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Forecasting, Release Planning and Complexity

When communicating forecasts, Scrum Teams should be sure to include the uncertainty involved. Everyone in the team as well as stakeholders must understand that their forecasts will change as more information emerges, conditions evolve and impediments are identified and removed. These include anything from technical and development complications, changes within the team, unforeseen dependencies, uncertain customer behavior, and evolving market conditions.

Planning and Updating Forecasts within a Sprint

During Sprint Planning Scrum Teams can use historical data such as throughput to forecast the amount of work they believe they can deliver in a Sprint. This Sprint forecast, together with the Sprint Goal and an actionable plan for delivering the increment forms the Sprint Backlog.

The Sprint Review is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to update and make transparent its latest forecast and progress toward the Product Goal with their stakeholders. Based on what they learn, the Scrum Team makes changes to their Product Backlog as needed to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Such changes can then be incorporated into an updated forecast and release plan in near-real time.



Any Product Manager that has successfully delivered a product to a customer knows how incredibly important Release Planning is. Despite its importance, the 2011 Scrum Guide, published in July by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, removes any discussion about Release Planning and the related Release B...
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Scrum Team can use forecasting and release planning as a guide for delivering a product through small incremental and frequent releases rather than big bang product launches.