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WBS Example: Agile Project Plan


Quick Summary
Screenshot WBS and schedule created for a sprint-based project. (Yes, really.) It covers a complete software project, from initial team formation to post-project retrospective.


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What this is

This Microsoft Project file for an Agile project provides a work breakdown and prospective schedule for a complete software project, from initial team formation to release and post-project review. Almost 200 tasks and milestones are included in this example file, which illustrates how sprint-based project might play out over time.


Why it's useful

For those who believe you cannot run an Agile project on a schedule, or whose managers won't allow them to try an Agile project without a schedule, this example file will be a huge help. By breaking down critical Agile releases and Sprints/Iterations into high-level work rather than low-level tasks -- which is where a WBS should be anyway. The schedule allows the team room to self-manage within the iteration while still informing management of critical milestones and key review dates. It also accounts for many of the related but non-delivery ancillary tasks and their associated dependencies.

As designed, the schedule assumes Sprints/Iterations of 8 days, but both the number of stories/scenarios or tasks and the number and duration of Sprints/Iterations can be adjusted to suit your project delivery cycle and team structure. (Remember to set your original baseline from the team agreement, and to avoid changing the baseline if you want to track changes in velocity during the project.) This approach also prompts you to build your Agile work (retrospectives, sprint planning, etc.) into the overall project schedule, to emphasize its importance and the discipline these methodologies require. This may help you reassure team members and stakeholders who aren't comfortable with Agile processes yet..


How to use it

Extract the Microsoft Project schedule from the zip file and save it to your hard drive. Review its WBS structure, resource allocation, estimates, etc. for ideas for your own project's work breakdown and scheduling. Edit it to create your own template if desired.

Note: You must have Microsoft Project installed in order to edit this file. If you don't have MS Project you can still view the file using one of the many MS Project viewers on the market. (Google on "Microsoft Project viewer" for scads of possibilities.) You may also want to look into Microsoft's 60-day free trial offer.


About the Author

Geof Lory is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Agile Practitioner and a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) with 30 years of project management experience. He helps organizations develop best practices for successful project delivery by leading information technology projects and using experiential training, on-site consulting, and coaching. His special emphasis is helping project managers improve team productivity by focusing on the people and processes rather than technology. Geof has worked with many industry-accepted and internally-developed SDLC methodologies, and maintains certifications to deliver curriculum for the Microsoft Solutions Framework, Agile/Scrum curriculum, and other traditional project management curricula. He has authored many articles, papers, and a book on a wide range of project management topics, and contributes regularly to ProjectConnections.com. Geof can be reached through his website at www.gtdconsult.com.


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