Planning the project

This topic describes how to plan the project. Planning a project consists of creating a release plan and iterations, creating plan items from high-level requirements, describing the plan items, reviewing the plan with stakeholders, and updating requirements to reflect the team's decisions.

picture shows the steps included in planning a project. Click here to get information about planning the release Click here to get information about developing a vision Click here to get information about organizing requirements Click here to get information about planning the test effort Click here to get information about creating a release plan Click here to get information about creating iterations Click here to get information about describing plan items Click here to get information about reviewing the release plan Click here to get information about updating requirements

Good release planning helps you to more accurately predict the required resources, the scope of the project, and delivery dates. The project manager completes most of the steps in this task. The business analyst completes the last step, updating requirements.

Before you begin

Before you can plan a project, you must organize and prioritize your requirements.

1: Create a release plan

The project release plan provides a high-level overview of the work that is associated with a product release. The plan might be for a major release and include significant development work or the plan might be for a maintenance release. In the plan, you can view and manage work items that are targeted for the release iterations.
  1. Create a release plan.
  2. Link the requirements collection to the release plan. Then create work items from the requirements in the collection. The new work items are linked to the corresponding requirements.
  3. Determine the number and length of iterations. Your project has a timeline with start and end dates. Within that timeline, organize work into development periods, called iterations. Each iteration has a start and end date.
  4. Estimate the amount of work that the team can complete for the release. Different processes use different ways of measuring work. For example, the Scrum process uses the concept of story points to estimate the work required to implement high-level plan items, or stories. Based on the number of developers on the team, their level of experience, and the length of the release, the project manager estimates the total number of story points that the team can implement for the release.
  5. Record all the planning decisions on the release plan Overview tab.

Supporting tasks:

2: Create iterations

In the previous procedure, you identified the number and length of iterations. In this task, you create those iterations in the project area.

Supporting tasks:

3: Describe plan items

Now that your release plan is in place and it contains an initial set of plan items that are associated with the project requirements, you must add details to the plan items. Then prioritize them.
  1. To ensure that all stakeholders understand the primary goals of the release, describe the conditions of satisfaction for the release. Review the business goals with the team. Edit the release plan Overview tab to include this information.
  2. Go through the plan items in the release plan and add descriptions and time estimates.
  3. In a meeting with the team, prioritize the plan items. Assign any items that you do think you cannot complete in the release to the product backlog by setting the Planned for field value for these items.

Supporting tasks:

4: Review release plan

Review the revised release plan with the team. Ensure that the estimated amount of work for the release is acceptable and that the plan items that are targeted for the release meet the stated conditions of satisfaction for the release.

5: Update requirements

After the team approves the release plan, the business analyst updates the requirements collection so that it reflects the team's decisions.
  1. Compare the release plan with the requirements collection. Update the collection as necessary. For example, remove requirements that are no longer in the release plan.
  2. Confirm that the revised requirements collection matches the release plan.

Supporting tasks:


By completing this task, you have created a release plan that describes and sizes the development work to complete to meet the project requirements. You have also linked the requirements to corresponding plan items.

What to do next

Now that you have completed the development plan, create the test plan.