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Agile Estimating and Planning

(Robert C. Martin Series)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,355 ratings  ·  141 reviews
Detailed, Proven Techniques for Estimating and Planning Any Agile Project Agile Estimating and Planning is the definitive, practical guide to estimating and planning agile projects. In this book, Agile Alliance cofounder Mike Cohn discusses the philosophy of agile estimating and planning and shows you exactly how to get the job done, with real-world examples and case s ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Pearson
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Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
After having read many books on agile software development, this is the book that finally made the entire system hang together for me. Cohn walks through all of the various aspects of agile planning, providing reasoning about why various approaches are taken as well as how to go about executing them. While the flow of the book can be a bit jarring at times, jumping from one topic to a seemingly unrelated one between chapters, I still came away from the book with a much better understanding of th ...more
Sebastian Gebski
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The bible of agile planning. True classic. Even if personally I don't agree with some statements, this book is a MUST read for anyone who's interesting in REAL-LIFE aspect of agile approach. This book is exactly about the actual bread and butter of agile projects in the COMMERCIAL environment - where risk and predictability have to have some harness.

For me personally it's kind of a shame that I've read it so late and who knows - maybe even I'd skip it completely, but I've decided to read it as a
Evan Leybourn
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
People are, in general, bad at estimating with any definition or accuracy.

That's pretty much the core of this book; and it puts across that message quite well. It then puts forth some good ideas on how to work around this. Using the Fibonacci sequence is a stroke of brilliance and is pretty much the de-facto standard in all agile projects.

The book hasn't, however, held up well over time. It can lack coherence, and once you understand the core message, there's not much additional value in reading
Margarita Artemyan
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pm-po-agile
Recommended book for project manager/scrum masters or whoever interested in planning and estimating. The book gives guidelines and tools that can help to succeed in planning, estimating, and scheduling projects while having high level of uncertainties in the project. Mike gives detailed examples with practical approaches and techniques to increase agility and shows how to produce software of high business value.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I find this book very helpful with a lot of easy to understand examples.
Jaideep Khanduja
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Book Review: Agile Estimating And Planning By Mike Cohn: A Must Read For All Agile Aspirants

This is an excellent book written by Mike Cohn who is the founder of Mountain Goat Software. The title of the book Agile Estimating And Planning says it all for estimating and planning of an Agile Project. It says if the planning and estimating is not done in an agile way, the agile project is not relevant to this estimating and planning. Without taking agile into a
Evan Wondrasek
Excellent resource for agile project management. I'd call it a must-read for product owners and agile team managers, and I'd absolutely encourage scrum masters and development team members to read it - it could only make them better. This book has the obligatory coverage of scrum and agile basics, but differentiates itself with topics on broader and longer-term planning, like themes, milestones, and communicating schedules. I found all of this useful and plan to reread it in the future. I disagr ...more
Mike Crittenden
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educational
This book answered lots of things I've wondered about for years. The writing is a little dense at times but there's so much great info. DEFINITELY read the case study at the end. It made it all come together for me. ...more
John Telford
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best technical books I have read and an excellent treatise on the subject. If you work with Agile or are interested in it, I highly recommend this educational resource.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book helped me develop the mindset how to succeed in planning, estimating, and scheduling projects with a certain level of approximation.
It also helped me know about the guidelines and tools that we need to succeed with limited Planning & scope Estimation that is just enough to deliver business value to the customer every Sprint.

The book emphasizes on accepting change late in the Release in Agile Manifesto and this book dwells into how to build such a mindset within a Team which I found qu
Paolo Alfonso
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely the book that I was looking for when faced with the task of how to be _agile_ in a traditional corporate setting where estimations are treated as commitments and written in contracts between businesses.

As the title suggests, this book discusses the practical and concrete steps on how to be agile when asked for estimations and how to plan around them - and more importantly, the rationale behind them. From defining an a unit of measure like a story point, which IMO is a complex concept
Remo Biagioni
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it's good to return to the classics. I often think I should have a list of books that need to be read every 5 years. This book would be on that list. For a fifteen year old book on cutting edge software development, it is remarkably current.

Many of the ideas in the book are so common in development teams that you see many different variations: some good and some to be avoided. So returning to basics is an excellent reminder of how things should work. There is much in this book to be a
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
In this book you will find two descriptions of what is pretty much the "standard" agile estimation and planning process: the first one as a set of topic-focused chapters that you can read or refer your colleagues to as independent topics; the second is as a short story in the line of The Goal or The Phoenix Project, with less detail but more hollistic.

