Carnegie Mellon University
August 06, 2020

Miranda Publishes Milestone-Driven Agile Execution

By Jen Potter

MSE Associate Teaching Professor Dr. Eduardo Miranda has authored a chapter for the newly published text Balancing Agile and Disciplined Engineering and Management Approaches for IT Services and Software Products. Titled "Milestone-Driven Agile Execution," the chapter explains Miranda’s Visual Milestone Planning (VMP) method and how to apply it in an agile context.

In his role as a team mentor for MSE Studio and Practicum projects, Miranda saw teams routinely struggling to be agile without a guiding vision, and also, when trying to apply planning concepts in an agile context. In his view, the problem resides to a large extent, in the failure to distinguish between planning and scheduling. In his work, Miranda separates these two concerns into the concepts of milestones and iteration planning, using the first to drive the selection of work items from a product backlog that feeds the second. 

The result of this integration is what Miranda calls “Milestone Driven Agile Execution”, which he defines as  an “hybrid software development framework, in which the empirical process control and the just-in-time planning of tasks of agile development are retained but the prioritization of the backlog is done according to a macro plan that drives the execution of the project. Selecting work items from the product backlog according to a plan instead of following the biweekly or monthly reactive concerns of the product owner or the development team, adds visibility, predictability, and structure to the work of the team while preserving the adaptive advantages of agile development”.

Miranda is the author of numerous works on the subject of agility and planning.