Our team has been asked to represent our development efforts in a project plan. No one is unhappy with our work or questioning our ability to deliver, we are just participating in an IT cattle call for project plans. Trouble is we are an agile team and haven't thought about our work in terms of a formal project plan.
While we have a general idea of what we are working on next we aren't 100% sure until we plan an iteration. Until now our team has largely operated in a vacuum and has not been required to present our methodology or metrics to outside parties. We follow most of the practices espoused in Extreme Programming.
We hold quarterly planning meetings to have a general idea of the stories we are going to work on for a quarter. That said, our stories are documented on 3x5 cards and are only estimated at the beginning of the iteration in which they are going to be worked. After estimation we document the story in Team Foundation Sever. During an iteration, we attach code to stories and mark stories as completed once finished. From this data we are able to generate burn down and velocity charts. Most importantly we know our average velocity for an iteration keeping us from biting off more than we can chew.
I am not looking to modify the way we do development but want to present our development activities in a report that someone only familiar with waterfall will understand. In What Does an Agile Project Plan Look Like, Kent McDonald does a good job laying out the differences between agile and waterfall project plans. He specifies the differences in consumable bullets:
- An agile project plan is feature based
- An Agile Project Plan is organized into iterations
- An Agile Project Plan has different levels of detail depending on the time frame
- An Agile Project Plan is owned by the Team
Being able to explain the differences is great, but how best to present the data?