Prioritize Work Items List
|The work items list should be prioritized before you plan the next iteration. Consider what has changed since the last
iteration plan (such as new change requests, shifting priorities of your stakeholders, or new risks that have been
Define iteration objectives
Work with the team to refine the iteration objectives found in the project definition and scope, and document them in
the iteration plan in order to provide high-level direction to what should be targeted for the iteration. The
objectives should be driven based on stakeholder priorities, and will be revised as the iteration plan is
finalized. Those objectives are usually defined as high-level capabilities or scenarios, which need to be implemented and
tested during the iteration in order to deliver increased value to the customer.
Commit work to the iteration
The project manager works with the team, and especially the project stakeholders, to identify the
high-priority work items from the work items list to be addressed. The high-level objectives provide guidance on what
work items should be considered. The iteration plan from previous iteration should include an assessment of the results,
and can also be used as input to the current iteration planning. The team reviews its velocity and determines the
amount of work that can be done within the iteration. The team breaks down into tasks those work items that are
assigned to the iteration, and estimates the effort to complete each task. Typical tasks range from half a day to two
days in length, and are captured in the work items list. See Guideline: Agile Estimation for more information.
When the team has decided to take on a work item, it will assign the work to one or several team members. Ideally,
this is done by team members signing up to do the work, since this makes people motivated and committed to doing the
job. However, based on your culture, you may instead have the project manager assign the work.
Identify and review risks
Throughout the project, new assumptions and concerns may arise. The team identifies and prioritizes new risks
as part of iteration planning, updating the risk list. Responses to risks are added to the work items
list, influencing the work that is being planned for that iteration.
Define evaluation criteria
Each iteration should include testing as a part of the evaluation, as well as the test objectives and test cases
that need to be detailed. Other evaluation criteria may include successful demonstrations to key stakeholders, or
favorable usage by a small group of target users. Document evaluation criteria in the iteration plan.
Refine project definition and scope
Depending on the results of the previous iteration assessment, update the project definition work products as
needed. Necessary changes can encompass the need to acquire new resources, to absorb an unplanned effort increase, or
to implement a specific change request. If a change affects defined project milestones, consult with the
stakeholders before committing to it.