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What Role Does the Project Plan Play in Agile Development?

One common misconception about Agile project management is that it involves little to no planning. In fact, Agile projects still require a project plan. However, in Agile development, the project plan is more of a living document that evolves over time and is expected to mature as the project progresses. 

The role of the project plan in Agile development is similar to its role in any traditional project methodology in many ways. First of all, an Agile project starts with a pre-planning step where the project vision is defined and documented, as well as known business and technical requirements. This is where team members will be assigned, and high-level estimates for time, budget, and scope will be gathered and documented. 

In this step, the team will also determine the number of iterations or sprints of the project, the length of each sprint, and the expected deliverable to result from each sprint. The big difference in a project plan for an Agile project is that once this high-level planning is done, the team will plan only the initial sprint in detail. It’s only after each sprint is completed that the details of the next sprint will be planned. This process enables the team to adapt the plan for each sprint based on the outcomes of the previous sprint(s).

Further Reading
blog post

Is Your Enterprise Struggling to Be Agile? 4 Tips to Get You There

blog post

Convergent Thinking vs. Divergent Thinking: Why Planning Isn’t Always the Right Thing to Do

blog post

Scrum vs. Kanban Board: Which One Is Better for Building a Project Plan?