Planning is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.

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69
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4answers
4k views

How to estimate the length of a programming task [closed]

What process do you use to estimate how long a (significant) programming task will take. Do you use one or more of the following: intuition/guessing reference to similar tasks whose estimated/actual ...
51
votes
11answers
3k views

Writing my problem solving approach on paper?

I'm a freshman Computer Science student and we just started doing some actual projects in Python. I have found I'm very efficient when I use the pen and paper method that my professor suggested in ...
44
votes
15answers
3k views

Should I plan ahead, or figure out programs as I'm writing them? [duplicate]

I was thinking today about Paul Graham's book "Hackers and Painters." More specifically, these two paragraphs: "I was taught in college that one ought to figure out a program completely on paper ...
36
votes
11answers
2k views

How do you explain to an “agile” team that they still need to plan the software they write?

This week at work I got agiled yet again. Having gone through the standard agile, TDD, shared ownership, ad hoc development methodology of never planning anything beyond a few user stories on a piece ...
32
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any actual case studies on rewrites of software success/failure rates?

I've seen multiple posts about rewrites of applications being bad, people's experiences about it here on Programmers, and an article I've ready by Joel Spolsky on the subject, but no hard evidence or ...
21
votes
3answers
340 views

At what stage of an Open Source project should you invite contributions from the community? [closed]

I've been wondering about getting contributions to a new open source product my team will be developing. There's encouragement for us to get as much support from the wider community as we're able, ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

What's the best explanation of what Story Points are?

We're starting to use Story Points here for our Agile development but I find it hard to explain and also can't find any definitive answer to what they are. The best thing I can do is point to other ...
19
votes
1answer
330 views

Has research been done on the effectiveness of Planning Poker as an estimation technique?

Although it is a commonly held opinion that planning poker improves the accuracy of project estimations (a small sample of which demonstrated on this question), has any defined research been done on ...
18
votes
10answers
3k views

How does a Scrum team account for infrastructure tasks in the planning meeting?

How does a Scrum team account for dev/infrastructure tasks in the planning meeting? At first glance, they do not seem like user stories since they do not deliver end user value. However, attaching ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

Best way to plan programming for small teams? [closed]

I am the Director of a small startup organisation. We currently have two programmers (one experienced, one less experienced) who are building a web application platform. One of the greatest ...
16
votes
8answers
401 views

Let users get requirements together on their own or guide them along?

I'm sure everyone has experienced something like this. You go into a meeting with a client who has a project. They have no/few requirements in mind and the vaguest understanding of what they ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Scrum - how to carry over a partially complete User Story to the next Sprint without skewing the backlog

We're using Scrum and occasionally find that we can't quite finish a User Story in the sprint in which it was planned. In true Scrum style, we ship the software anyway and consider including the User ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

How to handle 'external' dependencies in scrum?

If you've planned a number of user stories for a sprint and one candidate story is dependent on some external provider delivering something to your team. For example an online service provider adding ...
12
votes
6answers
725 views

Tips for planning a rewrite of a large PHP project?

I've decided to completely rewrite a PHP framework (Using MVC) that I've been working on, on and off, for years. My problem up until now was that I would just come up with ideas, throw them into Trac ...
12
votes
5answers
885 views

How should I create a mutable, varied jtree with arbitrary/generic category nodes?

Please note: I don't want coding help here, I'm on Programmers for a reason. I want to improve my program planning/writing skills not (just) my understanding of Java. I'm trying to figure out how to ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the point of a Gantt Chart, and will it help me?

My (non-technical) colleague has threatened me with a Gantt chart for a new project that we are currently planning. What is this likely to provide for us, and will it be a helpful tool?
11
votes
3answers
187 views

Planning development when academic research is involved

Dear fellow programmers, how do you do "software planning" when academic research is involved? And, on a side note, how do you convince your boss that writing software is not like building a house ...
10
votes
7answers
610 views

Scrum overestimation and replanning

We are in the middle of our first Sprint and something dawn on us: we over estimated! We had planned 114 ideal hours for this 2 weeks iteration and at the end of the first week we finished the whole ...
10
votes
5answers
610 views

Planning Poker and wordy developers

My team is composed of 4 developers; all seasoned and skilled. One of them is a wordy, well intended chap who insists on defining the technical solution to our stories before we put down our estimates ...
10
votes
6answers
973 views

What software do you use to help plan your team work, and why?

Planning is very difficult. We are not naturally good at estimating our own future, and many cognitive biases exacerbate the problem. Group planning is even harder. Incomplete information, ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What to plan before starting development on a project?

Say I've received the specs for a project from a client, and now its time to start developing it. Normally, I just start with the first module (usually user registration) and then go from one module ...
8
votes
5answers
596 views

I'm tasked with leading the documentation effort for an existing, entirely undocumented, software product - what resources are there to help me?

I'm a software developer at a technology company. I have been tasked with leading the documentation effort for the product I work on. The goal is to produce documentation internal to developer, and ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How long should a sprint planning meeting last?

In your experience, how long should a planning meeting (SCRUM) last? 8 hours? Or should it be shorter (succinct) and further discussions should be planned as part of the sprint (10 days sprint)?
7
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I justify a technology over another? (Java over .NET)

We are working in a Java/.NET company and my team and I are planning a project for a client. One of the requirements is that the project has to be done in .NET I've asked about this requirement, ...
7
votes
5answers
902 views

How to account for a bug fixing iteration?

We have implemented Scrum quite successfully for the past 5 months. Though, we are 3 weeks away from PROD without ever doing any end-to-end integration test. OUCH! I need help. Without tackling the ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How many story points should you allocate in an initial sprint?

