Agile projects always begin with one maiden voyage. In this video, learn key elements to consider when choosing your first agile effort.
- When you're starting an Agile transition, it's critical that you don't begin by diving into the deep end of the pool. While a lot of people want to go fast once they discover the benefits of Agile, starting with a medium-sized pilot effort can have a lot of benefits. Since we know the success of the pilot project will lay the foundation for a larger transformation, it's important to select the right pilot effort. Let's explore how you can do this. First, make sure you and your sponsor are on the same page when it comes to the purpose of the pilot. The purpose is to test out all the Agile fundamentals from start to finish and gather feedback on areas where your organization will need to change current practices. Next, use the right criteria to choose your pilot project. Key criteria to look for in a pilot project are size, priority and risk, depth and breadth, and customer engagement. Let's look a little deeper into each of these. Consider size, you want a project that will run at least four weeks and no more than 12 weeks. Why, well, anything shorter than four weeks won't give your pilot team enough time to really stretch their wings with the new processes. They won't have enough time to repeat the key practices. On the flip side, 12 weeks slows down the feedback loop and ultimately becomes an impediment to the larger transformation. Next, think about priority and risk. You want a project that's important but not mission critical. So go for something that's not high risk. Test Agile with some time pressure, but not too much pressure that people revert to their old ways of doing things. Now look at depth and breadth. You need a project with enough depth and breadth that it engages all the roles that are typical for your projects. Your pilot is about fully vetting out the practices in your environment. In terms of depth, choose an effort that will go through all the phases of a project. Initiation, development, testing, implementation, and transition to support. Finally, think about customer engagement. If you're lucky, your sponsor may choose one of their own projects to use for the pilot. If this is true, the sponsor will play the role of the customer. But if your sponsor doesn't have a project that fits the rest of the criteria, they'll need to partner with another executive to use one of their projects. The partner selected must be fully committed and engaged in the effort. Selecting the pilot project then, is as simple as reviewing the list of pending projects against this list, and narrowing it down based on these criteria. Remember, as you transition to Agile, a pilot project is a way to ease your organization into Agile practices. Lead with this approach and you'll be ready for the larger Agile transition.
- How agile changes the way that value is delivered
- Identifying challenges to an agile transition
- Finding and leveraging support for your agile efforts
- Responding to resistance
- Building a team for your agile pilot
- How the scrum framework functions
- Hosting sprint planning events
- Sprint execution and measurement