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Agile Inception: align the team for success. Techniques to allow teams to align on what they are going to deliver.

Delivery Plan

The key driver for the inception stage is to increase confidence that the project is feasible given a more detailed understanding of the cost and the benefits. The delivery plan allows the team to ratify the costs by focusing on how long the team will take to deliver the project, given the newly understood Epic Level scope.

The aim of creating the Epic Board isn’t to create a delivery plan which will be followed religiously, it is to allow the team to work with the Product Owner to understand how the project could be delivered, and to build pivot points into the plan to ensure that the team can constantly work on the most valuable thing, even if priorities change.

1 day
Key Focus: Project Backlog
Product Owner, Business Analyst, Tech Lead, Scrum Master, Inception Team

Epic Board

  • Shows Epic level deliverables
  • Epics stack ranked in priority
  • Grouped by time box (i.e. Month) based on delivery capacity
  • Allows re-prioritisation by the product owner at any point

Estimated Backlog

  • Delivery team provides estimate for the Epic level requirements
  • Epic Scope defined by child stories identified in project mindmap
  • Estimates are provided for the SizeComplexity and Confidence of each Epic

Capacity Planning

  • In order to provide increased confidence in the estimated cost – the estimates need to be mapped to allocated resource
  • T-Shirt sizes aligned to approx dev weeks
  • Complexity estimates then refine the weeks to give High Level ‘Dev Days’
  • This allows teams to use the Epic Board to plan against accurate months with known holidays, absences, working days etc.


  • PO prioritises the epic backlog based on commercial benefits to realise the value early
  • Key Epics with high risk estimates are addressed early in the timeline
  • Team support the product owner with tech Epic options to reduce the overall cost of delivery
  • Epics are group into releases, based on prioritisation
  • Prioritisation includes placeholders for the SDLC (iebug fixing post release)


  • Internal (i.e. components from other teams) and external (i.e. 3rd Party deliverables) product dependencies identified for Epics
  • Other organisations dependencies (i.e. release marketing, business change, etc.) are mapped against key delivery milestones
  • This allows the delivery plan to cover all activities needed to get the functionality live