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Time planning

Time planning in Agile Project Management and Scrum

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Time planning in Agile Project Management and Scrum

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Project Management Certification program.

This chapter explains the concept of Time planning in the context of BVOP.

  1. What is Time planning?
  2. Time planning and Agile project management
  3. Time planning and Scrum
  4. Who does time planning?
  5. Previous time consumption of a similar activity
  6. Current knowledge of scope and requirements
  7. Relational effort points
  8. Teams velocity
  9. Conversion of relative points to a real time estimate

What is Time planning?

Time planning is the activity that the project manager performs at the beginning of the project to calculate the time it takes to complete all the tasks and formulate an official statement of the total time needed.

The required development time may not apply to the whole project, but only to specific tasks.

At Waterfall Project Management Practices, time planning usually refers to all the work that needs to be completed.

Time planning and Agile project management

In Agile practices, time planning is more often about smaller periods. Agile addresses the idea of ​​avoiding planning for very long periods. The purpose of ​​planning for shorter periods originates from the claim that the farther in time we plan, the greater our chance of error.

Time planning and Scrum

Scrum forces the doctrine that work planning is done only for the current sprint. Instead of planning the time required to develop specific tasks, the opposite is approached. For a fixed period (called Sprint), the number of tasks that can be created during that fixed period (Sprint) is planned.

Who does time planning?

Usually, the project manager plans the time it takes to develop the project. Key roles from the technical teams advise the project manager on each individual task.

As the Agile methodologies are many, there is no clear and precise definition and rules as to who exactly makes the plans.

Scrum planning is done by the entire Scrum team. This process is collaborative.

About this chapter

This chapter is part of the BVOP Project and Program Management Certification program guide.

Time planning in the context of the BVOP is a continuous process. For detailed estimates of required completion time of a given effort (task, item or initiative that needs work) multiple factors are taken into account:

  • Previous time consumption of a similar activity
  • Current knowledge of scope and requirements
  • Relational effort points
  • Teams velocity

Previous time consumption of a similar activity

If a similar effort or activity has already been done, its time consumption may be a base for future time estimations.

Current knowledge of scope and requirements

When effort is already planned, the estimated development time may no longer be correct as scope and requirements may have changed.

Re-estimating the required time for an effort to be executed is recommended before development starts. This can be done by checking all current known requirements and scope.

Re-estimation of an effort may reflect on the total time estimation of all other known and defined efforts.

Relational effort points

Relational effort points are recommended by the BVOP when an effort is being estimated.

For example, instead of putting an estimate of 3 days for a task, giving it 10 effort points would be a better relative estimate that is not strictly bound to an exact required amount of time that, in some cases, may not be accurate.

Story points and T-Shirt sizes are popular measurement examples of relational effort points.

Teams velocity

Team velocity is a popular term that means an approximate amount of work a team can produce for a defined timeframe.

Using team velocity is a helpful tool for estimating the completion time of a collection of planned efforts (work).

Conversion of relative points to a real time estimate

Conversion of relational points to real-time is possible but should be used with caution, as this conversion gives approximate values and not the exact needed time for an effort.

The basic conversion of relative points to a real time can be based on the current team’s velocity, the fixed time interval, and the total effort points of all planned efforts.

The following issues related to chapter "Time planning" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of September 25, 2020, 12:48 pm

ID Issue Time Category
0 Relational effort points 60 sec PM, PDM
1 Time planning and Scrum 60 sec PM, PDM
2 Teams velocity 60 sec PM, PDM
3 Previous time consumption of a similar activity 60 sec PM, PDM
4 Conversion of relative points to a real time estimate 60 sec PM, PDM
5 Current knowledge of scope and requirements 60 sec PM, PDM
6 Time planning and Agile project management 60 sec PM, PDM
7 Who does time planning? 60 sec PM, PDM
8 What is Time planning? 60 sec PM, PDM
Comments of our guests
  1. Laurence Mcdonald
    Hello. Should we be planning time planning in Scrum practices? Isn't team velocity typical for Scrum teams only?
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