I invite meditation on the Agile manifesto today: http://agilemanifesto.org/
Let's discuss a word that is safely tucked away in the management lexicon.
It means: a collection of projects. Even a series of tv shows on a channel, could be considered a program. Why not? A bunch of tv show episodes are unique projects that are produced and aired according to a TV outlet's programming schedule and criteria.
As you do more projects, you learn more, you re-plan, both at the project level, and at the program level. Planning is a focal aspect of project work. It's even a continual improvement endeavor. Plans improve the future work, especially when they observe variance between "planned and actual" work. Work is a circular game with twists, checkpoints, stoppages, and some work calves off projects and becomes a full-fledged project in its own right.
Would you consider features to be projects, or too small to be a project? I don't think it matters. But, you might agree "feature" sounds smaller than "project". What about a "program", is that equivalent to a collection of similar features, that are developed for a product / program, what about a set of "epics".
Responding to change over following a plan.
Agile liberates managers from the anxiety or security of knowing everything ahead of time, and plan most of the work ahead of time. Perhaps there is a misconception about the current body of knowledge in project management. The need to re-plan comes up a lot, updates are a natural update of the management process.
I would like to ask Agile managers, at the start, aren't you doing most of the planning the deliverable ahead of time, following the plan in some cases, at least to deliver what you are trying to deliver?
The learning is valuable, but the essential qualities of the deliverables, that is the work they perform nary changes, though the code and structure envisioned for that code may not look the same as it did from the outset. Perhaps there is no code at all!
I'd like to invite our attention back to this statement, Responding to change over following a plan.
Let's not forget about the value of planning, which is an interactive process, valuing people's ideas, attention, and the integrity of what the team is trying to deliver. We plan for change, not for compliance to a plan!
Write, post, publish, prophet!