📦 Shipping Features — Planning, Estimates, Scopes and Shipping

Episode Summary

In this episode we walk through start to finish how to plan, estimate set scope and shipping a new feature. A deep dive into how to execute software features.

Episode Notes

Planning: Managing Scope

This episode jumps off Chapter 12 of Extreme programing by Kent Beck.

Planning is an exercise in listening, speaking, and aligning goals for a specific time period. It is valuable input for each team member. Without planning, we are individuals with haphazard connections and effectiveness. We are a team when we plan and work in harmony.

XP recommends planning at any timescale with these four steps.

1.) List the items of work that may need to be done.
2.) Estimate the items.
3.) Set a budget for the planning cycle.
4.) Agree on the work that needs to be done within the budget. As you negotiate, don't change the estimates or the budget.

Questions for discussion

Question 1: Walk us through how you plan a new feature. In other words, how do you bring a new idea from concept to reality?

1. Pitch

This usually comes from the client, sometimes myself or the team.

So here is our high level break down. 1st we add a new bottom tab that says students seeking this tab replaces the settings gear tab. The settings tab will be moved to the top right corner of the app. When a student clicks that tab the design attached (below) would show. * Design shows a list of students who have performed searches, with a "Message" button on each.

Rules A student should show up on a tutors seeking list if......A student search is <7 days oldThey have not been messaged by 3 different tutors initiallyThey are within a tutors travel radiusSearched subject is on Tutor's subject listNotifications FiredEvery-time a new students signs-up a tutor that meets the above criteria will receive a notification about a new student signing up that they can reach out to.Additions:Add a box on the tutor stats page that lets tutors see new students seeking help in their area.

Whiz Tutor — an app where you can find a book nearby tutors for in-person tutoring.

Pitch was — when students search for but don't book a tutor, let relevant tutors message those students. This would happen through a "Students Seeking" tab that shows up in the tutors Mobile app.

2. Design

Hand off the pitch to a designer on the team to refine and recommend a scope.

Question the work

Define the work

Handoff the design

3. Initial Client Review

4. Estimate and Plan

5. Client Approval

Question 2: How do you decide when a feature is in scope vs. out of scope?

Question 3: Talk about a time when planning failed and scope creep was real. How do you think this could have been prevented?

So recent and painful.

Closing thoughts on planning