Agile Project Inception - Getting Aligned and Making Commitments

Sponsors of development projects generally want to know what they are going to get, when they are going to get it, and how much it will cost *before* they make the commitment to "purchase". In many businesses, while the software development process may be Agile, the reality is that other functions in the business - Documentation, Training, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Business Planning - need to know what's coming well in advance. When starting an Agile project these stakeholder needs must be met if the team is to get off on the right track, and be allowed to proceed without undue outside interference.

Centred on the use of the "Inception Deck", participants will learn techniques to kick off an Agile project that will help them to:

1. Create a shared understanding around the project’s goals.

2. Identify and understand risk on the project.

3. Build a high level plan for the project and setting the ground rules for change on the project.

4. Get agreement on a set of “project bounds” for scope/content, schedule/delivery, and resources/cost, to allow the project team to proceed independently and make their own decisions as the project progresses.

This session co-presented and pair-facilitated by Bill Bourne and Caroline Sauve

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

1. Introduction  (10 minutes): Motivation… why is the start-up phase so important?

- Review of the “stakeholders” of a project and their needs

- Introduce the concept of the “project bounds” (or “project contract”), borrowed from the traditional Phase Gate Process

- Introduce the Inception Deck.

- Go over the contents of the workshop

2. Review exercises aimed at creating a shared understanding around the project’s goals: (15 minutes)

Why Are We Here?

Create an Elevator Pitch

Design a Product Box

Create a NOT List: In Scope, Out of Scope, Unresolved

3. Engage participants in activity where they can use these techniques to create a shared understanding on a known product (e.g. iPhone) (10 minutes)

4. Review exercises aimed at identifying and understanding risk on the project (15 minutes)

Meet the neighbours

Solve the Problem - Then Pick the Team

What keeps you up at night?  Pre-Mortem

5. Engage participants in activity where they can use these techniques to understand risk on a specific scenario given (e.g. Acme corporation wants to build a “flux capacitor”) (10 minutes)

7. Review exercises aimed at building a high level plan for the project and setting the ground rules for change on the project (15 minutes)

The need for an Initial prioritized Product Backlog

Estimation

What’s going to give?

What’s it going to take?

8. Engage participants in activity where they can use these techniques to create a good plan around a given scenario (e.g. Vacation to Hawaii for a family of 4 on a budget). (10 minutes)

9. Putting it all Together - The Project Bounds (5 minutes)

10. Q&A and Discussion (10 minutes)

- Point to references and resources web site.

 

Learning Outcome

Participants Will:

- learn about the importance of up-front planning and organization on Agile projects

- learn how the "Inception Deck" exercises can help structure the start-up planning work in an effective manner, without falling back into a heavy-weight time-consuming and ineffective process

- learn how to collaborate with "non-Agile company" functions in the start-up phase of an Agile project

Target Audience

Managers, Project Managers, ScrumMasters, ProductOwners. Some basic knowledge of Agile is assumed.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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