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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Traditional Planner Vs Agile Planner

How do you differentiate a traditional Planner Vs Agile Planner. Here are some of my thoughths about them.

Traditional Planner during planning
  • Considers that the developer works 8 hrs per day.
  • Allocates tasks to the development team and allocates features to fit into 100% of resource budget available
Agile Planner during planning
  • Takes Ideal Engineering Hours (IEH) into account. It could be anywhere between 6 - 61/2 hrs per day (from my personal experience)
  • Allocates tasks only between 70-80% of the resource budget available. For ex: if there are 6 developers working on 2 weeks iteration. He would then plan for 70% of (6 * 10 d * 6 IEH). (ofcourse, keeping holidays, planned leaves into account)
The 70-80% buffering is context dependent. Even though there is no standards available, Mike Cohn suggests, 70% of the planned effort needs to be targeted. There are various techniques to calculate the size of the buffer, and one of them quite often referred by Mike Cohn is "Square root of sume of squares" approach. I felt this is too mathematical and complex to apply during planing and many people have felt it is time consuming.

I have created a rule of thumb, if the iteration length increases, then the buffer needed to handle uncertainty needs to be increased accordingly.

I have tried with 80% planning in a 2 week iteration period, and it worked well.

One of the columns in Product Backlog(PB), we have been using at Valtech is "MoSCoW rule". This rule is extensively used in DSDM community. This column is being used to prioritize the requirements. These rules are very handy and easy to understand, as comapred to "High, low, Medium" Or "1, 2 and 3" numbers. It is advisable to fill 70-80% of the PB with Must Have requirements, and the rest with Should/could have requirements. Customer needs to be made aware that, if new tasks get discovered during iteration, the 20-30% of lower priority(SCoW) would be dropped.

More info. on MoScoW rule is available here

1 comment:

Siddharta said...

Nice post. The way I understand MoSCoW is that Must Have requirements should be the minimum required for the system to provide business value, so Must Have requirements should be only a small percentage of all requirements (around 20-30%).