Agile Estimating and Planning Book Summary - Agile Estimating and Planning Book explained in key points

Agile Estimating and Planning summary

Mike Cohn

Brief summary

Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn is a comprehensive guide that provides practical techniques for estimating and planning agile projects. It offers valuable insights and actionable strategies for successful project management in an agile environment.

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    Agile Estimating and Planning
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding Agile Estimating and Planning

    In Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn, we delve into the world of agile project management. Cohn begins by explaining the limitations of traditional project management methods and how agile methodologies, such as Scrum, can address these shortcomings. He emphasizes the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing requirements and uncertain project scopes.

    Cohn then introduces the concept of user stories, which are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the person who desires the new capability. He explains how these user stories form the basis for estimating and planning in agile projects. The author also introduces the concept of story points, a unit of measure for expressing an estimate of the overall effort required to fully implement a user story.

    Estimating and Planning Techniques

    Next, Agile Estimating and Planning delves into the techniques for estimating and planning in agile projects. Cohn discusses the process of assigning story points to user stories, emphasizing the relative nature of these estimates. He introduces the concept of velocity, which is the amount of work a team can complete in a single iteration, and explains how it is used to plan future iterations.

    The book then explores different approaches to release planning, including date-driven and feature-driven planning. Cohn provides practical advice on how to prioritize features, manage project scope, and create a release plan that meets the needs of both the development team and the stakeholders.

    Adapting to Change

    One of the key themes in Agile Estimating and Planning is the ability to adapt to change. Cohn emphasizes that agile planning is not about creating a detailed plan and sticking to it, but rather about continuously adapting to new information and changing circumstances. He discusses techniques for handling changes in requirements, adjusting the project schedule, and managing stakeholder expectations.

    Furthermore, Cohn addresses the challenges of estimating large projects and provides strategies for breaking down large features into smaller, more manageable user stories. He also discusses the role of risk management in agile projects and how to incorporate risk analysis into the planning process.

    Real-World Application

    In the latter part of the book, Cohn provides real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the concepts and techniques discussed earlier. He shares his experiences working with various teams and projects, highlighting both the successes and the challenges they faced in implementing agile estimating and planning practices.

    Finally, Cohn concludes Agile Estimating and Planning by summarizing the key takeaways and offering practical advice for those looking to implement agile planning in their own projects. He emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and the need for teams to reflect on their planning and estimating practices in order to refine and improve them over time.


    In conclusion, Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn provides a comprehensive guide to the principles, techniques, and best practices of agile project estimation and planning. It is a valuable resource for project managers, team leaders, and anyone involved in agile software development, offering practical insights and actionable advice for successfully managing projects in an agile environment.

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    What is Agile Estimating and Planning about?

    Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn provides practical guidance for anyone involved in agile project management. The book explores effective methods for estimation and planning in an iterative and flexible approach, helping teams deliver high-value products in a constantly changing environment. It is a valuable resource for those looking to master the art of agile project management.

    Agile Estimating and Planning Review

    Agile Estimating and Planning (2005) is a must-read for anyone involved in project management. Here's why this book stands out:

    • Practical techniques and proven strategies are provided to help teams effectively estimate and plan agile projects.
    • The book offers valuable insights on managing risk and ensuring predictable outcomes, making it a valuable resource for project success.
    • Through concise explanations and real-world examples, the book keeps readers engaged and motivated, making the topic of estimation and planning anything but boring.

    Who should read Agile Estimating and Planning?

    • Project managers seeking to improve their planning and estimating skills
    • Agile team members looking to understand and implement effective estimation techniques
    • Individuals interested in learning about the concepts and practices of agile project management

    About the Author

    Mike Cohn is a renowned author and expert in the field of agile project management. With over 20 years of experience, he has helped numerous organizations improve their project planning and delivery processes. Cohn's book, "Agile Estimating and Planning," is considered a must-read for anyone looking to understand and implement agile methodologies. He has also authored other highly acclaimed books, such as "User Stories Applied" and "Succeeding with Agile."

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    Agile Estimating and Planning FAQs 

    What is the main message of Agile Estimating and Planning?

    The main message of Agile Estimating and Planning is effective project estimation and planning in agile environments.

    How long does it take to read Agile Estimating and Planning?

    The reading time for Agile Estimating and Planning varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Agile Estimating and Planning a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Agile Estimating and Planning is a valuable read for anyone involved in agile software development. It offers practical insights and techniques to improve project estimation and planning.

    Who is the author of Agile Estimating and Planning?

    The author of Agile Estimating and Planning is Mike Cohn.

    What to read after Agile Estimating and Planning?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Agile Estimating and Planning, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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