Assign tasks directly

Weekly Planning Meeting

The purpose of the weekly planning meeting is to select, define, and estimate tasks expected to be completed by the end of the current iteration. The PM selects the highest priority tasks from the current task list. Selection is based on project schedule, client requirements, and other business criteria, but only the highest priority tasks are selected. The number of tasks selected are based on current velocity. If team velocity is 100, only 100 points worth of tasks are selected. (Velocity is modified based on staff availability). The team is expected to complete all selected tasks, the entire 100 points, by the end of the iteration. They completed 100 points last iteration, so they should be able to do it again.

Tasks

Each task is represented by a task card. No task card can exceed 8 points (ideal hours). If a task exceeds 8 points, the PM, working with team members, breaks it down into smaller tasks.

Tasks usually focus on producing a deliverable: something tangible, like a drawing or a report; or giving a performance: attending a meeting or doing a presentation. Overhead tasks, like management and support tasks, that don’t directly produce deliverables, are not included in the task list and are assigned in other meetings.

Team members define and estimate each task. They define the task by clarifying its scope, usually by questioning the PM. They attempt to understand exactly what the PM expects. They usually break the task into subtasks to help understand and estimate it. Team members estimate a task by estimating the amount of time, in ideal hours, that the task will take. They record the estimate on the task card, along with other notes to remind them later of the scope of work.

Extra Tasks

Extra tasks are unexpected tasks added during an iteration. They’re usually high-priority tasks that must be done right away, before the end of the iteration. They can’t be put off until the next planning meeting. They are represented by a task card, defined and estimated like a normal task card, usually in a stand-up meeting, held specifically for that purpose.

When extra tasks are added after an iteration has begun, other lower-priority tasks must be removed to maintain the expected velocity. In other words, if velocity is expected to be 100 points and a 4-point task is added, the PM removes another lower priority 4-point task.