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7 Examples of Agile Planning

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Agile planning is an approach to planning goals, objectives, strategy, resources and work based on agile principles. The defining characteristic of agile planning is that requirements can be added or changed at any time. This differs from other project management techniques that develop big long term plans upfront that are not intended to change. The following are common elements of agile planning.


An organizational objective or goal that drives change. These may be documented with business cases.

User Stories

User stories are requirements framed as an expectation that a user has for a product, service or system.


A backlog is a list of user stories and non-functional requirements that may be implemented at some point.

Backlog Refinement

The process of reviewing a backlog to improve user stories and to drop those that are no longer relevant.


An epic is a large body of work that encompasses many user stories. If it is reasonably certain that these will be implemented, epics may be planned with product roadmaps, architecture and designs. Epics often fall under a theme. For example, an ecommerce company may have a theme of reducing environmental impact. An epic may be created under this theme to ship to end customers with reusable shipping cartons. Such an epic may eventually include dozens of user stories that are submitted over time into a backlog.

Sprint Planning

Agile is based around short development cycles known as sprints that produce functionality that can potentially be shipped. These are timeboxed to a few weeks or so. Sprint planning is the process of prioritizing items from the backlog to produce a sprint goal and sprint backlog. A sprint goal is a short statement of what a sprint will achieve. A sprint backlog is the list of user stories and non-functional requirements that will be implemented in the sprint. This is a process of prioritizing the items in the backlog to identify a releasable chunk of work that makes sense given your current goals and resources.

Release Planning

Planning for multiple sprints. This may resemble a product roadmap that looks at expectations 3-12 sprints out. For example, release planning may identify two epics that are expected to be released within the next four to five months. This feeds into sprint planning and monitoring of progress.


The fundamental idea behind agile planning is that you are always implementing your highest priority requirements now and change is accepted at any time. As such, it is really the sprint planning session that is the core driver of change. Long term planning such as epics and themes may be loosely defined at the conceptual level. Work isn't typically halted to work on a strategy such as a theme or epic.
Agile is an approach to software development. Software can often be built incrementally. This may not apply to other things such as a factory whereby you might want a big plan upfront as opposed to adding things here and there.
Overview: Agile Planning
Definition (1)
An approach to planning goals, objectives, strategy, resources and work based on agile principles.
Definition (2)
A system of planning that allows requirements to be submitted, changed or dropped at any time and placed into a backlog for prioritization and implementation in short work cycles known as sprints.
Related Concepts
Next Read: User Stories


This is the complete list of articles we have written about agile.
Agile Planning
Daily Scrum
Product Backlog
Scrum Of Scrums
Sprint Backlog
Sprint Planning
More ...
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