Can your team reliably estimate, plan and execute its Sprints? Do they have problems creating Sprint Plans that make sense based on Story Estimates and the team’s Velocity? These are not uncommon problems, and the consequences can be significant: lack of confidence in Estimates, no idea what the team’s actual Velocity is, Sprint Plans that don’t make sense and Product Owners and Customers who have little trust that the team is going to deliver on its Sprint Commitments.

The Theory of Constraints (ToC), a management philosophy first introduced by Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his 1984 book The Goal, can be used to make the relationships between the Agile planning practices much clearer and help to address many of the problems teams have with Estimates, Velocity and Sprint Planning. The principles behind the ToC provide a straightforward framework that teams can apply to help make their planning process more understandable, reliable and predictable.

Lawrence Ludlow, Director of Process at Intelliware, recently presented at the 2016 Toronto Agile Conference. Below is Lawrence’s presentation on how to use the Theory of Constraints to improve your planning processes on Agile projects.

Kanban Board