Waterfall comfort in an agile world: How to give Execs the answers they "used to get" now that you are agileJohn Hughes
schedule 2 years agoSold Out!
Your progressive and efficient agile program can go downhill fast, and agile can get a bad rap, if upper management begins to think that the answers they used to get in the "Waterfall world" are no longer available to them in an agile world. Executives assume the team is managed poorly if they can’t produce artifacts they are used to seeing like fully resourced project schedules. They get frustrated when they can’t get a “straight answer” to questions they are used to having answered like “what is the project schedule’s critical path showing,” or “are we staffed properly to complete all the remaining requirements by the end of the contract.” They become unhappy with the team and possibly even start to see that “agile doesn’t work for our program” if they are told that they can’t get that information anymore in agile, or it isn’t clearly explained to them how to ask for the information they are really trying to understand.
The answers are still there though the tools and methods are likely different. We need to be able to translate the questions being asked and help upper management understand how to better ask the questions to get what they are really looking for. Executives are responsible for ensuring the health of the program, that sufficient progress is being made, the program is within budget, the contractual requirements are being met, etc. Agile methods can leave executives uneasy because answers to questions regarding these can be “squishy” since user stories can be added and removed, they can use relative sizing techniques for estimation instead of specific hours, priorities can shift, and the customer’s needs drive much of the process decisions. By understanding what upper management really needs in order to be successful themselves, and how to extract that information using our agile toolset, we will be able to give them the data they need to continue managing the program and communicating its health to their leadership and customer counterparts. The goal for this session is to provide you insight into what is really being asked, to help your leadership better ask the questions “in an agile way,” and to deliver impactful answers derived from our agile toolset that allows for strong communication of the health of your program.