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Creating Release Plan

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step in your front .”

It’s not necessary to know every aspect or detail about planning all up to the last stage. In agile we already have roadmaps, vision, and directions on project goals so it is not necessary always to develop the project details in detail at one large regiment. This can be a breakdown in small releases distribution of the features and functionality in small releases. This can be achieved by creating release plans.

The release plan is a technical of product management where the team during sprints and iterations planning, breakdown the complete development of the project into feature and functionality in incremental release avoiding a complete development of the project at once. It helps n achieving the feedback on sprint which will further help with better development and decision making for future steps of the project. Before going to know about the product release plan let’s see the requirements needed.

The first thing required for a product release plan is an ordered product backlog. Further, we require MVP. Then estimated user stories and lastly the team’s velocity. All the above-mentioned requirements we have already covered in our blog previously you can check it on company page for more details. After saying so most will say that we don’t have a sprint then how we will have a velocity that is required for release planning? But I will love to say that yes we can at some accuracy guess the team’s velocity for release plan also without starting for their first sprint. This can be done in two ways:

1. Team’s Historical Velocity

If the team’s most of the members worked as a team within the same project then we can guess the team’s velocity by their previous project-based velocity. It is most likely that they will work with the same velocity as the previous in this new project as well. The reason for this mostly depends on trust as the team has more mutual understanding.

2. Team’s Available Capacity

This can be used when the teams haven’t worked together previously. In that case, we need to make the team select some stories from the story map which they can work in a single sprint. Then the team needs to break the stories into tasks estimating that in time combined providing us the hours and then comparing these hours with teams’ capacity. If the single-story doesn’t match the team's threshold capacity then we can break and add the other stories to match the teams’ capacity.

We must keep in mind that this method providing the team’s velocity is the initial velocity and not the final velocity of teams. The velocity may change with time. To know the accurate velocity one needs experience which comes by completing the actual sprints. So it is necessary to release the plan.

The release plans can be done with two different methods which are:

1. Fixed Scope Release Plan

The formula for release plan calculation by the fixed scope is

Sprint = Total Story Points / Initial Velocity

In the case stakeholders asked how long the team take to deliver the first two MVPs then calculation can be done as below

1) By story map, we can measure the first two weeks' story points for example. 140 total

2) Putting it in the formula we can calculate the best case, a worst-case from our fixed scope i.e. 140

3) For best case we consider initial velocity as 20 then, sprint = 140/ 20 = 7 sprints

4) For worst case we consider initial velocity as 14 then, sprint = 140/ 14 = 10 sprint.

Hence we can answer that team may take 3-5 months to deliver the first two MVPs.

2. Fixed Dates Release Plan

In this case, if the stakeholder asks how many MVPs can be delivered up to a certain date. Then the calculations are done as below

Total story points = Sprints x Initial Velocity

In this case, if the stakeholder asks how many MVPs can be delivered upto a certain date. Then the calculations are done as below

1) Firstly we will calculate the available sprint from the current date to a certain asked date for example. 30th July to 30thSept. 2021, two months we have provided 6 sprints.

2) Putting the values in the formula we can calculate the best and worst-case

3) For best we consider Initial velocity as 20 then, Total story point = 6 x 20 = 120

4) For the worst case, we consider initial velocity as 14 then, Total story points = 6 x 14 = 84

Hence we can conclude that team can deliver 84 to 120 story points up to the given date i.e. 30thSept.

“Plan your next move as every step contributes towards your success.”

But it’s also necessary to understand that plans are plans, we also need to work on them for success.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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