We will describe our journey from a process where design/planning work was performed away from development to one where small cross-functional Feature Teams self-organized to complete design, planning, and construction within the same sprint. Each team member is involved in getting READY, planning, executing and being DONE. The results we observed are an increase in team morale, more predictable results and accumulation of less debt, while maintaining a constant velocity. Our process is a deviation from the established approach where upfront work needs to be ready before starting a sprint.
No, you don’t get to skip project planning. Brooke needs to know approximate cost and delivery date, and poor Padma need to know when the good stuff will start showing up. You yourself need to know dependencies and delays.
This is the shortest, fastest, easiest way I know to create a project plan. It’s full name is “Project Planning Jam Session”, to indicate that all roles are present for the session, from sponsor to business person to designers and testers. Thanks to Jens Coldewey for first showing this to me in 1998 – it instantly improved the way our teams developed project plans.
In 2005, Microsoft’s DevDiv (with 2000 participants and 40 million lines of code) overhauled its engineering practices to improve agility, quality, and customer satisfaction. Four years into the journey, customer satisfaction has increased dramatically. Product quality improved 10x. Velocity improved 2x, with schedule time for major releases was cut by eighteen months and quarterly releases of “power tools” allowed incremental delivery to external customers. Practices that change include planning, org, quality gates, branching, testing, tooling, reporting, backlogs, transparency.