Many organizations are moving away from the traditional waterfall project management methodology in response to the frequent disappointments they have experienced.
These disappointments are familiar to all of us: receiving products that do not meet our needs or expectations, poor adoption and usage of the new solution and projects that spin out of control in terms of cost and time.
Another major motivator is the fact that it is sometimes not possible to know what needs to be built: the users and problem owners simply cannot imagine what they need and so the project cannot be planned in the traditional way, based on a list of requirements.
The answer to these issues is to use an Agile methodology, to deliver the solution to the customer in small increments and use constant testing, review, and feedback to guide the development process. The product development then stops when the customers have received enough valuable features and functionality to satisfy their needs. And so these projects never take longer or cost more than necessary.
The problem is that transitioning from using a waterfall methodology to an Agile method like Scrum can be a bit tricky. The team structure is unique and the planning and estimating methods are totally different from the traditional approach. This is where an Agile coach can be essential to enjoying the benefits of switching methods.
Assess Current State: To start with, we need to understand and assess the current conditions within the Scrum project team.
Review the Project Brief: The coach will meet with the key stakeholders, project manager, customer and others to go over the project documentation and understand the key objectives of the project and the business case for the project.
Set up the Project Environment: An Agile team will achieve high performance if they are co-located and have certain minimum tools for planning and tracking progress.
Project Setup: The Agile coach will give advice on the duration of sprints, on release planning, estimating, on Product Backlog preparation and on reporting to management.
Agile Framework: The key stakeholders need to know what to expect and when to expect it. In other words – how is Agile different from what they are used to? This session should include the core team, but also the management and customers involved in the project.
Agile Roles & Responsibilities: The roles in the core team such as Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the (cross functional) Development Team will be defined and explained. Agile doesn’t work if these roles are not filled.