Planning workflow steps

So we’ve prepared all of the stories it’s time to plan

The Planning workflow for a project can be as simple as a two horse race.

  • Is it in this sprint
  • Is it not in this sprint

It’s never a two horse race and there are many states a story can be in. In a perfect world we’d just take the approach above, as we all we’ll now it’s not a perfect world [insert Trump fact here]
So, what do we need?

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Planning workflow starts off as

  • Backlog
  • Estimated
  • Hold (not in sprint)
  • Approved (move to sprint)

As this workflow plays out you’ll come across two situations.

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Situation 1

The developers aren’t able to estimate a story, they don’t have enough information. What do you do with these stories? The answer is to add a new step in the process

  • Backlog
  • Investigate
  • Estimated
  • Hold (not in sprint)
  • Approved (move to sprint)

Some would say here that we need an investigated step but I’d disagree. Once the developers have investigated it, it should be moved back to backlog

Situation 2

There isn’t a good clear spec or enough designs of a story or the story is too be and needs to be split into multiple stories. If this is the case then we need to go away, get the information and present back to the developers. Our planning workflow now looks like this.

  • Backlog
  • Investigate
  • Incomplete (needs more information)
  • Estimated
  • Hold (not in sprint)
  • Approved (move to sprint)

Again we don’t need a column for ‘complete’ as it should be moved back to Backlog ready for the next developer review meeting
There you go. Once stories are moved to Approved they are ready to be moved into the Build sprint.

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