddar
Jul 30, 2018 2:54 AM
Robert Poddar
...
Hi Sergio

Thanks for your mail..

thanks
Robert.
Network:60



Jul 27, 2018 8:13 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Robert, check you inbox. I have sent a message to you. Regards
Hi Sergio

Thanks for your mail..

thanks
Robert.
Network:60



Jul 27, 2018 7:45 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Robert -

In general, I'd recommend having one MSP activity per sprint. If team members are dedicated to a single pod/product, then the resource allocation would be 100% to each of those sprint-level activities. You don't need a breakdown of activities any lower than that.

As far as the number of activities leading to a release goes - you will have a ROM estimate at the beginning based on t-shirt sizing. As knowledge of the size of the backlog improves, you can refine the number of sequential sprint activities.

Kiron
Hi Kiron,

The thing is that the same resources are used for 2 product releases.. both of these products needs to be released at the same time, hence i am not sure how to do resource levelling, since all the resource aren't 100% "dedicated" to a single product release.

I understand that based on historical data, i can prepare a plan with total number of Sprints that was made for a similar product. The only issue is that how do you upfront be able to indicate which tickets will go into which Sprint? In actual, we can have a situation, wherein the tickets in the current Sprint, get pushed to the next Sprint, if it isn't completed/done.

How does one project to the top management about the progress of the project, since there isn't any baseline..

I am 100% confused and not sure if i am asking the right questions..

thanks
Robert.
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jul 30, 2018 10:27 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
Robert -

Partial allocation is always challenging - your choices are either to have a single team working in parallel on both product releases within the same sprints, or to set up two separate schedules and release plans.

In either case, we never predefine which requirements are in which sprint as that defeats the benefit of ongoing prioritization and backlog refinement. If the team has sized the work in the backlog and you use that to extrapolate the number of sprints, then it is up to the PO to work with the team to determine what will be worked on in an upcoming sprint.

Kiron
Network:5942



Agree with Andrew & Kiron
Network:1059



Jul 30, 2018 3:00 AM
Replying to Robert Poddar
...
Hi Kiron,

The thing is that the same resources are used for 2 product releases.. both of these products needs to be released at the same time, hence i am not sure how to do resource levelling, since all the resource aren't 100% "dedicated" to a single product release.

I understand that based on historical data, i can prepare a plan with total number of Sprints that was made for a similar product. The only issue is that how do you upfront be able to indicate which tickets will go into which Sprint? In actual, we can have a situation, wherein the tickets in the current Sprint, get pushed to the next Sprint, if it isn't completed/done.

How does one project to the top management about the progress of the project, since there isn't any baseline..

I am 100% confused and not sure if i am asking the right questions..

thanks
Robert.
Robert -

Partial allocation is always challenging - your choices are either to have a single team working in parallel on both product releases within the same sprints, or to set up two separate schedules and release plans.

In either case, we never predefine which requirements are in which sprint as that defeats the benefit of ongoing prioritization and backlog refinement. If the team has sized the work in the backlog and you use that to extrapolate the number of sprints, then it is up to the PO to work with the team to determine what will be worked on in an upcoming sprint.

Kiron
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