Effective Iteration Planning


Backlog to Task Board Flow

  • This is a lot to do in an hour at each week's iteration planning meeting.

How to Meet Effectively: Focus

  • Good: scenarios, user stories, acceptance tests, user tests, UI flow
  • Bad: Technical options, user interface mockups, app wish lists, Marvel vs DC, ...
  • Get conversations back on track by repeatedly asking
    • What scenario is this for -- and is that most important?
    • What user test results are we try to achieve?

How to Meet Effectively: Be Realistic

  • Expanding a user story means defining
    • at least one acceptance test: a concrete example with real data, input conditions, and output results
    • at least one user test: a user task scenario, and measure of success or failure
    • any changes to the user interface, all changes to user flow
  • At 5 minutes per item, that's 15 minutes for one user story.

Iteration Planning Progress Chart

Don't check yes until you have data (story, sketch, ...) in hand, on paper, or online.

How to Meet Effectively: Timebox

  • Have a big visible schedule and clock.
    • Same schedule can work for every meeting.
    • Leave 5 minutes at the end for note-taker to repeat user story development goals and priorities.
    • Work it out with the client.
  • Get a good, loud, countdown timer app.
    • Have note-taker be in charge.
  • Keep a parking lot document open for notes on discussions to continue later by another channel.