When first implementing Scrum within a team, how should you go about determining the amount of story points that are in an initial sprint when you have no idea of the team's velocity? Should you base ...
7
votes
4answers
830 views

How can you plan long range resources and budgets when using Agile methodology?

Agile does not encourage a lot of up-front design. This is good from a requirements management and software development standpoint, and allows the project to adapt to changing business needs. ...
6
votes
3answers
300 views

Should I fix small issues or let them go? [closed]

I ran into the following issue where a keyboard shortcut I was used to was no longer working in Ubuntu. That's just an example. For programming, this kinds of thing happens a lot, but it also happens ...
6
votes
3answers
441 views

Task Planning on an Agile Team

At the beginning of each sprint our team will pull in a handful of user stories and then, one by one, write slightly more detailed tasks for them as well as assign specific hours to each task. ...
6
votes
10answers
405 views

What is the best way to discuss/plan/negotiate about code architecture remotely?

Our team is distributed in space and time, so we have no ability to discuss the architecture of the code in real time. How can we discuss it via documentation: write code interfaces/ comment/ modify, ...
6
votes
4answers
856 views

How much time do you spend on design before coding? [duplicate]

In my experience, it is useful to spend a little while sketching plans for a project before getting into code. Such planning usually includes choosing frameworks/tools, writing requirements and ...
5
votes
3answers
485 views

What should be the minimal design/scope documentation before development begins?

I am a junior developer working on my own in the programming aspect of projects. I am given a png file with 5-6 of the pages designed, most times in specific detail. From this I'm asked to develop ...
5
votes
3answers
488 views

How to prepare for rewriting an application's glue [closed]

Assume you have a project that (in your opinion) is mostly decently well written, modularized, etc. and you want to keep much of it's functionality. However, an essential portion of this project is ...
5
votes
7answers
149 views

Can initial inefficient solutions INSPIRE better ones and thus lead to faster problem solving?

When faced with writing an algorithm to solve a small project/problem is it better to come up with pseudo code that isn't efficient/optimum but solves the problem and then try to use the inefficient ...
5
votes
3answers
952 views

Many user stories share the same technical tasks: what to do?

A little introduction to my case: As part of a bigger product, my team is asked to realize a small IDE for a DSL. The user of this product will be able to make function calls in the code and we are ...
5
votes
3answers
170 views

Develop on the lastest and greatest or stick with the well documented version?

Should I develop on the latest and greatest 1.7 version of Joomla or stick with the well documented version of 1.5? I'm new to Joomla (and webDev in general), so I bumble around, search online, and ...
5
votes
1answer
362 views

Any good planning tool or method for managing several competing projects?

I look for a tool or a "best practice" whose focus is on managing how the current staff of programmers can get assigned and re-assigned to different projects depending on changing priorities. Progress ...
4
votes
7answers
437 views

How to decrease errors before testing?

During last year, several of the projects of the company where I work failed. We develop web software, that are not especially complicated (the most are CRUDS and search form about this data). One ...
4
votes
6answers
389 views

Code reuse: Reusing complex method vs. cherry-picking parts

I am currently facing a situation where I am not quite sure how to best proceed. Background I am planning a new data import process, which will import personnel and salary information from a text ...
4
votes
5answers
360 views

How do you know what a program needs to do to complete a given task?

I am a noob when it comes to programming. I just know some Ruby, that's really it when it comes to programming, but it's definitely an interest. In learning to program, I give myself tasks to ...
4
votes
7answers
443 views

What to use for code design? [closed]

What do you use when designing how everything in a program will work together? Do you use a program? Pencil and paper? A whiteboard? Your mind? And how do you represent these designs? UML? UML2? ...
4
votes
5answers
479 views

How to estimate tasks in scrum?

Let's say we have a backlog of User Stories, each with an estimated number of Story Points, and now we're doing the Sprint Planning. Now, the Stories should be broken down into tasks and many Scrum ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Test planning for an Agile sprint

Can anyone offer any tips or experience on developing a test plan for an Agile sprint? Most of the time our team simply creates a "Test Feature X" task and goes about writing ad-hoc test cases. There ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

Release roadmap with scrum

I need to prepare an internal product release road-map for product being built via scrum methodology, and have some difficulty correlating sprints to the road-map. The main problem is that as I don't ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Feedback on setting up a “Programmer Dojo” — suggestions?

Looking for a case study, or operational plan for setting up a "programmer/hacker dojo" in the United States. Here's an example of one, hackerdojo.com; it's possible this info is on their site, but I ...
3
votes
7answers
429 views

Is it a bug or a task when something doesn't work, yet, in development process

We usually have this dilemma in our team. Sometimes, in order to implement a task or a story we find out that the system must be in a specific state. For example, a specific system configuration has ...
3
votes
3answers
504 views

Getting overwhelmed after starting a new project

I started a project (a Windows based timetable program that helps you stay organised with your subjects and assignments). The problem is that I'm not sure how I should manage this project and what ...
3
votes
2answers
346 views

How can I discourage the use of Access? [closed]

Lets pretend that a very large company (revenue numbers with more than 8 figures) is looking to do a refresh on a software system, particularly the dashboard used by employees. This system was ...
3
votes
4answers
784 views

Planning milestones and time

I was hired by a marketing company a year ago initially for link building / SEO stuff, but I'm actually a Web developer and took the job just in desperation to have one (I'm still quite young and just ...
3
votes
4answers
580 views

How do you determine velocity when the previous sprint was half User Stories and half Defects?

The following scenario often happens with my team at the office. Let's say we decided to plan our Sprint this way: 50% new features 50% bug fixing (they are high priority AND unestimated as the ...