Would you get into a car without a road map?

Release Planning is very essential and important, as it defines the "Road map" for how and when the team delivers what the customer wants.
Not doing release planning is like getting into a car and start driving without knowing where you are going.
If Sprints are tactical, Release Planning is strategic activity. Don't get caught driving without having one! Having no release planning/or bad release planning will surely get you into a car rack.
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Anytime you start discussion of any application, you will start with Context diagram for the proposed solution. Context diagram, in essence is a diagram showing your proposed solution and all the players that will interact with this solution. I have found this (context diagram) to be extremely useful in getting the requirements gathering going.
As I describe in my book, Agile Release Planning, an MMF is a group of minimum functionality that we can release to customers. By 'marketable' we mean that the functionality can be released to customers for their use, and thus the word 'marketable'! So, by definition, MMFs must bring significant value to customers.
An interesting thought came to mind when I was explaining User Stories to one of the team I am coaching. There are some guiding principles and practices that we must follow to be successful in writing and executing the User Stories. These are what I call commandments of writing a USer Story.
Essentially, it is tracking what Valueyou are creating (BV) against all the Effort(SP) you are putting into it. As mentioned on Wiki, Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs). You can consider it your team's Productivity Index (PI)