A very high-level plan for multiple Sprints (e.g. three to twelve iteration) is created during the Release planning. It is a guideline that reflects expectations about which features will be implemented and when they are completed. It also serves as a base to monitor progress within the project. Releases can be intermediate deliveries done during the project or the final delivery at the end.
To create a Release Plan the following things have to be available:
A prioritized and estimated Scrum Product Backlog
The (estimated) velocity of the Scrum Team
Conditions of satisfaction (goals for the schedule, scope, resources)
Depending on the type of project (feature- or date-driven) the release plan can be created in different ways:
If the project is feature-driven, the sum of all features within in a release can be divided by the expected velocity. This will then result in the number of sprints needed to complete the requested functionality.
Release Plan for a feature-driven project
If the project is date-driven we can simply multiply the velocity by the number of Sprints and we'll get the total work that can be completed within the given timeline.
Release Plan for a date-driven project
Like the Scrum Product Backlog the Release plan is not a static plan. It will change during the whole project when new knowledge is available and e.g. entries in the Scrum Product Backlog are changed and re-estimated. Therefore the Release Plan should be revisited and updated in regular intervals, e.g. after each Sprint.