Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why planning based on features instead of activities

The conventional way when you make a Gantt charts for planning is by typing the list of activities (which are derived from your statement of work/SOW) in your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). However, in Scrum/agile, we are recommended to setup our plan based on the software features (e.g. user stories, requirements) instead of a list of task activities.

The reasons, some problems may arise by focusing in the activities instead of features during planning:
So you focus on your development activities (which may have less values to customer) instead of customer values.

Your focus is on finishing activities instead of delivering features which the users need. When the project is behind schedule, people tend to crash by reducing the works to do. If you focus on the activities, you will reduce the activities which are prioritized for the convenience of the development team. In this process you may dropping features and some of the dropped may have greater values than those are delivered.

When you check the completeness of the works, you will check the completeness of the activities instead of the requirements of the product (which are more relevant to the users.)

What are you experiences with this issue? Please write your comments.

Source: Steve's blog

Agile Estimating and Planning

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