Agile PM Process Grid–2.4 Iteration Plans

John Stenbeck in his book “PMI-ACP Exam Prep PLUS Desk Reference”, he creates an agile project management process grid with 87 processes divided into 5 process groups and 7 knowledge areas.

The block of processes I am covering now are those in the Planning process group and the “Value-Driven Delivery” knowledge area.   The first process is the creation of Release and Iteration Plans, and this post covers the second part of the process, creating Iteration Plans.


Okay, here’s the process flow so far.   In process 1.5, the Product Roadmap (equivalent to a program in traditional PM) is defined.   The central feature list on that roadmap is created, and then the release plan (equivalent to a project in traditional PM) is outlined.    Once the team velocity is estimated (the amount of work in terms of user stories that can be reliably done during a single iteration), the estimate of the number of iterations is done.


The purpose of iteration planning is to identify a highly probable path for completing the required tasks within the duration of the iteration.

The first step in this process is that the duration of the iteration is determined–this can be typically as two, three, or four weeks.

Then there is a soft commitment by the team to what user stories are proposed to be completed during a given iteration.   After a comprehensive analysis of this initial commitment, the team then goes on to a hard commitment.    This is where the team builds confidence in being able to succeed.

This comprehensive analysis includes the following:

  • decomposition of the user stories into tasks
  • decision of who on the team will handle which tasks
  • assessment of availability of team members to handle tasks
  • clarification of how the work will fulfill the acceptance criteria

These steps create the confidence that the team will be able to succeed in completing the work set forth in the iteration.

The next post discusses some of the types of iterations that can exist.





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