Agile Planning – How do you answer managements concerns about Long Term Planning?

Tirrell Payton at LinkedIn

Scrum has planning:

  • At the day level, you have the daily standup
  • At the sprint level (weeks), you have the sprint plan
  • At the release level (months), you have release planning
  • At the product level, you have product roadmap planning
  • At the portfolio level, you have portfolio planning
  • At the strategy level, you have strategic planning

The difference between how planning works in Scrum vs traditional project management is that the planning AND execution of the plan at the lower level INFORMS the plan at the higher level. The day-plan execution informs the sprint plan. The sprint plan execution informs the release plan, etc.

Since we know that every day, every week, every month we are going to get NEW information that we can use to better calibrate our planning, it doesnt make sense to spend an inordinate amount of time on the higher levels of planning, since we know those plans will most likely be incorrect. We use actual data to make corrections, via a number of complete PDCA loops (Plan, Do, Check, Act)

Remember, the Scrum framework is purposefully incomplete. Planning at the product, portfolio, and strategy level are not *necessarily part of Scrum, but if they are an important part of your companies planning cycle, why would you get rid of them?