Agile Methodology - Release Planning



The reason of release planning is to create a plan to deliver an augmentation to the product. It is done after every 2 to 3 months.

release-backlog

Who is Involved?

  • Scrum Master − The scrum master acts as a facilitator for the agile delivery team.

  • Product Owner − The product owner represents the overall perspective of the product backlog.

  • Agile Team − Agile delivery team gives insights on the technical feasibilities or any dependencies.

  • Stakeholders − Stakeholders like clients, program managers, subject matter experts act as advisers as decisions are made around the release planning.

Requirements of Planning

The requirements of release planning are as per the following −

  • A ranked product backlog, managed by the Product Owner. Generally five to ten features are taken which the product owner feels that can be included in a release

  • Team's input about capacities, known velocity or about any technical challenge

  • High-level vision

  • Market and Business objective

  • Acknowledgement whether new product backlog items are required

Materials Required

The list of materials required for release planning is as per the following −

  • Posted agenda, reason
  • Flip diagrams, whiteboards, markers
  • Projector, way to share PCs having information/tools required during planning meeting
  • Planning data

Planning Data

The list of data required to do release planning is as per the following −

  • Past iterations or release planning results
  • Feedback from different stakeholders on product, economic situations, and deadlines
  • Action plans of past releases / iterations
  • Highlights or defects to be considered
  • Velocity from past releases/ estimates.
  • Organizational and individual calendars
  • Inputs from different teams and subject matter experts to manage any dependencies

Output

The output of a release planning can be the following −

  • Release plan
  • Responsibility
  • Issues, concerns, dependencies, and assumptions which are to be checked
  • Proposals to improve future release plannings

Agenda

The agenda of a release planning can be −

  • Opening ceremony − Welcome message, review purpose and plan, organizing tools and introduction to business sponsors.

  • Product Vision, Roadmap − Show the large image of the product.

  • Review past releases − Discussion on any item which can affect the plan.

  • Release name/theme − Inspect the current status of roadmap themes and do the necessary changes, if any.

  • Velocity − Present the velocity for the current release and of past releases.

  • Release schedule − Review key milestones and decision on time boxes for release and iterations within release.

  • Issues and concerns − Check any concerns or issue and record them.

  • Review and Update the Definition of Done − Review the definition of done and roll out appropriate changes based on technology, skill, or changes in colleagues since the last iteration / release.

  • Stories and items to be considered − Present the user stories and highlights from the product backlog to be considered for scheduling in the current release.

  • Determine sizing values − If the velocity is unknown, then plan the sizing values to be utilized in the release planning.

  • Coarse the size of stories − The delivery team determines the appropriate size of the stories under consideration and splits the stories into multiple iterations if a story is excessively large. The product owner and the subject matter experts clarify the doubts, elaborate the acknowledgment criteria, and make proper story splits. The scrum master encourages the collaboration.

  • Map stories to iterations − The delivery team and the product owner move the stories/defects in the iterations based on the size and velocity. The scrum master encourages the collaboration.

  • New concerns or issues − Check any new issues based on past experience and record the same.

  • Dependencies and assumptions − Check any dependencies/assumptions arranged during the release planning.

  • Commit − The scrum master calls for the planning. Delivery team and Product owner signal it as the best plan and then commit to move to the next level of planning, that is, iteration planning.

  • Communication and logistics planning − Review/Update the communication and logistics planning for the release.

  • Parking lot − Process parking lot means all items should be either resolved or set as things to do.

  • Distribute Action items and action plans − Distribute the action items among their owners, process the action plan.

  • Retrospect − Solicit feedback from members to make the meeting effective.

  • Close − Celebrate the achievement.





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