What is important in “planning” a development project?


In software development, the “agile software development” method is sometimes employed, in which the processes of “planning,” “design,” “implementation,” and “testing” are repeated in a short cycle.

AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT, which is considered to get the job done quickly and grow the team.

Babik, Lisamarie of Menlo Innovations, a software company, presents an example of how it has been used in his company.

What is the importance of planning in a project with this agile software development as the main focus?

Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable

Babik, Lisamarie noted.

When an organization fails on a project of any kind, it often adopts formal planning methods to improve the project.

However, this plan becomes less valuable if it has not been modified in any way since it was created, or if few people were involved in its creation.”

Babik, Lisamarie noted, “The value of a plan lies not in the paper on which it is written, but in the very act of making the plan.” He points out.

In fact, Babik, Lisamarie describes the planning method used by Menlo Innovations.

In the Menlo Innovations process, planning involves three steps-plan, do, and manage-that are repeated in cycles of one day to two weeks.

1:The “Plan” step establishes the schedule and budget estimates.
2:The “Execution” step is to execute the specific tasks.
3:The “Management” step is to review the executed work.

In this cycle, it is the “execution” and “management” steps rather than the “planning” that are important.

In the “execution” step, each team that completes a task always creates a handwritten “story card.

The team will write on the story card what they did, how they evaluated their work, and what they will do next.

These story cards are very important because they provide a general overview of the progress of the work in the “management” process.

The rule is that you may create a new story card at any time.

Here is a draft of the actual story card.

In addition, what is written in the story card should be specific and easy for everyone to understand.

For example, if an engineer writes, “Reduce the number of SQL calls at startup,” others may not understand the meaning or may have a difference in interpretation.

Therefore, “Reducing the number of SQL calls reduces the application startup time by at least 7 seconds.

It is expected to reduce the startup time to 2 seconds,” etc. This should be written in such a way that it can be understood without technical expertise.

Once enough of these story cards have been produced, team members gather and read the story cards aloud.

Then comes the “manage” step, in which time is allocated for the next job that needs to be done as described on the story cards.

During the “Manage” step, everyone further performs a “Show & Tell.”

The purpose of this is to share vision and generate discussion by demonstrating the work completed during the cycle.

This also helps to reinforce the next plan.

Repeating this cycle allows the plan to be revised as needed.

Sharing information and experience improves the team and the project as a whole.

Menlo Innovations claims to have implemented this approach in most cases, except when the project is too large or too small.

Babik, Lisamarie states. The challenge with most projects is that ‘planning only happens once. Sharing and reviewing the team’s progress as soon as possible and continuing to work on it will ensure the success of the project,” he concludes.