Select the right Framework
Agile is a broad term for a number of different frameworks, each applicable to different projects. The two most widely used are Scrum and Kanban. Scrum has time-boxed incremental deliverables, Kanban does not.
Project Charter, business goals and User Stories
It's important to set the scene, so that the Vision, business context, objectives, constraints and standards are clear to the whole team. It's simple and keeps teams aligned to a common business goal.
User Stories are a simple way to capture User journeys, business rules and how to test them in plain business language.
Create and prioritise
the Product Backlog
Whether it's a physical board in your office or an online board such as Trello or JIRA, the Board is your shared space for auditable planning. This is where you create and maintain your Product Backlog so that it is transparent to all.
The Product Backlog consists of the User Stories required to complete the project, ranked in order of importance, with high value and high-risk items early in the project. Any new items which occur may be added to the Backlog, in the prioritised order. This means that the Backlog is “live”.
Definitions of Ready & Done
Agile teams work at a fast but sustainable pace. It’s important from the get-go that they have clearly defined standards so that deliverables are complete, no corners cut. An item is ‘Ready’ when we have all the information required to execute, test and deploy it. An item is ‘Done’ when it meets Governance and quality standards, and is releasable.
We don’t start work on any item that is not Ready. Ready means we know...
Value, business goals, context, etc
Business outcome envisioned, acceptance criteria
The work is sized and tasks are clear
Risks & dependencies are identified and mitigated
Knowing when a task is 'Done' means there’s no way for bugs to escape...
It's clear when the work is completed
The work has met all agreed standards
Deliverables are fully tested
We have an audit trail of the work
Now that you have defined your project goals, prioritised and defined Ready and Done, there's nothing left to do but execute.
Remember to set aside 15 minutes each day for a Daily Stand-up - it gives everyone the opportunity to check-in, ask any questions and share their plans for the day.
Further Reading: How & Why Self-organising Teams work
Review & Retrospective
The Review is the team's opportunity to do exactly that - review what has been delivered, sign off or request changes and adapt the Backlog of future requirements if necessary. It’s that checkpoint that’s missing - or too late in traditional projects - when you actually get to see what’s been delivered every few weeks, so any changes required are easier to spot and make.
It's also an opportunity to talk about what can be achieved next.
The Retrospective is an opportunity for the entire team to inspect how we’re working in terms of people, relationships, processes and tools – and create a plan for improvements to be made next time. The Retrospective is crucial to continuous improvement, so take it seriously!
Our expert support
Our Clients tell us the training workshops are great for instilling the theory, but it’s a challenge to apply Agile immediately, so we're offering a complimentary coaching session to help you get started when you book any one of our workshops by September 30th 2020.
Here's our suggestion for getting started...
This half-day interactive workshop helps Senior Executives to understand the relevance of Agile for Compliance projects, how it impacts business agility, improves processes and shortens time to market.
They will learn what Agile really is and how it guarantees alignment to your specific policies and procedures.
Participants will learn what the transition to Agile will mean and its relevance for your organisation.
Practical Application of
Kanban or Scrum
This two-day workshop teaches your teams an effective way to prioritise workloads and deliver ‘end to end completed’ high-quality products.
Participants will learn how to increase levels of productivity and ensure alignment with your specific policies & procedures.
They will leave this workshop with the knowledge and skills to apply Agile frameworks in your organisation.