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We often hear the question “Can I use LiquidPlanner to manage my Agile projects?” We love this question, because our own software developers do that very thing – all day, every day! Even the operations side of the LP house has adopted some Agile concepts for managing their work.

Here’s an example of what an Agile workspace might look like. There could be any number of variations, but this pretty closely models the structure that our own software developers use:

Now that you have a visual, let’s break down this workspace and tell you exactly how it all works:

  • We use Project folders to represent feature areas of the LiquidPlanner application.
  • We use a package to represent the numbered sprint that we are currently working on, and it sits toward the top of the plan so that the work therein is scheduled first. Tasks from various projects are packaged into this sprint, ideally about 4 weeks max worth of work.
  • Supporting details for each task – notes, comments, files and links – are attached directly to the task.
  • We also have a package for staging the following sprint, as well as a package for our backlog, which is always on-hold. Sub-packages are added where appropriate for categorization and to assist process flow.
  • Our developers are generally focused only on work in the current sprint. If urgent work arises that should take priority over the sprint work, it will get placed into the ASAP package, which sits above the sprint package.
  • New work – feature requests, bugs, design ideas – are created as tasks in the Inbox. Twice a week, we gather for a triage meeting to step through the tasks in the Inbox. We make a quick decision about sending each task into the current sprint, the staged sprint, or the backlog. If a task is going into the current sprint, it gets assigned to a developer and that person adds an initial ranged estimate on-the-spot.
  • We rely on the current sprint’s Deadline date to alert us if adding new work to the sprint puts the deadline at risk. We also reference the sprint Workload Report to keep an eye on resource leveling. The Overall Workload section of that report gives us a quick view of how the sprint’s work is distributed across the developers.
  • When a sprint is completed, it gets marked done. A new package is created for the new current sprint, and we load it up with tasks from the staging and backlog packages.
  • Rinse and repeat!

Do you have any other questions about how to manage your Agile projects in LiquidPlanner? Leave a comment here or contact us.