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
5k 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 ...
53
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
4k 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 ...
39
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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 ...
33
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 ...
28
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7answers
962 views

As a lone developer, how can I be sure I am learning and doing decent work? [duplicate]

Background: I work in a small (less than 75) person engineering/manufacturing company. I was hired as a developer to work with a single teammate, our purpose being to migrate the company to the modern ...
23
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
425 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, ...
21
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
772 views

Planning poker with visually impaired colleague

At the office we just got a new colleague who is visually impaired. I'm in charge of organizing the planning poker sessions and the new colleague must participate as a member of the team. We have ...
19
votes
2answers
421 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 ...
17
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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
422 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
1answer
17k views

How to write “SMART” Objectives as an agile developer?

Like many corporations the company I work for is transitioning to a performance review system based on SMART objectives. My team is a high functioning agile development team employing practices from ...
12
votes
6answers
3k 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
945 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
1k 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
6answers
3k views

What is the purpose of planning poker in a sprint?

Our business analyst and project leads tell us the client's requirement as Stories. Every Sprint planning, we (developers) are asked to play planning poker. They asked all of us to consider the ...
11
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

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

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
204 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
760 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
651 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
1k 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
4answers
10k 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)?
8
votes
6answers
2k 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, ...
8
votes
5answers
494 views

Scrum: Is it ok for the design/UX of user story to occur in the same sprint as implementation

I am currently in a sprint (two week) where the designer is tasked with defining the requirements and UX of a particular user story. In the same sprint I am to implement this design. During sprint ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
887 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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
211 views

Best way to analyse a large class before refactoring it into smaller classes?

Foreword I'm not looking for a way to refactor a large spaghetti code class, that topic has been covered in other questions. Question I'm looking for techniques to begin to understand a class file ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
759 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
3answers
313 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
7answers
264 views

How do you prioritize initial sprints to maximise the chance of catching architecture errors early?

I've worked on several projects that have used agile successfully as a means of providing continuous improvement on an already mature piece of software. But I've found it's much harder to be "agile" ...
6
votes
10answers
449 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
1k 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
539 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
1k 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
5answers
161 views

In Agile SCRUM, how do you handle even distribution of work in a sprint between “experts”?

Where I work, we have a lot of silos of knowledge. Basically each member of the development team is the expert (and sometimes the only one that knows a thing) on certain pieces of the overall ...
5
votes
7answers
155 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
1k 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
177 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
504 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
447 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
307 views

Is it true: use Agile methodology results less planning?

I am kind of new in agile environment since I always participated in projects before which was only said to be agile while it wasn't. Now I am really in an agile project and I see a setback - if it ...
4
votes
6answers
437 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
398 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
3answers
232 views

How to best approach planning and budgeting of software performance optimization efforts?

There is a software system that has been with the client for some time now. If is feature-rich, mature, complex enterprise application that client uses in production. Due to the rapid expansion of the ...