Agile Estimating and Planning

by Mike Cohn

Agile Estimating and Planning is the definitive, practical guide to estimating and planning agile projects. In the book, Agile Alliance co-founder Mike Cohn discusses the philosophy of the agile estimate and planning, and shows you exactly how to get the job done with real-world examples and case studies. This book is a must-have agile estimation tool for your development toolbox.

Concepts are clearly illustrated and readers are guided, step by step, toward how to answer the following questions: What will be build? How big will it be? When must it be done? How much can I really complete by then? You will first learn what makes a good plan--and then what makes it agile.

Using the techniques in Agile Estimating and Planning, you'll have agile estimation tools that help you stay agile from start to finish, saving time, conserving resources and accomplishing more. Highlights include:

  • Why conventional prescriptive planning fails and why agile planning works
  • How to estimate feature size using story points and ideal days—and when to use each
  • How and when to re-prioritize
  • How to prioritize features using both financial and nonfinancial approaches
  • How to split large features into smaller, more manageable ones
  • How to plan iterations and predict your team's initial rate of progress
  • How to schedule projects that have unusually high uncertainty or schedule-related risk
  • How to estimate projects that will be worked on by multiple teams

Agile estimation and planning supports any agile, semi-agile, or iterative process, including Scrum, XP, Feature-Driven Development, Crystal, Adaptive Software Development, DSDM, Unified Process, and many more. It will be an indispensable resource for every development manager, team leader, and team member.

An eBook version including EPUB, MOBI (Kindle), and PDF versions can be purchased at InformIT.

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Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    • Forewords by Bob Martin, Jim Highsmith, and Gabrielle Benefield
    • Table of Contents
  2. Part I: The Problem and the Goal
    1. The Purpose of Planning
    2. Why Planning Fails
    3. An Agile Approach
  3. Part II: Estimating Size
    1. Estimating Size with Story Points
    2. Estimating In Ideal Days
    3. Techniques for Estimating
    4. Re-Estimating
    5. Choosing between Story Points and Ideal Days
  4. Part III: Planning for Value
    1. Prioritizing Desirability
    2. Financial Priorization
    3. Prioritizing Desirability
    4. Splitting User Stories
  5. Part IV: Scheduling
    1. Release Planning Essentials
    2. Iteration Planning
    3. Selecting an Iteration Length
    4. Estimating Velocity
    5. Buffering Plans for Uncertainty
    6. Planning the Multiple-Team Project
  6. Part V: Tracking and Communicating
    1. Monitoring the Release Plan
    2. Monitoring the Iteration Plan
    3. Planning the Multiple-Team Project
  7. Part VI: Why Agile Planning Works
    1. Why Agile Planning Works
  8. Part VII: A Case Study
    1. A Case Study: Bomb Shelter Studios
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