Plan a release

Make a plan for implementing the backlog items that you defined for your project. First, decide which features and user stories you plan to implement in a release. Then, assign each user story to a specific sprint and team.

Take into account:

  • The estimated effort for the backlog item

  • The length of your release and its sprints

  • The capacity of the teams assigned to the release

  • The ranking order of your backlog

In the Backlog module, select the Features or Stories tab and open the Planning pane on the right. Select the releases you want to plan, and use the planning buckets to set up your plan.

After you complete your plan, assign backlog items to specific individuals who will carry out the plan. As items are designed and developed, advance their progress from phase to phase and track the development progress.

Select an image to navigate directly to the topic about this phase and learn more.

Release planning prerequisites

Set up and configure a new release

Define the release timeline and sprints.

Create the teams that will implement the work outlined in your backlog, and assign them to the release.

Estimate a velocity at which a team is expected to work and assign teams to releases on which they will work. This determines the capacity of your release - how much functionality you can deliver, according to the release timeline and the teams working on it.

For details, see Set up a release.

Create your backlog and prioritize it

A backlog is made up of epics, features, and stories that describe the work required to complete your project.

Tip: Rank your backlog items in the order in which they should be implemented. This will help when you assign items to releases and sprints.

For details, see Build the product backlog.

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Build your release backlog

Plan backlog items to a release, sprint, and team:

  1. Assign features and user stories to releases.

    1. In the Backlog module, in the Features or Stories tabs, open the Planning pane on the right and select the releases whose planning buckets you want to see.

      The Release Bucket widgets enable you to see the amount of work planned for your release, compared to the release capacity.

      Tip: When you select a group of backlog items, the footer displays the sum of the story points in the selected items.

    2. Drag items from the list of features or stories into these buckets to assign them to a release. Make sure not to exceed the release capacity.

  2. Assign features and user stories to specific teams, and assign user stories to sprints.

    1. Expand the release bucket, using the down arrow at the bottom, to view the sprint and team buckets.

      You can select a specific sprint or view team buckets for all sprints combined.

    2. Drag items from the list of features or stories into buckets to assign them to a sprint and/or team. Make sure not to exceed a team's capacity.

      Drag stories to the No team bucket, if you want to assign them to a sprint without specifying a team.

      Drag items to a team in the All sprints bucket, if you want to assign to a team but not a sprint.

      Caution: Assigning a feature to a release or team, does not assign its stories. Add the Items in releases column to the Feature grid to see which releases a feature's stories are assigned to.

You can now assign each user story to an individual user and start carrying out your development plan.

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Assign backlog items to individual team members

After setting up your overall release plan, you can assign each user story to an individual user and start carrying out your development plan. Do this on a team-by-team and sprint-by-sprint basis.

When you are ready to plan your team's work for a specific sprint:

  1. Reevaluate the estimated effort you assigned to each backlog item. Update the item's Story points.

  2. Filter your backlog according to release, sprint, and team.

  3. Assign each backlog item to a specific team member. Set the item's Owner. Make sure not to exceed a team member's capacity.

    Note: The Agile Manager Team Backlog provides team member buckets to help you assign stories and make sure not to exceed the teams' capacity. For details, see Manage the team backlog.

    This area also facilitates tracking your team's progress.

  4. Break your stories into tasks. Estimate the effort needed for each task, and assign them to specific team members.

    Caution: Assigning stories to a team member does not assign its tasks.

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Move stories to another release

As you work through a release, there are sometimes reasons to reevaluate what content should be delivered in the scope of each release. As a result, you may often need to move stories between releases.

Using the Backlog module, you can move features and stories between releases:

  1. In the Backlog module tree, highlight the epic or feature for which you want to move its features or stories.

  2. In the grid or list, select the features or stories.

  3. In the toolbar, click the Planning button .

  4. In the Plan Stories dialog box, reassign the feature or story to a new release, sprint, and/or team as necessary.

    Note: When you reassign a feature to a new release, all unfinished stories for that feature are also automatically reassigned. The reassignment is done in the background so you can continue working on other entities while ALM Octane is reassigning the feature and stories.

The features and stories should now be in the list for the new release and the release buckets for the previous and new releases are also updated.

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