Agile Planning

  • Presenters: Sven Gorts & Hans Keppens
  • Type: Interactive presentation
  • Duration: 60
  • Audience: developers, project managers, customers

Planning is an essential part of most human undertakings. In this session we talk about planning of software projects, and the typical problems. We then look at agile methods and compare how agile projects handle the inherent uncertainty of the planning activity. Having agile planning explained we’ll look at some real life examples. Near the end of the session, there is time for discussion, maybe around typical problems teams face when adopting a more agile way of planning (unplanned work, multiple customers, unrelated tasks instead of features, ...).


Agile methods help us to stay focused on creating outputs that our customers need today.

Benefits of participating

By attending this session, participants will learn how the planning activity in agile projects is spread over the whole project; that agile projects encourages change, and thus end up with plans that can easily be changed; that agile projects tend to deliver real value, much closer to the needs of the customer.

What will the organisers learn

The organisers want to learn more about the difficulties on the road to a more agile planning. During the discussion, we also want to understand why many companies and customers still go for fixed price/fixed scope projects with many (payed) change requests along the way when they can get more value delivered quicker with a more agile and collaborative way of working.

Session Outline

The session will be an alternation of lecture and examples.

  • 10 minutes on planning in general
  • 30 minutes on Agile planning
  • 10 minutes on real life examples
  • 10 minutes discussion
  • Planning?
    • What is a plan ?
    • But, can you predict the future ?
    • Planning is difficult
    • Maybe we can do without?
    • No! Planning is a quest for value: what should we build next?
    • So, planning is important, but it often fails...
  • Is Agile Planning the answer?
    • Manifesto: responding to change over following a plan
    • Decide as late as possible, deliver as fast as possible
    • Agile planning concepts
    • Iteration planning
    • Daily planning
    • Scrumboard
    • Agile planning extra's
  • Real life examples
    • Case 1: a small team with internal customers
    • Case 2: a management team of a start-up company
    • Case 3: when the plan is wrong
  • Typical problems
    • Lots of small unrelated tasks
    • Multiple customers, conflicting priorities
    • Unplanned work
  • Questions?

Participants will get a better understanding on how agile methodologies tackle the uncertainty of planning, and how they succeed in delivering immediate value during the whole project. Hopefully, we can convince some people to drop the old ideas on 'fixed scope+price', or 'our customer = our enemy' and start going for collaborative 'WIN-WIN' projects.