CHOW #252 – Release Planning to Continuous Planning

After a leadership awareness session on Continuous Planning & Continuous Delivery, Ram walks up to the coach with a puzzled look. Continuous Planning is expected to help the unit respond faster in a dynamic environment and focus on delivering value. The unit that he leads has been operating with half-yearly releases for the last 5 years and each release is run like a project with defined scope. Commitments are made to customer groups based on the defined scope. Teams have been following scrum practices with excellent say-do ratios in each sprint. Predictability in delivering the promised scope is a big deal in various units and is perceived as a key factor in ensuring a good customer satisfaction rating.

Ram asks a simple question to the coach: “What should I focus on now? I do not know how to track progress with continuous planning.”

How would you respond to Ram?

Suggested Solution:

Ram’s focus needs to switch to delivering value to customers. Timeliness is not about delivering a pre-defined scope but about delivering value the customers when they need it for achieving their business outcomes. Given the dynamic nature of customer’s business in today’s environment, ability to respond faster to changes in priorities becomes crucial.

There are a few important things that Ram can track:

  1. Adoption of delivered features
  2. Feedback on how the features helped solve customer’s business problem
  3. Trends in feature throughput
  4. Cycle time trend – are we improving our speed of delivery in response to an idea or customer need?

Quality of the deliverables – this is a hygiene factor but needs focus to ensure that speed does not compromise quality

What do you think?

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