Planning

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financial graph How to Train Agile Product Owners Using Financial Terms

Prioritizing stories for an upcoming sprint can lead to confusion and miscommunication between the product owner and agile teams. But putting that exercise into financial terms, such as purchase, budget, cost, and investment—a set of words that everyone understands, no matter what their area of expertise is—gets everyone thinking about value.

Kris Hatcher's picture Kris Hatcher
organizational structure Code Factories: Making Agile Work in Large Organizational Teams

Making the transition to agile can be difficult for teams that are used to working in large groups and reporting to a single manager. Kris Hatcher suggests a new way to work: in smaller teams called code factories, which are created to stick with a specific product throughout its lifetime.

Kris Hatcher's picture Kris Hatcher
truck overloaded and tipping Is Your Product Owner an Overloaded Operator?

Overloaded operators exist when an operator or operation has different meanings in different contexts. This usually applies to variables and sets, but it can be true for people, too. These people try to do the work of many different roles—and usually fail. If you have an overloaded people operator, analyze the work and try to divide it up.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
caution sign Proactively Planning for Risks to Your Agile Project

Being aware of risk is good project management common sense. But to address risk quickly and effectively when you encounter it, the best method is to establish clear, agreed-upon, communicated responses to risk before it even happens. Dave Browett suggests some tactics to mitigate and confront risk you can use with your team.

Dave Browett's picture Dave Browett
money and a clock The Effect of Time on Value in Your Agile Projects

Using effort estimates as the only criteria for deciding whether work is undertaken could be leaving money on the table. Considering value—in particular, the effect of time on value, as in whether there is a cost of delay—makes for more intelligent conversations and better decisions.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
shark Estimating Business Value in the Shark Tank

You can use analytical methods to assign business value to a user story, of course, but another way is simple estimation. Allan Kelly describes an estimation exercise that combines the Scrum tool of planning poker with a TV show format to add some fun. You end up with enlightening conversation and revealed requirements.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
rising graph Plotting Data to Understand Your Agility

Many teams think they are agile in their projects, but if you're not receiving and analyzing feedback regularly, you're not really agile. Plotting the feedback you get on a chart throughout your sprints can help you see whether you have a lag. Read on to learn how to gather and use your feedback to be truly agile.

Mosesraj R's picture Mosesraj R
Santa checking list Would Santa Claus Make a Good Product Owner?

The elves working on Project Santa—you know, the big delivery that happens every December 24—have decided to go agile. But Santa, the product owner, is busy and not always available to answer questions or provide guidance. What kind of suggestions and improvements should they address in their retrospective?

Dave Browett's picture Dave Browett
pots of grass Stop Re-estimating Your Stories for Every Iteration

Many agile practitioners recommend re-estimating stories at the beginning of each iteration to increase accuracy. Adrian Wible, however, argues that re-estimating stories within an iteration planning meeting actually distorts results and decreases predictability. See if you need to rethink your planning procedures.

Adrian Wible's picture Adrian Wible
Flow chart for an organization Realizing Value by Establishing an Agile Project Management Office

Some believe that an overarching organizational and governance model to structure operations in agile environments is needed. An agile project management organization can act as an aggregator and evaluator of agile project data metrics to help leaders track performance for improved value delivery.

Gail Ferreira's picture Gail Ferreira

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