Contact Us

Agile Planning and Estimating

You will learn the techniques for planning and estimating including sprint zero activities (visioning, ground rules, creating the backlog), Release planning, Sprint planning and Agile project planning.


Duration: Classroom - 2 Days | Virtual - 3 Days 
Why to Take This Course:

This course is designed for both new and experienced project managers who are transitioning to a ScrumMaster, Agile Coach, or Agile Program Manager/Release Manager role, and need to learn how to successfully apply agile methods to their projects and programs. Participants will learn how to lead teams through Agile planning sessions, and understand techniques and practices to successfully execute on project and program deliverables.  We will discuss the role of the Agile Project Managerand the skillsnecessary to make this role a success. This course provides techniques and approaches for project management, estimation, and planning that are consistent with the core principles of agile methods such as Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). Participants will work through a sample real-world project and experience how to initiate an agile project, how to create a vision statement and a product backlog,decide on team structures and rolesestimate backlog items, and build release and iteration plans. You will learn how to plan and schedule an agile project, and how to monitor performance against the plan. You will apply what you learn in a series of activities that take you through the agile project management process.

Learn How To:

The course will help you practically learn on the following areas:

  • Describe the agile values and principles.
  • Explain agile roles and responsibilities.
  • Describe agile project management activities.
  • Create a product vision statement.
  • Develop user stories and acceptance tests.
  • Estimate user story size using story points and Planning Poker.
  • Identify themes and use the MoSCoW rules to prioritize user stories.
  • Understand how to forecast team velocity and capacity.
  • Create release and Sprint plans.
  • Simulate a Daily Stand Up meeting.
  • Track progress during a Sprint.
  • Conduct an agile retrospective.

Quick Review of Agile Basics

  • Agile values and principles
  • Activity: Mapping the values to the principles
  • Agile methods overview: Scrum, Feature Driven Development, OpenUP
  • Agile vs. waterfall planning approaches

Initiating an Agile Project

  • Iteration or Sprint Zero: Project initiation activities
  • Agile roles and responsibilities
  • Self managed team characteristics
  • Activity: Creating a self-managed team
  • Creating the agile team environment
  • Setting ground rules
  • Activity: Design team environment and set ground rules
  • Envisioning the product
  • Activity: Create a vision statement

Agile Estimating

  • Creating the Product Backlog
  • User story writing guidelines
  • Activity: Writing user stories by breaking down an epic
  • Defining acceptance criteria for user stories
  • Activity: Writing acceptance tests for a user story
  • Using progressive estimation to refine estimate accuracy
  • Estimating size with story points
  • Using Planning Poker to estimate user stories
  • Using triangulation to estimate user stories
  • Activity: Use Planning Poker to estimate user stories
  • Story points versus ideal days for estimating
  • Estimating proposed agile projects for the business case
  • Agile contracting approaches
  • Day One Retrospective: Team behavior

Planning Releases

  • Levels of planning in agile
  • Building a product roadmap
  • Selecting themes for a release
  • Identifying the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Prioritizing the product backlog
  • Activity: Prioritize stories for a release using the MoSCoW rules
  • Determining sprint length
  • Forecasting velocity
  • Determining team capacity
  • Activity: Calculate team capacity
  • Building the release plan
  • Activity: Create a release plan
  • Managing common software risks

Planning a Sprint

  • The Sprint Planning meeting
  • Getting stories “ready” for Sprint Planning
  • The Definition of Done
  • Sprint planning agenda
  • Identifying tasks from user stories
  • Creating a Sprint plan on the Team Board
  • Activity: Identify tasks from user stories and create a Sprint Plan

Running a Sprint

  • Events during a Sprint
  • Daily planning during the Sprint
  • Rules for the Daily Stand Up meeting
  • Using burndown charts to track progress
  • Activity: Hold a Daily Stand Up
  • Tracking impediments
  • Dealing with changes in estimates
  • Techniques for splitting or thinning user stories
  • Releasing into production
  • The Sprint Review meeting
  • Sprint and release metrics and reporting
  • Using agile retrospectives to inspect and adapt
  • Activity: Workshop retrospective
  • Reference section: Agile technical practices
Format: To help assimilate learning the tools and techniques, there is a mixture of group and team activities throughout the course. The use of a realistic case study helps reinforce the concepts. Students need to be prepared for a high level of participation. Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with exercise solutions
Who Should Attend:

New and experienced project managers, program managers, Scrum Masters, PMO members, executives, managers, and agile team members interested in learning more about Agile Planning and Estimating.

Prerequisites: None.
Knowledge Area:



Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
Requirements Elicitation
Requirements Management and Communication
Enterprise Analysis
Requirements Analysis
Solution Assessment and Validation
Underlying Competencies

Project Scope Management
Project Communications Management
Project Human Resource Management
Project Time Management
Project Cost Management
Project Risk Management
Project Stakeholder Management

Learn More About Our Association