Continuous planning: an important aspect of agile and lean development

Continuous planning is a relatively new and not yet fully studied field of research, especially from the perspective of agile and lean development organisations. To augment the knowledge in this field, this article presents both a literature review and empirical findings from three case studies that reveal how companies conduct continuous planning. The results indicate that continuous planning is not commonly adopted and applied throughout these organisations and that it currently involves only a certain kind of planning (e.g., release planning). The results of this study bring to light that the main elements of continuous planning (i.e., organisational, strategic and business planning) are tightly related to each other and thus should be considered when companies seek to improve their planning processes and practices. The importance of continuous planning will only increase dramatically in turbulent business environments that include ever shorter planning cycles and the need to improve transparency and knowledge-sharing in organisations.

Tanja Suomalainen, Raija Kuusela, Maarit Tihinen (VTT): Continuous planning: an important aspect of agile and lean development