Problem: How to answer common questions for iteration planning meeting: What user stories are the most important? Which of them have a top effort? What user should be assigned to iteration to complete it on time?
Solution: Visualize importance and effort parameters (numbers and text are not appropriate).
When you see just a list of user stories with efforts and priorities it is not so easy to plan iterations. For example, when you assign large user story to iteration you don't feel that it is really large. When you assign too many stories to iteration you don't feel that it is being overloaded.
You may understand that, but may not quite feel it. As always, when there is a problem, TargetProcess provides the most intuitive and creative solution. See below how we tackled this problem in TargetProcess v.2.6 and start using the power of visualization for your planning efforts.
The main idea is simple:
- user story with significant effort should be large
- user story with high priority should have different color
This is an important large user story.
And this is a small "nice to have" user story.
The difference is obvious. Below is one more interesting beast which called "blocking bug".
As you see, assignable items like bugs and user stories have different sizes and it immediately catches your eye. Now we may visualize iteration Velocity without problems. Iteration is just a large box where we can put all small boxes (user stories and bugs). When the box is full, iteration planning is completed. That simple!
Here is an example of an iteration that is not full and may accept several user stories. It has a green label reflecting effort availability. It has space to accept user stories. You feel that you can put more assignments to iteration.
And here is an example of overloaded iteration. Bugs literally jump out of the box. You feel that there are too many items assigned to iteration and red label shows what effort should be removed.
You may guess how the good planned and completed iteration should look like. Exactly like on this picture below:
The whole Iteration Plan consists of three areas. You may select iterations in two top areas and select Product or Release backlog in bottom area. To plan user story just drag it and drop on required iteration.
Use sorting and filtering to find required user stories.
One more common problem is to quickly change effort or priority of a user story. That is not a problem anymore. Right click on user story and change required values in context menu (no page reloads as you may guess).
That is how new iteration planning works in TargetProcess. Go on and try it.