Definition Release Plan:
A release plan reflects the features to be worked on in the next sprint and provides an approximate date for the release. The plan should include the responsibilities, resources, and activities needed for the release.
Use of a Release Plan:
The release plan is broken down into individual sprints and what is to be accomplished in each sprint is recorded. The release date is estimated based on the number of sprints needed - multiplied by the velocity of the team.
Benefits of the release plan:
- Accurate estimation of total time and resources needed for the release.
- The team gets both a shared understanding and a shared vision of what needs to get done.
- The product owner gets guidance for prioritizing stories and tasks.
- Team members get support for decision making.
- Teams don't get off topic as quickly because they don't do unplanned work.