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Agile release planning in Project Management | PMBOK

Agile Release Planning

Where Applied?

Within the PMBOK® Guide, Agile release planning technique is used in the following processes:




Develop Schedule

Project Schedule Management



Agile release planning provides a high-level summary timeline of the release schedule (typically 3 to 6 months) based on the product roadmap and the product vision for the product’s evolution. Agile release planning also determines the number of iterations or sprints in the release, and allows the product owner and team to decide how much needs to be developed and how long it will take to have a releasable product based on business goals, dependencies, and impediments. Since features represent value to the customer, the timeline provides a more easily understood project schedule as it defines which feature will be available at the end of each iteration, which is exactly the depth of information the customer is looking for.

Diagram shows the relationship between product vision, product roadmap, release planning, and iteration planning.

A few tips to make release planning effective

  • Do as little planning as is necessary.
  • Start release planning when you realize you need it, even if it’s near the end of the release effort.
  • Plan using stickies on the walls. If you must transcribe them into an online tool, do that later, after the meeting.
  • Don’t forget that each scrum team only commits to results for the next sprint. Everything else is merely an attempt to understand what could or should happen.
  • Release planning is not about committing to a list of features to be released on a certain date.
  • Include vendors and other third parties who are relevant and involved in your release planning meeting.
  • Revisit the release plan after each sprint and update it.
  • Don’t give in to the urge to publish a release plan as a separate document
  • There’s no prescribed time box for release planning because it will vary with the size of the team and the expected length of the release effort.
Agile planning
Agile release planning diagram

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