Now, Next, Later

Continuous planning#

Traditional scrum processes are outdated in their fixed constructs of roles, sizing estimations, one-size fits all sprint durations, and recurring meetings such as stand-ups and retros. While sizing is used to estimate deliverables and allocate resources, it is not the most important question to answer. Estimating the atoms of a plan is only accurate after a plan shifts to execution and the potential variables are resolved or better understood. This indeterminacy leads most developers to either pad estimates when dealing with any level of complexity or to deal only with certainties, which promotes less risk taking.

Continuous planning represents a real-time relationship between what is planned and what is being worked on. This approach directly enables developers to pick up work that drives customer and business impact on a continuous basis. The power of continuous planning comes through deconstructing complex processes in favor of more intuitive and integrated workflows.

Prioritized work#

Instead of antiquated concepts requiring domain knowledge, prioritized work is defined by a state machine into Now, Next, and Later (NNL).

  • Now: A direct reflection of keystrokes, not what is planned but what is being executed on which is derived from connected applications. By capturing Now as a reflection of active development, a real-time meter can help team’s understand true effort.
  • Next: A prioritized, scoped estimate of what will be worked on in a given timeframe.
  • Later: The prioritized issues expected to be committed to in the following interval for shared visibility.
  • Backlog: A combination of prioritized and new customer feedback that can be valued and ranked based on a combination of human and machine based scoring.

As issues are moved into Next, like traditional methods, the effort is estimated or broken down further such that the work can be completed in a given time interval. Instead of asking and evaluating a work item based on a "no more than" estimate, teams should ask for a "no less than" estimate. Developers find more comfort in proposing this value as it removes the negative connotations of exceeding an estimate and removes incessant requests to explain why the work is not complete. This simple adjustment removes a lot of overhead and distractions that cause teams to over-index on effort estimates.

The final change in adopting a continuous planning process is creating a culture that cultivates adaptation. Adaptation is not something that can be taught; you have to empower an adaptive mindset and give developers the freedom to experiment and iterate to the right solution. As auto-ranking helps prioritize future investment, small experiments help prove or invalidate hypothesis enabling teams to continuously rapidly iterate and validate assumptions. Empowering creators to embrace adaptation enables them to maintain product- and customer-centricity when building and iterating towards a goal.

NNL vista of issues#

You can view issues according their stage in the DevRev app under Build > Now, Next, Later.

Now, Next, Later

Sprints are automatically designated as two weeks long. You can change the sprint duration by clicking the date range in the Now selector and changing the value of Duration.

Stage duration

Administrators can save the duration change to make it effective for the org.