Dan North has an interesting article (http://dannorth.net/2013/07/05/are-we-nearly-there-yet/) about planning, business expectations, and reporting progress.
Most projects focus on the backlog creation, and grooming the backlog. Also, when reporting, the focus is more on what’s been done, and less on how much is left.
His bottom-line is that we need to focus on delivering true impact as quickly as possible. But quickly as possible with the long-term in mind, and not just the short term, immediate gain. So, this doesn’t mean delivering lousy code just to get it out, but delivering quality that won’t slow us down next sprint or later.
Also, he proposes using Impact Mapping (http://impactmapping.org/) to describe the impact to the business we want, and allow for exploring multiple options to achieve that. Explore those with a reasonable level of success, and eliminate those that can’t work.
Most projects decide on the features, and define the ‘one way’ to achieve them. Then, all activities after that are more about tweaking that one approach, and determining how long it will take, rather than thinking about alternative ways.
Definitely something to think about when deciding on features, creating stories, and grooming the backlog.