Download: the Agile Annual Plan Canvas

Falling leaves equals: autumn. Autumn again equals: making annual plans. However? Scrum Academy is a big fan of annual plans. ‘Huh? But an annual plan is definitely not Agile’, you may think. But looking ahead is crucial, even if you work Agile. That is why you can read in this article how to make annual plans Agile. To make that even more insightful, I made the new Agile Roadmapping Canvas for you. You can find it as a free download at the bottom of this blog .

What makes an Agile annual plan different from a traditional annual plan?

An annual plan serves a purpose. It’s not for nothing that you put your precious time into making the plan: you ultimately want to get something out of it. So it is more than just a must. For example, you may want to make a budget estimate. Or you want to give an insight into where the money is going. Even when your team grows, you sometimes need an annual plan for recruitment and selection.

Of course, the annual plan can also relate to coordination with other departments. In this way you show in the plan which themes your department will be working on and in which period, so that you can coordinate the work properly. An annual plan is also ideal for coordinating with your clients. You show that you tackle things sequentially and not all at once. That is very efficient and you immediately adjust expectations.

Whatever annual plan you make, make sure you have a clear goal in mind. Don’t just fill in a format, but make the minimal plan to get clarity about the most important things for the next year. Only then can you work on an Agile annual plan.

The Agile annual plan is visible, simple and clear

Traditional multi-page annual plans? Few people look back on that. But a clear Agile annual plan that fits on one A4 sheet? That rolls right out of the printer. Ideal to enlarge to an A3 poster for the bulletin board, next to the foosball table or on the coffee machine. With a cup of coffee in hand, you see the bigger picture faster. Many Agile teams also put the annual plan in their Obeya.

Suppose you have completely crystallized your traditional annual plan in that document of an impressive number of pages… and then things suddenly turn out to be very different (which, as you know, is usually the case). Then it can go straight from the drawer to the shredder. Or you can lock yourself up again for a few days to make all the adjustments.The Agile annual plan on one side? That’s a whole different story. You map the changes, implement them in a number of places in the existing text and print it again. Oh yeah, don’t forget to hang it up at the coffee corner again.

The Agile annual plan is realistic and ambitious

The ideal balance between realistic and ambitious is difficult to find. Too realistic, and you won’t move fast enough. Too ambitious and the plan is depressing because you won’t make it anyway. My rule of thumb for the balance is: easily achievable if nothing goes wrong.

How does the Agile Annual Plan Canvas work?

An Agile Annual Plan Canvas is the same as an Agile Roadmap. Each quarter you set out what the objective is and on the basis of which empirical indicators you know that you are getting closer. We call the objective Objective. We call the progress indicator Progress Metric.
In addition to the main objective and its metrics, it is common to further supplement the plan with: the most important initiatives for the quarter and the expected figures. Some teams also supplement the canvas with potential risks or required budgets. Discover which additions are relevant to your team. Can’t quite figure it out? Give me a call and I’ll think along with you.

And now you: make your Agile annual plan!

Make sure that the Agile Annual Plan Canvas does not end up in a drawer, but get started with it. Just try it, play around with it. You can fill in the canvas for your team, your department or just for yourself. Then we simply call it your personal development plan. Need more than this article to get started? Please feel free to contact us. Or take a look at the Product Owner II training. There we go much deeper into Agile Roadmapping .

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