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My company is setting dates for planning the version on the first day of the version.

To me it seems to be waaaay too late.. I think it should be at least a couple of weeks before that.

When should we start the planning process? Is there a standard for this process and how it should be handled?

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Planning Within the Project Schedule

There's nothing wrong with putting most of your planning processes inside your project schedule. In fact, planning is a necessary part of most work packages, so scheduling your planning activities within the overall project plan can make a lot of sense.

Planning Lead Time Can Vary

As for when you should start planning, I don't believe there's a canonical answer to this; a lot depends on your chosen project management framework. For example, frameworks that require a lot of up-front planning and design (e.g. WaterFailure™) will likely require a great deal more lead time for planning than agile frameworks (e.g. Scrum or Kanban) that make use of "just enough" or "just-in-time" planning at the start of each iteration or milestone.

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There is no standard process for this, only recommendations: it is a good practice to start planning as early as possible until it is clear to everybody that a plan is not a commitment.

If I were you, I would follow the 1/3 rule: plan the first 1/3 very detailed on the task level, plan the second 1/3 on the user story level, and finally plan the last 1/3 on the epic level.

With this approach you can have an idea when you might finished the project, and what are your next steps. With this information you can go to your boss or supervisor and see whether this is fine with him or her and talk about risks. If you can do this before the start you can eliminate problems before even officially starting the project.

After a several days or weeks, you do you planning again using the information from the past days/weeks, but this time user stories might become tasks, and epics might become user stories etc.

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