The following is a recap of our Agile Community of Practice (aka, Taste of Agile) meetup on Saturday, July 18, 2020. In this meetup, we discussed a few questions which will be summarized below to the best of my ability. I look forward to your comments and thoughts. As always, the question author remains confidential just like the Vegas commercial. What happens in our session stays in our session.
Q: What are the process and how do you handle them. Not Agile?
A: Want to know what previous process continue after Agile adoption / transformation begins.
Product Owner in a Nutshell video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=502ILHjX9EE
PMP Knowledge Areas list
Stakeholder Management - If you attended last weeks session, we discussed the Product Owner in a Nutshell video. The relation between Product Owner and Stakeholders needs to be managed. From my PMP training, a stakeholder is any person, group, or organization that can affect or be affected by, positively or negatively, by the product or project, In a nutshell, the stakeholder management function focuses on:
Identify, recognize and acknowledge stakeholder,
Determine their influence, interest, and how to communicate with them effectively,
Establish Communication Management plan, and
Influencing and engaging stakeholder.
Scope/Vision/Product Backlog Management - defined features (functions of a product) and decompose into DOR approved user stories that are needed to finish a project. This begins with getting information required to build the Product Backlog Log to start and maintaining it throughout iterative, incremental time boxes.
Resource (staffing) and Cost (budget) Management - Using staffing plans and budget forecast to ensure the cross-functional team can be funded throughout the project. Add to this the cost for infrastructure and outside support.
Schedule Management - Creation of release and MVP plans (MVP/milestones), Time box work tasks, dependency, and deliverables usually with projected dates.
Risk Management - identify and mitigate risk which will result in failing to complete the product deliverable.
PM responsibilities of schedule, budget (not staffing which should go to the Program Mgr), scope, quality, dependencies, risks moves mostly to PO, Team, Scrum Master. PO responsibility does include ROI/Scope/cost or budget, risk mgmt via migration (learning spikes and PBIs) and scheduling, dependency mgmt via scheduling, , stakeholder mgmt, and quality. Team responsibility does include risk mgmt via migration (learning spikes and PBIs requests of PO) and scheduling (planning w/PO), dependency mgmt via scheduling and ranking suggestions to PO, quality, and getting feedback.
B. Extreme programming (XP) list
We continued with Extreme programming (XP) practices intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. As a type of agile software development, it advocates frequent "releases" in short development cycles, which is intended to improve productivity and introduce checkpoints at which new customer requirements can be adopted. During these time-boxes it is not uncommon to practice programming in pairs, use of code review, testing driven development, good design which does not sacrifices the system wide design at the expense of a part of system, getting feedback a various stages of the time-box, continuous integration of code to quickly find defects, refactoring (design) code for improvement, collective code ownership to avoid dependency on one person, and maintaining a sustainable pace. These are the XP items we focused on during our discussion.
C. Company specific list
Release process to deploy potential shippable product increment into the next environment and activate in production.
Q: How does Agile relate to the budget?
A: This depends on the organization. Some, particularly if they are beginning a transformation or are supporting an adoption, continue doing what they do. This means, most likely, the Scrum Master takes on the staffing and budget forecast. If they are lucky, the adoptions begin to pop up everywhere as they begin a transformation. At some point they begin to tackle some questions. Are we moving away projects to product focus transformation? If the team is there to support the product area then product area rolls up the cost into their funding requirement. Do move away from an individual reward system to team and how does that impact the budget? This begins the shift away from team based budget and staffing plan by Scrum Master to Program or Product level responsibility.
Q: Agile project get started?
A: Before we begin, this will vary from person to person since each company is different.
Let begin with a project kickoff for a project. After some initial discussion, stakeholders are brought together to discuss the project via a Project Charter artifact. Since Agile project are complex, adapter problem projects, the charter is lightweight and high-level since the project is at the mouth of the cone of uncertainty.
Why? Business rational for the project
What is the project about? A high-level description of the vision, goals, and objectives.
Who participates? Impacted organization, participants, and other stakeholders.
Where? The location for the participants.
How? The approach for the project. Any PMO specific requirements.
Someone else mentioned being at the receiving end of a contact. When they get a contact, they need to translate it to what is needed, infrastructure and hardware needs, performance criteria, resource / skill needs, and approach for governing the work.
Third possibility could be product or value chain planning session for the next quarter. For example, SAFe® for Lean Enterprises 5.0 https://www.scaledagileframework.com/
Q: What Agile "mythology... do you use?
A: Scrum, XP, Kanban at the team level. Add to these the scaling frameworks of LeSS, SAFe, and Scaled Scrum which can include Scrum, XP, Kanban at the team level.
Q: How does quality work in agile?
A: We had discussed some of the XP quality practices. Add to those the more obvious ones via policy documents and testing validation. Built in quality needs to be applied across the product, process, and practices performed.
Q: What are the tools used in Agile?
Discussion occurred during the Taste of Agile - 6-13-20, Beginner Session
Note: A traditional Lean Coffee does not yield a summary or recap.