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Project Management

Exercise: Iteration Planning In Agile

You are part of a team that is beginning its iteration planning for the next phase of a project. After reviewing the product backlog and requirements with the team and the product owner, you have calculated the story points and discussed the priority levels of each item. The prioritized product backlog is listed below:

RequirementStory PointsPriority
A14High
B13High
C10High/Medium
D8Medium
E6Medium/Low
F5Low
G4Low
H2Very Low

You then collectively decide that, based on the team’s velocity, the iteration could include a maximum of 25 story points.

Which combination of requirements should the team select to best meet the customer needs?

The best combination would be to include requirements B, C, and H. Adding the story points for these requirements results in a total of 25 points. While there may be other combinations that would give you 25 points (or combinations that total 25 points and have more requirements in the combination), combination BCH includes the highest priority items (1 high priority item, 1 high-medium priority item, and 1 very low priority item) and still fits within the 25-point maximum.

What would happen if a new high priority requirement (requirement I) worth 11 points was added to the product backlog? Which combination would then be the best one for the team to accomplish?

With the inclusion of this new high priority item, the best combinations to complete could be either combination AI or combination BI. The story point total for combination AI would be 25 points. For combination BI, the total would be 24 points. Both combinations would include two high priority requirements. Because both combinations would fit within the 25-point maximum and both would include the same number of high priority items, the team would have to have a discussion to decide which combination to choose; further discussion may uncover a compelling reason to choose one combination over the other.

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