Planning Game


The Planning Game is a term used in the Agile software development methodology, specifically in Extreme Programming (XP). It is a decision-making process that involves the whole team – developers, managers, and customers. The game is called such because it involves planning and revising different approaches based on feedback and changing requirements.


The phonetics for the keyword “Planning Game” is: /’plænɪŋ geɪm/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Collaborative Effort: Planning Game is a cognitive and collaborative activity where all project participants, including customers, developers, and testers get involved to contemplate the system’s requirements and plan the deliverables. It is key for successful agile software development.
  2. Flexibility: It provides flexibility as it permits changes to be incorporated during the development phase without causing much disruption. It breaks down the project into manageable chunks and handles them one at a time, thus easily accepting changes and modifications.
  3. Results in Effective Planning: Planning Games results in effective planning as the development team can estimate what can be accomplished during the next iteration and the customer has a clear understanding what will be delivered and when. The team’s past performance and the customer’s priority play a critical role in this process.

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The term “Planning Game” is important in technology, particularly in the context of agile software development methodologies like Extreme Programming (XP). The Planning Game is a key component of these methodologies, facilitating a collaborative and flexible approach towards project planning and execution. It is an iterative process in which both the developers and the customers participate to plan the scope, schedule, and resources for the project. The process revolves around two aspects: release planning, determining what should be achieved in the longer run, and iteration planning, breaking down the tasks into manageable segments for a short period. This method ensures consistent communication, transparency, immediate feedback, and the ability to adapt to changes swiftly, thus increasing efficiency and productivity while reducing the risk of project failure.


The Planning Game is an essential component of the Agile methodology, particularly in Extreme Programming (XP), where it’s vital for successful project planning and management. Its core purpose is to help teams deliver quality software products within a set timeframe, facilitating decision-making about what should be developed and setting achievable goals. This procedure helps keep a constant flow of communication between the stakeholders and the development team while bringing transparency to the progress of the project, leading to efficient and value-based product development.The Planning Game comprises two primary activities; release planning and iteration planning. The first, release planning, involves looking at the project from a broad perspective, helping to define the overall timeline, and determining which features to include in each release. Iteration planning, on the other hand, focuses on the details of the upcoming tasks for a given iteration or cycle. This would involve discussing, estimating, and prioritizing work items in the backlog for the next iteration. The Planning Game plays a crucial role in ensuring goals align with business needs while making the most effective use of the development team’s resources.


1. Agile Project Management: The planning game is a key feature of Agile Project Management, used by IT companies to develop software in a flexible and efficient manner. In this game, team members and stakeholders meet to determine the features and tasks to be executed in the next iteration of development. They discuss, estimate, and prioritize work based on customer value, technical risk, and other factors. 2. The New Product Development Game: This was the original Planning Game mentioned in a 1986 Harvard Business Review article by Takeuchi and Nonaka. It outlines a flexible, holistic product development strategy where teams work as a unit to reach a common goal. This article was the foundation of Agile methodology and the Scrum framework, where the “Planning Game” practice started.3. XP (Extreme Programming): In this software development methodology, the planning game is divided into two phases: release planning and iteration planning. During release planning, customers and developers decide on the scope and timing of the release. In iteration planning, developers specify the details of the system’s user stories for this iteration. XP is a popular practice in start-ups and scalable software companies.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is a Planning Game in technology terms?A: A Planning Game is a principle in Extreme Programming, a type of agile software development methodology. It is used to determine what should be done next and predict what will be accomplished by the planned release of the software.Q: How does a Planning Game work?A: A Planning Game is divided into two main activities: Release Planning, where the scope and timeline of development are defined, and Iteration Planning, where developers and customers discuss and define tasks for the next iteration. Q: Who is involved in a Planning Game?A: The Planning Game involves developers, customers, and sometimes managers. The customer specifies the preferred functionality and priorities, while developers estimate the time and resources needed for each task. Q: What is the purpose of a Planning Game?A: The purpose is to identify deliverables, prioritize them, and set timelines for completion. It allows for swift changes of the project resources and development path, thus reducing unnecessary work and increasing productivity.Q: What are the benefits of a Planning Game in Agile projects?A: The benefits include effective communication, quick response to changes, improved customer satisfaction due to the involvement in the planning process, increased productivity, and more accurate project estimations.Q: How often is a Planning Game carried out in the software development process?A: Generally, Planning Games are performed at the start of each iteration, which could vary from a week to a month depending on the project size and the organization’s process.Q: Is a Planning Game applicable to all software development processes?A: No, the Planning Game is part of the Extreme Programming methodology. While its principles can be useful in various scenarios, it fits particularly well in projects where requirements can change rapidly and where customer involvement is high. Q: What are the potential drawbacks of the Planning Game methodology?A: Possible drawbacks might include insufficient planning for long term, reliance on tacit knowledge, and the requirement of strong customer presence, which might be unrealistic in some scenarios.

Related Tech Terms

  • User Stories
  • Iteration
  • Product Backlog
  • Release Planning
  • Agile Methodology

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