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Page history last edited by Taylor Young 11 years, 8 months ago

Starting an Agile Project


Hindsight being 20-20 - What should precede Sprint 1?


This is the subject I hope to talk about on Thursday (or whenever Jim asks me :-)

Let's consider this page a free-for-all for now, just update, move things around. If it comes to blows, we can have pizza and wrestling at my house next week. --deb


I am doing a bunch of work in this area also. Will send out my slides. -- Joe


What is Sprint 1?


  • A classic Sprint 1 should be the first sprint when the Team is developing working software.
  • A Sprint 0 (or any other sprints before Sprint 1, whatever you call that time) can be doing important work, such as developing infrastructure, but are not delivering working software.
  • Note: Some infrastructure work can also continue in Sprint 1 and later sprints.


What are the steps, in some kind of general order, before Sprint 1?


The following are steps in getting a typical project started. Your mileage may vary.


1. discuss project with PM (and others); make initial judgment whether it is possibly an Agile project

    • Get to make a final judgment later. See DecisionFactors for discussion of what to consider.


2. identify likely apprentice (if any yet)

    • Not all projects will have an apprentice. This also includes understandings about SM's exact role (eg, will some members of team do some of the grunt work??)
    • I prefer that the Master Coach (senior SM) formally identify the apprentice only after working with the apprentice on a project (for at least X weeks -- I'll say 8). Thus, the Master Coach chooses his apprentices.
    • It would be better yet if the nominated apprentice not start the formal apprenticeship until the next project (where they would be able to come in, unsullied by their previous role or relationships).


3. meet with Product Owner (PO) and Stakeholders

    • Business side commitment is key. This is the start of PO training in Agile, also.


4. determine if PO and related business people are committed enough

    • 3 & 4 allow for a 2 step process of discernment about the PO


5. identify if the project has any key dependencies

  • These could include the need to order HW or SW for the project / project team, getting a SW license, etc.
  • There could be a need to get a basic development environment (so that the developers can be productive).
  • Often you want to discuss this stuff with EM (Environment Management) and CM (Configuration Mgmt).
  • The lead times for some of this stuff can be significant.
    • what does the coach do during this time? this is where some clients seem to be trying to compress the schedule. I don't think it is working :-)


6. discuss and investigate any "special issues" (there are always some!!), eg, offshore people, etc, etc


7. SM makes "final" determination about whether this should be an agile project


8. PM to identify if an agile room is available

    • In some clients, can't be Agile without an Agile room.


9. Follow local process in formally declaring project for agile


10. identify (again) exactly when key resources will come on board

    • This timing affects mainly the timing of the training and the posible timing of Iteration 1. Or, the Team might start small and grow later.
    • Everyone probably does NOT want a start and stop and start again situation.


11. identify when and how team will be trained


12. identify when and how initial Product Backlog will be developed (must be "good enough" prior to first IPM)


13. identify when and how project will start, eg, using a Rapid Planning set of exercises or similar


14. will there be an iteration 0? What will it include? (eg, Rapid Planning, etc, etc)


15. start creating a team space, and order PCs or related hw/sw for Team Members


16. conduct Agile training

    • While this is often where the coach is "brought in" (in the minds of some), the coach/SM must explain to the PM, the PO and others that the start-up process actually starts at step 1, and goes through all sensible steps, until everyone is ready for the IPM for Iteration 1.


17. develop product backlog

    • Explain that this is the initial Prod Backlog. It will be refactored many times.
    • This "step" might be included in Rapid Planning (below).


18. conduct Rapid Planning (or similar approach)

    • in some way cover release planning to the degree needed/wanted
    • they PM or PO may need coaching on why they need Rapid Planning (or similar)


19. conduct first IPM (Iteration Planning Meeting)


What factors introduce risk to Sprint 1 (or getting to Sprint 1)? And what is their impact?


  • Coach is new to the company:
    • Risk factor: Unable to view Intranet
    • Impacts: Don't have phone list or org chart, can't see "company required" info/examples, cannot receive meeting invitations and automatic updates during the day, cannot access team Data/File repository (for project background info)
    • Risk factor: No phone at desk and cell phone reception cut off
    • Impacts: coach is essentially cut off from colleagues trying to contact them. (Sprint service cut off in some buildings).
  • Any coach new to a team
    • Risk factor: Team is on the ground and billing when coach arrives
    • Impacts: Pressure to start coding. Insufficient time to build coaching relationship with stakeholders, management, team members, extended team (dependencies).
    • Risk Factor: Apprentice is chosen before coach arrives
    • Impacts: ... tbd


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