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I am fairly new to PM world. I have been given an assignment/quiz but I am struggling with this because, it doesn't seem like an agile project rather Waterfall project with Agile terms thrown in and asked to come up a schedule with no information on team velocity or priority. Please provide your comments if I am way off here. If this seems legit, can you please give me some ideas on how to do this. Thanks

Details follow: Deleted as per Instructor request.

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    Not sure what your purpose for asking this is. Is this from academia? Why not just ask your instructor if it's a trick question?
    – Sarov
    Jul 8 at 20:50
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    Even though this is a graded assignment, you should be able to ask clarifying questions to the instructor, and it seems like you have some good clarifying questions based on your opening paragraph. I'm hesitant to provide my thoughts - although I can back them up with my own education and experience, there could be a disconnect between the "real world" answer and what your instructor is expecting in order to pass the assignment. Sometimes, in academia, you need to give the instructor what they want rather than the best answer (and, sometimes, the same is true in the professional world).
    – Thomas Owens
    Jul 8 at 21:50
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    I suspect that the author of the question doesn't understand Scrum. The best answer I can suggest would be a release at the end of each sprint with the preferred "requirements due" dates being day 1 of each sprint.
    – nvogel
    Jul 9 at 2:09
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    There are so many red flags... things being estimated in hours, to Business Analysts apparently having to do things, although the whole project is already estimated. What are they supposed to do? Wouldn't their job be to help with requirements? But there cannot be changes in requirements, it's already estimated in detail. Yeah, this is a textbook thing that you are supposed to solve textbook style. So don't think about it as a real project, get your textbook and apply those formulas. And do not do it ever again after you passed this test.
    – nvoigt
    Jul 9 at 8:33
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    If I were in your shoes (I'm assuming this is a uni test), I would ask the professor "Are the requirements for this project supposed to emulate a toxic environment? If so, am I able to just give a realistic response like 'I'm sorry, this project is going to fail' along with my justification? Or do I need to think of some approach as if I wasn't able to just find a different job?". Worst-case, he gets annoyed, you tell him the internet told you to say it. Best-case, he realizes the problem and starts teaching better. Everyone benefits. And gives you full marks. Middle-case you get an answer.
    – Sarov
    Jul 9 at 13:44
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This scenario feels Waterfall because of the fixed scope of 8 epics and fixed schedule of 10/21/2021 so I wouldn’t say your feeling is off on that point. However, this is very much reality in many contexts therefore I can see some utility in this as an exercise in laying out a strategy or approach.

With that said, you may start with working backwards from the release date, then laying out the easy stuff, like Sprints and ceremonies. This could provide the base layout to then layer in everything else like capacity and availability.

After this it seems like a numbers game… How many hours are available, how many people are available, and how much work needs to be completed. How much or little can actually be done given the current resources.

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This is a weird test.

You have a fixed time, fixed goal and fixed resources. Nothing there is flexible. There is no decisions to be made here. You are not a project manager, you are a project statistician.

You can make the boards and graphs showing progress, but in the end, it's like a movie. It will play. It will either have a happy end or not. But none of it is actually of your making, you are the viewer, seeing a play unfold written by whoever set those fixed guidelines.

I am not saying it's unrealistic, because I have seen setups like this. But if it were a real company, it would be time to get a new job. This is not project management, it's project viewing. With the added disadvantage that you will likely be held accountable for the outcome of the movie or project. Which in any movie would be ridiculous, but not in project management by clowns. And there are too many clowns out there thinking they can manage projects from above and employ a "project manager" with no decision making power, simply to take the blame when the plan fails.

So the real world advice would be run!!!. But this is not the real world.

Grab your textbook. Do what it tells you to do in this case. Hand in the test and forget about it as soon as possible. This does not teach you anything except that the real world is sometimes full of clowns that you need to dodge.

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    love the movie analogy!
    – nvogel
    Jul 9 at 9:18
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    This is not a weird test. This is a wrong test, based most likely on wrong information being taught. Then people believe this is how you do project management by the book when in fact it's project management by clowns, as you mention. What's worse is that usually, this kind of approach is presented as Agile, and when people in the real world need to manage the project using Agile, they reach the conclusion that Agile is at fault. Your last paragraph is key. Do the test as per the information taught, hand it in, and forget about everything.
    – Bogdan
    Jul 9 at 10:48

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