Size and Plan consists of three parts:
- Size the work
- Prioritize what to do
- Plan the work
In most contexts the by far most important step is “Prioritize what to do”.
Size the work
Sizing work can mainly be done in three ways:
- Break down items to roughly similar sizes
- Relative size estimation
- Estimate in time
Breakdown items to roughly similar size is often advocated by the #noestimates movement. The idea is that you will not spend time on estimating work and you will achieve a better flow with things broken down to good size.
Relative size estimation is most commonly done with Poker Planning. An alternative, much fast, but less accurate option is Table Sorting.
Estimate in time is what it sounds like. Most teams use a concept called Ideal Time. This is the time that this item would take if we could focus only on this – if there where no interruptions. This can be combined with Focus Factor that is used to translate our Total Available Time to Ideal Time Available.
Prioritize what to do
Prioritization is such a big topic so it has been covered in the Prioritization section of the Agile Foundation.
Plan the work
In an agile world – planning (on this level – below the Roadmap level) is mainly done in two ways. Either you work in timeboxed iterations (usually a fixed length of 1-3 weeks) or you work in a continuous flow. The timeboxed iterations are called iterations in most methods and Sprints in Scrum. Planning in Scrum is described in the Scrum section and planning in Kanban is described in the Kanban section.