Agile Estimation and Planning

MgslogoThis course is in partnership with Mike Cohn and Mountain Goat Software. We are one of a handful of companies that has been authorized by Mountain Goat Software to provide training classes based on Mike Cohn's books and training materials.

One of the most important aspects of agile development training is estimating and planning. Yes, these are important, even for agile software development. Although agile is a fluid and iterative process, that doesn't mean that planning doesn't have a place in its programming and project management.

Despite the many worthless plans that we've all seen—which may make us want to skip planning altogether—this Agile Estimating and Planning course will demonstrate that it's possible to create accurate project plans useful for programming testing—and projecting forward from 6-9 months. Our Agile Estimating and Planning Training will teach you how to create practical, useful and reliable plans for your software development projects. If your teams view planning as something to be avoided, or your organization uses plans as something to hold against development teams, this popular estimating and planning course can help your company break both of those attitudes and cycles.

Attendees will leave with a solid understanding and experience of agile release and iteration planning. The course also looks at various approaches to estimating including unit-less points and ideal time. The class will present four specific techniques for deriving reliable estimates, including how to use the popular Planning Poker® technique and other techniques that dramatically improve a project's chances of on-time completion.

Course Outline

  • Why Plans Go Wrong - We have been planning our work for years, yet the results are the same - over schedule and over budget. Why? We will explore reasons why our plans go wrong and what to do about it.
  • Story Point Estimation - A story point is a curious thing. It is difficult to understand and measure - or is it? We will go deep on what a story point is and how to use them to create accurate schedules.
  • Ideal Day Estimation - Time is constant and as a result, our days should be as well. However, sometimes we estimate in “ideal days” which imply that things are not always constant. We will discuss the positive and negative of ideal days.
  • Estimation Techniques - What are the right techniques to estimate our work? Planning Poker? Analogous estimation? Triangulation? Or mayby just plain old gut feel. We will do exercises on Planning Poker, giving you a tool to use today.
  • Sprint Planning - Planning our sprints can be a challenge, especially in the time allocated. Ways to run effective sprint planning meetings and techniques to decompose our tasks will be practiced.
  • Release Planning - Where does the project roadmap come into play on an agile project? It’s all in release planning. Release planning might seem challenging, but you will learn ways to simplify it and make it easy to understand.
  • Buffered Planning - We have learned to take estimates and double them, just to be safe. There are, however, better ways to do this. In this section of the course, we will look at how to build a buffer into a plan mathematically.

Who Should Attend

Who should attend this session? It’s for anyone involved in planning or estimating projects, like programmers, project managers, testers, and other members of delivery teams.This course is equally suited for managers, programmers, testers, or anyone involved in estimating or planning a software development project. Participants will return to their jobs with specific recommendations and actions they can perform to improve their current plans and projects.

Professional Development Units (PDU's)

This course provides 7.5 PDU's that may be applied towards most PMI certifications.

PDU records management is the reponsilibiliy of the credential holder. Please refer to the handbook for your certification to determine the credential PDU requirements.

This Course Includes

We strive to deliver the highest quality learning experience in the industry. To accomplish this, we offer the following for this course:

  • Light morning breakfast, mid morning snacks and coffee, lunch, afternoon snacks and a varitey of assorted beverages
  • A hard copy of the course materials