Sprints & Milestones
What are Sprints and Milestones? We cover the details on how software development projects stay on track with a steadfast process...
Essential Designs Team
July 16, 2019
Sprints and Milestones
In software, mobile, and web app development, a Sprint is a set period of time during which specific work is to be completed and made ready to review.
Each sprint for one of our software or app development projects is mapped out based on the duration (in hours) that tasks will take to complete, which is determined during the scope of work process, and functional specification document process. During these stages, the Project Manager (the person overseeing the development) and the development team agree upon exactly what work will be accomplished during the sprint. The development team has the final say when it comes to determining how much work can realistically be accomplished during the sprint, and the Project Manager has the final say on what criteria need to be met for the work to be approved and accepted. Sprint durations can be 'mini sprints' for the days work internally (24 hours), or they can last a week or more, depending on the basket of features involved. After a sprint begins, the Project Manager must step back and let the team do their work, however at Essential Designs we make an effort to communicate progress, questions and any roadblocks with our clients on a daily basis. During the sprint, the team holds daily meetings to discuss progress and brainstorm solutions to challenges. The PM may attend these meetings as an observer and to ask or answer questions. It is recommended that no requests for changes happen during a sprint to keep development on track. Additions and change requests can be added after Milestones have been achieved. At the end of each sprint, the team presents their completed work to the Quality Assurance team for testing, then the Project Manager for final review before presenting to the client.
A milestone is a significant event in the course of a project that is used to give visibility of progress in terms of achievements of predefined 'milestone goals'. Milestones are set on the calendar as release dates to the client and can include a number of internal Sprints. Typical project events that are marked with milestones are:
- Completion of a project phase
- Approval of a deliverable
- Completion of a scheduled review
- Commencement of an activity (such as an addition or change request)
How many milestones should your project have? Milestone frequency is achieved by developing in iterative stages (aka agile development), which allows for testing and true visibility of the development progress. Being able to test and see results continually throughout a project means everyone is on the same page with development. This saves time and helps keep development cost down, by being able to evaluate the deliverables on a regular basis. Some Milestone general rules of thumb in nominating milestones are:
- All software, web app and mobile app projects have major milestones:
- Requirements / Scope / FSD complete
- Design complete
- Code & QA testing for each Sprint complete
- Product deployed
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Mary is a popular Vancouver DJ and has been working in the high tech field since her inception as a web developer at Newbridge Networks in 1996.
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