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CHOW 271: Lack of planning – Is Agile the reason?  

Kavya is a new project manager in an MNC. The project was asked to run in an agile mode. As in most projects, the Backlog was not detailed and only high-level one-line requirements were available. Business leaders wanted to know what something will cost and what the benefits are before committing to it. Whereas the project team was saying that they cannot do a detailed plan and hence they will not be able to estimate. Kavya was also worried that by doing detailed planning, you will be accused of falling back to the waterfall. What should she do in this case?

Solution: It’s ok to do some detailed requirements exploration, architecture, and design work upfront, to provide some estimates in hours and dollars, or real dates in addition to points and sprint numbers. “You can still get the benefits of agile by revisiting requirements and designs in sprint planning, being test-driven, and working with business partners every day,” . Talk to the team and explain Agile is not an excuse not to plan. She can get initial Sprint zero to explore on the requirements so that team can come up with estimates.