Go For The Low Hanging Fruit!


contains items that you believe in - not just improvements that some guru has recommended. Table 1 gives anexample of such a list.



Table 1: Sample Change Backlog


Remember that this is not another To Do-list that will bug you and make you feel guilty; it's a list of improvements that may be implemented by you and your raiding party.The backlog will grow when you discover new activities, techniques, processes, etc that you want to implement and shrink when you successfully implement activities, techniques, processes, etc.

2. Find The Low Hanging Fruit
So whatare the low hanging fruit? Well, they are the changes that have the lowest implementation cost and the highest benefit for the company. But that's not the whole truth. There is another factor that in our opinion is more important: the effort you put into it. The more effort you have to put into the implementation, the more likely it is that you will fail.

An easy way to find low hanging fruit is to expand the Backlog containing the techniques and methods with the associated benefits, cost and effort of introducing them to the organization. Table 2 gives an example of such a table.



Table 2: Sample Costs, Benefits, and Effort of change backlog

For example, trying to implement a Scrum Master in a big organization that is used to project managers is like swimming the Thames upstream. However, introducing a prioritized Product Backlog that the projects are based on is more likely to be a bit more painless. In short - don't fight battles you can't win.

When you have graded the benefit, cost and effort on all the techniques, multiplybenefit, cost and effort and put the product in the quot;Scorequot; column. Sort the table by Score with the lowest Score at the top of the list. The top of the list shows your low hanging fruits. By the way, this is not an exact science. Feelings play a big part - and they should. But try to be objective, as this approach may reveal some surprises to you. The main point is finding techniques that are quot;easyquot; to implement and give the organization a boost on delivering successful system development projects.

Print the Backlog and place it above your computer in plain sight - this is your reminder! Every time you see this reminder, you should put in half an hour effort in implementing the change.

3. Establish a Raiding Party
You should identify named individuals that you enlist to help you implement the change, a raiding party of five to seven should do. The key elements here are:

  • They should have the same core values as you.
  • They must be placed in key positions in important projects in your organization.
  • They should be recognized as quot;natural leadersquot; in your organization - they command the respect of their fellow workers and managers.

Approach them one by one and tell them about the change and what you hope to achieve. Ask their advice and get them to buy into the idea. When you have gathered enough people in your raiding party assemble them and work out a plan (together) for how you are going to implement the change in all or some of the projects that the raiding party is working in (see Table 3).



Table 3: Sample Raiding Party


Key parts of your plan should be:

  • How you are going to support each other in implementing the change; should you meet weekly to tell each other what has happened and ask for help if necessary? This

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