Artifact: Iteration Plan
A fine-grained plan describing the objectives, work assignments, and evaluation criteria for the iteration.
Domains: Project Management

The main objectives of the iteration plan are to provide the team with the following:

  • One central place for information regarding iteration objectives
  • A detailed plan with task assignments
  • Evaluation results

This artifact also helps the team to monitor the progress of the iteration, and keeps the results of the iteration assessment that may be useful for improving the next one.

Main Description

This artifact captures the key milestones of an iteration, showing start and end dates, intermediate milestones, synchronization points with other teams, demos, and so on. This artifact is also used to capture issues that need to be solved during the iteration.

You should list a few objectives for the iteration, which will help guide you throughout the iteration. Also, assess at the end if those objectives have been achieved.

The task assignments for an iteration are a subset of all tasks on the Artifact: Work Items List. Therefore, the iteration plan ideally references those work items.

The evaluation criteria and iteration assessment information are captured in this artifact, so that you can communicate results and actions from assessments.

Key Considerations

Work items assigned to an iteration do not necessarily have the same priority. When selecting work items from the Work Items List, the iteration plan may end up having work items with different priorities (for example, you assign the remaining high priority work items, plus a few mid-priority ones from the Work Items List). Once work items have been assigned to the iteration, the team ensures that they can complete all work, regardless of original work item priorities. Deciding what to develop first on an iteration will vary across projects and iterations.

Impact of not havingWithout this artifact, it will be difficult to assess the results of an iteration to determine whether or not the objectives have been met.
Reasons for not needingThis artifact is not required if no iterations are being performed, or if the scope of the project and each iteration is sufficiently small as to be handled informally amongst the team.
Representation Options

The level of detail or formality of the plan must be adapted to what you need in order to meet these objectives successfully. The plan could, for example, be captured on the following places:

  • A whiteboard listing the objectives, task assignments, and evaluation criteria
  • A one-page document listing the objectives and evaluation criteria of the iteration, as well as referencing the Work Items List for assignments for that iteration
  • A more complex document, supported by a Gantt or Pert chart in a project planning tool
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