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What is release planning in Scrum?

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Scrum Release Planning:

A Scrum Release Planning can be considered as a guideline that helps us to predict or develop expectations about what kind of features will be implemented, will they be good enough and when will they be completed. This is a very high-level plan for multiple sprints that is three to twelve iterations and is created during the planning. This release plan also serves as a base to keep a track of the progress within the project.

Requirements to create a release plan:

  • An estimated and prioritized Scrum Product Backlog.
  • The estimated velocity of the scrum team.
  • Different conditions of satisfaction.

Activities that are involved in a release planning in scrum:

  • The first activity is to review and update the release constraints of date, budget and scope.
  • To do product backlog grooming.
  • Do review and update the Minimum Releasable Features (MRFs).
  • To product a sprint map. This activity is optional.

The happening of these activities is not fixed or compulsory to happen at the same time instead these activities can take place at multiple points and at multiple times. That is, it can be done instantly after the product planning, or can be done as part of the initial-release planning or maybe during the sprint. It depends on the procedure and progress.

As we know that the aim of a scrum release planning is to determine the next most valuable release and its desired level of quality. There are three main variables that are to be looked in this planning that are the release constraints of:

  • Scope
  • Date
  • Budget

There are three types of approaches in this process:

  • Scrum release planning constraints: Everything fixed.
  • Scrum release planning constraints: Fixed scope and date.
  • Scrum release planning constraints: Fixed scope.

Though there are three approaches here that we are talking about, but each approach has its own advantages or disadvantage. For example, in a fixed scope and date approach, it becomes impossible to increase the budget once the development starts. Similarly, in a fixed scope approach, moving date makes coordination extremely challenging in an organization where multiple teams are working on one project. Same as a fixed data approach is the easiest one to set if the Minimum Releasable Features MRFs are small. Also as the team progresses, it becomes necessary to revisit the constraints and take a look at whether they should be rebalanced in light of the development realities. In this way, an organization can make sure that things are running smoothly.

Thus we can say that each approach has its pros and cons, it depends on the organization and their team members to take care of this release planning.

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