Release Planning: Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Updated: Jan 20

team planning session

To have a release you must have a start and end date, a set of work to be accomplished and a customer sign off. Why plan for this - reduce the time of meetings by producing rapid estimates of the work to be done. TRUST YOUR GUT!! This is not about being precise, but accurate. It’s about close enough to best estimate your release. In many ways this secures funding to move forward with ideas and solutions to determine whether we are going to get the right level of return or not.


One of the true keys to the value and efficiency around release planning. TIMEBOX your planning sessions. There should be some acknowledgement from a Product Owner as to when backlog items would be desirable in a timeframe and a proposed go to market strategy. If this doesn’t exist at a high level at this point, your product may be evolving so quickly that we need to get a picture of what is most important now so you can capitalize on small iterations and the feedback gained from them.

No, it absolutely should not take all day to plan for a release. PLEASE plan for an hour and at most two. Preparation that goes into this session with the entire team is crucial because you don’t want a team of highly paid developers, testers, architects, DBA’s and others sitting around while you are typing into the computer what they are saying or what the Product Owner is explaining. There needs to be enough information to move to the next step. This is the beauty of Just in Time documentation which helps us have an idea of what ideas are being