AoAD2 Chapter: Planning (Introduction)

Book cover for “The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition.”

Second Edition cover

This is a pre-release excerpt of The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition, to be published by O’Reilly in 2021. Visit the Second Edition home page for information about the open development process, additional excerpts, and more.

Your feedback is appreciated! To share your thoughts, join the AoAD2 open review mailing list.

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2020, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.


Agile is adaptive, not predictive. It’s one of the things that sets Agile apart—the very source of its name!—and one of the biggest culture shocks for organizations new to Agile. And nowhere is it more apparent than in the way Agile teams plan their work.

This chapter has the practices you need to effectively make and adapt your plans. Because adaptive planning can take time for organizations to accept, it also discusses how to make predictive plans with an Agile team.

  • “Stories” on p.XX: Plan your work in small, customer-centric pieces.

  • “Adaptive Planning” on p.XX: Balance adaptability with predictability to focus your plans on value.

  • “Visual Planning” on p.XX: Create plans that communicate context and options.

  • “The Planning Game” on p.XX: Create a detailed plan for guiding your next steps.

  • “Real Customer Involvement” on p.XX: Include customers’ perspectives to create better plans.

  • “Incremental Requirements” on p.XX: Determine requirements details just before they’re needed.

Adaptability is supported by several key ideas. They’re discussed in sidebars throughout this chapter:

  • “Key Idea: Minimize Work in Progress” on p.XX: Decrease waste and improve agility.

  • “Key Idea: The Last Responsible Moment” on p.XX: Make better decisions by deciding later.

  • “Key Idea: Feedback and Iteration” on p.XX: Prevent mistakes by collecting feedback early and making changes.

Share your feedback about this excerpt on the AoAD2 mailing list! Sign up here.

For more excerpts from the book, or to get a copy of the Early Release, see the Second Edition home page.

If you liked this entry, check out my best writing and presentations, and consider subscribing to updates by email or RSS.