Tuesday, 3 May 2011

How to manage Scope in Agile Project

1.       Introduction

The main objective of Agile is to create, enhance and maximize delivery value-added for client. How fast client will gain value from developing products. How fast client will know desired product is building wrong or right. How a developer can claim responsibility to what he/she doing.


To obtain these things, Agile Development gives the opportunity to client and development team to work directly together. Frequently look at product; client will have feedback in time when it is developing wrong. Or direct working with developer will not make information noisy. Some samples in below table indicate values obtained from transforming works in Agile Development.


Traditional Software Development
Agile Software Development
Values obtained
Time Management
PM estimates time and defines tasks by breaking out work packages
Team members decide what work needs to be done and how long to carry the work
More accurate because the individuals understand what they doing
Task Assignment
PM assigns task to individual teams or members
Team members work directly with client on what will be doing
The team members is more responsible for what they agreed
Feedback
Feedback is made in the end of release or project
Frequently feedback even when products are under developing
Corrective actions are carried out in time.
 Meeting/Reporting
Almost meetings in form of reporting status.
Daily meetings (stand-up meeting) to update status of project and escalate issues
Issues are addressed as soon as possible when they occur
The works are verified to match with objective.

2.       Scope Management
Stay in behind values obtained from Agile, the organization is confronting bundle of challenges, scope management is one of them. In this article, I only focus on how a PM should manage ‘Agilely’ the scope.
The PM should not prevent scope changes, because project scope is expected to change in Agile. Scope management is referring to how to manage the product backlog. Some techniques can be applied but not limit:
2.1.    Rolling wave planning
PM should capture objectives and vision of product - when/what product’s features will be built. From understanding of product vision and team dynamics, PM should advise and support client to turn these features and key works into Product backlog. In the other words, help the team in reviewing and assessing prioritized product backlog received from client.  PM should give mission of defining scope to client.
In beginning of planning (release, iteration or spring): work with Product Owner to make sure that Product backlog’s meeting product’s objectives, advice and alarm client if necessary. For each iteration, base on experience, understating product’s vision and risk related to each iteration, PM should support the team to break down key works and features to detailed tasks in product backlog; be sure of effort not exceeding the size of time-box and shift them to next iteration if necessary.   

Figure 1 - Agile Iteration
2.2.    Iteration Plans:
WBS might be not necessary to create; work packages are broken down from Iteration Plans (figure 2).

Figure 2 - A Breakdown Structure oriented Iterations

 
2.3.    Client Change Control Board
PM should support the team to commit to the works to be done and should advise client what should be added more to product backlog if there is too little of work or client’s missing anything. But let client control Product Backlog then scope is safe in the period.

3.       Conclusion
Unlike fixed scope projects, scope of Agile projects is a variable element to create value-added for client. The importance is how to respond efficiently and effectively to change. And the duties of PM are to help the team in making commitment to change and help the client to manage scope through Product Backlog.

4.       About Author

Nhat H. DO, PMP
Software Development Director at TRG-Enclave
Public Profile on LinkedIn


1 comment:

  1. The main objective of Agile is to create, enhance and maximize delivery value-added for client. How fast client will gain value from developing products. How fast client will know desired product is building wrong or right. How a developer can claim responsibility to what he/she doing. expense tracking software

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