Iteration plans

This is the detailed plan for an iteration.

Since the first iteration covers the organize phase, it’s activities are fairly standard, which means it’s quickly created – and created before spending time on the overall project plan (because that’s one of the activities in the iteration plan!).

If each iteration plan is written as a document or a Confluence page, I suggest you write the following chapters:

  • Objective
  • Resources
  • Activities
  • Deliverables

Personally I prefer creating my iteration plans directly in Jira because I’ll want to use Jira anyway to assign technical tasks to the developers.

When using Jira, I reserve the use of epics to represent iterations and tasks to represent activities. I use stories the represent deliverables (except for the iteration itself since it exists as an epic in the Jira project).

Here’s an example of an iteration plan for a typical organize phase:

The epic’s description summarizes the iterations main objectives.

Resources are primarily the Jira users in the project who’s assigned relevant tasks in the iteration plan.

The tasks describe the activities, and are assigned to appropriate team members. Tasks that result in a deliverable, link to a story that represents the deliverable. Stories represent deliverables.

Once created in Jira, the iteration can be viewed as a Kanban board, which helps monitor progress and impediments:

It’s good practice to draft the next iteration plan as part of the current iteration. As each iteration ends you need to reallocate most stories that represent deliverables to the next iteration epic to continue refining them in the next iteration. Only the iteration plan and iteration report stories are left in their designated iteration epic.

Read more about the iteration plan in OpenUP.