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My first trial run at the Planning Game

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  • Pierre Boudreau
    Yesterday, I got buy-in form my manager to use XP on a project. I introduced the concepts to the team, identified the customers and let them talk a bit about
    Message 1 of 242 , Dec 20, 2003
      Yesterday, I got buy-in form my manager to use XP on a project. I introduced the concepts to the team, identified the customers and let them talk a bit about the project, then I went into a sample planning game. The first real planning game and iteration is likely to happen the first week after the holidays. We used real stories from the project in the sample planning game. I was acting as the coach. I switched between the developer and customer roles to show examples of the type of questions and dialogue that should take place. As I suspected, most of the difficulties that came up revolved around the difficulties in identifying the first story and making it small enough so it can be done in an iteration while still actually deliver some business value. Now I wish I would have followed the coffeehouse thread... I will go back and read the whole thread over the week end. I hope the following questions are not simply repeating things that were already discussed...

      -How much preparation should customers bring to the planning game?

      -How long should the first planning game (or exploration) take? Should I time-box it or let it take as long as we need to get one iteration of stories that the customer is happy about?

      -Is it OK to write a story in a way that you know will never be delivered to real users in order to divide it into something manageable for an iteration? For example, imagine an FTP client that automatically connects to the same server and initiates file transfers based on user input. Would it make sense to write a story to establish a connection on the click of a button as a story and eventually change it to connect automatically? The customer knows that the first story would be eliminated eventually, but for now, it delivers measurable functionality and it is the part they are most concerned with so they want to see it connecting early.

      I will probably have many other questions throughout the project since this is my first time coaching or even participating in an XP project. I did my homework though. I have been on this list for over a year and did a lot of reading.

      Pierre Boudreau

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ilja Preuss
      ... It probably also results in stories of different priorities. So you might happen to only implement part of the original story in those three months. Take
      Message 242 of 242 , Jan 19, 2004
        J. B. Rainsberger wrote:

        > Split the stories. The usual effect is that our fear-based estimates
        > are replaced with shorter, more realistic ones. This gets us more
        > features, because we reduce the effect of our tendency to
        > over-estimate.

        It probably also results in stories of different priorities. So you
        might happen to only implement part of the original story in those three
        months.

        Take care, Ilja
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