Release Plan

The release plan is similar to a roadmap. It functions as a high-level schedule that indicates which release each requirement or user story will be assigned to. The elements in a particular release can be updated based on the relative priority of the requirements in the backlog and the availability of resources needed to work on the specific requirements.

The release plan includes at least:

  • Release dates
  • User stories or requirements from the backlog

The release plan can be further elaborated into sprints. Each release may have multiple sprints. Once a sprint starts, the requirements or user stories in the sprint cannot be changed. A high-level release plan may be developed after the product vision and backlog are started; however, it will remain somewhat dynamic throughout the project as priorities shift and new requirements are identified. The sequence and priorities of requirements or user stories may be updated after each sprint to reflect changing needs based on performance feedback or customer needs.

Tailoring tips

Consider the following tips to help tailor the release plan to meet your needs:

  • As information in the release plan gets more concrete you may want to assign requirements or user stories to specific sprints in the release.
  • You can arrange the release plan in swim lanes, with each lane assigned to a specific team or work stream.
  • If you show the release plan with a timeline you can show the relationships between various user stories or This blends the information about the content of each release with the schedule information.


The release plan should be aligned and consistent with the following documents:

  • Product vision
  • Roadmap
  • Product backlog
Document Element Description
Release dates Either a timeline or a milestone indicator of when releases start and finish. This can be more detailed to show a linear schedule that indicates the duration of each release.
User stories The requirements or user stories from the backlog