Apart form explaining the canon, Mike Cohn is referring to the why behind some of the practices (Parkinson's Law, queuing theory, research on what
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clear and concise but I have to admit I did not read the last part. I have an aversion to technical writers entering the world of creative writing and therefore skipped this last section. My apologies to Mike Cohn, who may be a fine fiction writer but I could not overcome my phobia.

I found the preceding work admirable and as I have just become involved in a product development project (as nominal product owner) I hope to put what I have learned into practice and I am sure I will be revisiting th
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lot os insights about estimating and planning.

If you are starting on agile product development or moving from some role to agile product owner, or even scrum master, this book is for you.

If you are already an agile expert you won't find anything super relevant but it will help you a lot with different approaches about estimation and planning, iterations and releases also.

In my case I have learned several methods and approaches for estimation and planning. Also ideas about how to address technic
Adam Griffiths
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Right, this is a great agile planning book full of good ideas which talks through the basics, gives strategies on prioritisation, and ideas on syncing up multiple teams. There’s even a short story at the end to illustrate some of the basics.

So why have I only given it four stars? I have to admit, compared with other agile and/or DevOps books I’ve read this one was heavy going. It took a lot of effort to reach for it towards the ends and I found myself putting it down for months in end. Maybe per
Apostolos Georgakis
Sep 28, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: management
The author walks a very thin line when comparing story points to ideal days that doesn't make much sense given the explanation he provides. Additionally there are cases where he contradicts when he says or changes his stance on something (for example going from relative to absolute value for a given metric). ...more
TruongSinh Tran-Nguyen
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to TruongSinh by:
Informative and useful, written from author's own experiences and opinions. The author presents all known tools/approaches, then explains which ones are appropriate in which scenario, why/how so, and his preferences if any. Having lots of author's own experiences and fictional stories makes this book easily comprehensible. ...more
Amr Negm
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Estimation is a tricky part of Agile process, and there is much misunderstanding about it. The book goes through estimation process in details.
A big lesson is focusing on implementing concepts is more important than sticking with specific practices.
It concludes with a realistic study case that summarizes most of concepts.
Pawel Wujczyk
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: tech
Book describes scrum project approach in great details. Sometimes even too much. Author even create some calculations to make his thoughts more reliable. But in general book greatly describes how team should operate in the scrum. If you really want to understand how it should be done this is the book for you. Still you need to think if learning scrum is proper way of doing IT projects...
Yaroslav Draga
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is it an essential book for planning and estimations! I would recommend reading it for all participants of an agile team!
The last part of the book contains an example of a real situation when a team starts with a new project, create and estimate stories, plan releases and iterations. I enjoyed it the most as it was an exciting story.
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: se
This book really shed a light on the entire agile process while focusing on the planning topic. I was already familiar with agile methods but this book still reminded me of many things that I have either taken for granted or forgotten. The last chapter was especially helpful because it summarized most of the book in a nice use case.
Udaykiran Joshi
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for anyone who is practicing Agile!!

Must read for anyone who is practicing Agile!! The sizing and estimation concepts are explained so beautifully that you can right away start practicing most of what is being suggested!
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Valuable Reading for Software Estimating

Describes the balance of satisfying stakeholders and sensible software development. Emphasis on team building through performance. Demonstration of having clients collaborate on prioritizing what is possible and what is needed.
Sara Nour
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Udaykiran Joshi
Mike is my Agile Guru! I have learnt a lot from his books and online articles and immensely benefitted from his work!

This book is another gem in his list and ಈ thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks Mike for spreading the wisdom. !
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fundamental of Agile estimating. Good that it have some patterns defined about how many possible way to estimate and plan.

Bridge the traditional world about what metrics usually use to estimate and the Agile world.

Think about revisit this book for the case study part at the end of the book.
Radu Stanculescu
Excellent book, I'm sure I'll go back to it quite often. ...more
Ankit Agrawal
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book, really really simple and it was actually fun reading it. Gives a very very clear perspective of what needs to be done. A must Read.
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Mike Cohn is the owner of Mountain Goat Software and is recognized as one of the contributors to the invention of Scrum. He is one of the founders of the Scrum Alliance and is a Certified Scrum Trainer. He is a trainer on Scrum and agile software process techniques and helped popularize Planning poker which he provides as a free online planning tool.

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