7 Steps to Success with Planning

The New Way of Planning Work

7 Ways High-Performing Teams Plan Their Work

High-performing teams use Agile processes and practices to predictably deliver high-value products and services to their customers. They collaborate with each other and engage their stakeholders and customers early and often. One of the key indicators for the success of these teams is how they plan their work.

Use these 7 planning practices to improve the performance of your teams.

1 - Define success upfront

  • Prioritize and focus your efforts on achieving outcomes and not just completing tasks
    • Define outcomes to achieve in the quarter
    • Establish success measures for each outcome

2 - Plan collaboratively

  • Create collective ownership and accountability toward shared goals
    • Work together to build plans for the quarter and each iteration
    • Gather input from other teams, stakeholders, and customers

3 - Break work down into small increments

  • Quickly deliver value and get feedback and know what to work on next
    • Prioritize the work based on customer value
    • Identify and deliver small, iterative solutions

4 - Understand their capacity

  • Deliver predictably based on a realistic plan.
    • Understand how much effort to allocate to different types of work (eg. strategic vs. operational work)
    • Identify team member availability each iteration

5 - Ask your teams what they need

  • Make sure they are working as effectively as possible.
    • Identify and address gaps with tools, knowledge, or skills
    • Notice impediments (what gets in their way) and resolve them

6 - Consider potential risks

  • Prevent problems that are likely to occur to increase confidence in the plan
    • Identify risks and make them visible
    • Continually work toward mitigating and resolving risks

7 - Manage dependencies

  • Stay on track by identifying and managing dependencies between teams.
    • Identify what they need from other teams and what other teams need from them 
    • Partner with the other teams to plan the dependencies and communicate status


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