In the previous post, we discussed how to do a detailed project plan, but that looks only a few weeks into the future. In this post, we explain how to set duration for project iteration. The post is based on a remarkable book written by Johanna Rothman, Manage It!
When you decide to manage a project using timeboxed iterations, the question is how long it should be that iteration. Here is what Jhoanna advises to do.
Ask your sponsors how much time you can waste on the project. Wasting project time means that you will not get any feedback on project deliverables during that time. So if you could waste the whole project, switch to the Serial Project lifecycle. Usually, this is not possible, so you set iteration duration one to four weeks. Shorten the period, feedback would be much frequent.
For example, with an iteration duration of one week, first of all, you must be able to plan tasks for that week in one day top. This requires the team to be able to define Inch-Pebbles tasks. Inch-Pebble tasks are tasks with top of two days duration. There is no point in having a one-week iteration with tasks that take one week.
The greatest challenge for the project team with setting iteration duration is the team’s ability to make Inch-Pebble tasks.