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- Write down all the work to be done. In Scrum these are called "Product Backlog Items", in Kanban "Tasks" and in OpenAgile "Value Drivers".
- Do some estimation of the work items. Many Agile estimation techniques exist including Planning Poker, The Bucket System,Dot Voting, T-Shirt Sizes. These tools can be applied to many types of estimation. There are three kinds of estimation that are important for Agile Planning:
- Estimating relative business value. Usually done with the business people including customers and users.
- Estimating relative effort. Usually done by the Agile team that will deliver the work.
- Estimating team capacity. Also done by the Agile team (this is sometimes called "velocity").
- Create the long-term plan. Use the team capacity estimate and the sum of all the effort estimates to come up with an estimate of the overall time required to do the work. (In Kanban, which doesn't have an iterative approach, this is a bit more complicated.) Use the business value and effort estimates to determine relative return on investment as a way to put work items in a logical sequence.
- Speed over accuracy. We don't want to waste time on planning! Planning in and of itself does not deliver value. Instead, get planning done fast and use the actual delivery of your Agile team to adjust plans as you go.
- Collaborative techniques. We don't want to be able to blame individuals if something goes wrong. Instead, we create safe estimation and planning techniques. Inevitably, when an estimate turns out to be wrong, it is impossible to blame a single individual for a "mistake".
- Relative units. We don't try to estimate and plan based on "real" units such as dollars or hours. Instead, we use ordering, relative estimation and other relative techniques to compare between options. Humans are bad at estimating in absolute units. We are much better at relative estimationand planning.