Chapter 11

Agile Planning and Tracking

What's In This Chapter?

  • Defining and managing your product backlog
  • Planning an iteration while balancing resource capacity
  • Tracking your work using task boards
  • Understanding options for customizing the agile planning and tracking tools

The Agile Manifesto defines several guiding principles that have implications on the ways in which teams manage projects. Instead of attempting to define an entire project schedule up front, as with a waterfall methodology, an agile team allows the plan to evolve over time. Work is broken down into multiple successive iterations, each of which might last between one and four weeks.

Teams practicing an agile development methodology tend to embark upon a journey of mutual discovery with their customers to determine new work dynamically, based on changing business priorities or on feedback from work done in previous iterations. The customer, or at least a proxy for the customer, is considered a virtual member of the team and participates in defining and prioritizing (and often re-prioritizing) work over time.

The pursuit to embrace agile development, with dynamic schedules and evolving requirements, has meant that many of the tools and techniques used for traditional project management are no longer sufficient. Agile practitioners have needed to look for different ways of capturing work, balancing resource capacity, tracking status, and so on.

Scrum, which is by far the most popular agile development methodology ...

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