Implementing an Agile project: What it takes to make it Work

Many of today’s Project Management and Business Analyst Professionals are finding themselves leading, managing and analyzing on Agile development teams - only to find that many of the tools and techniques applied when using a traditional project management approach no longer work as effectively or at all. In order to do more than survive in this iterative development environment, today’s Project Manager and Business Analyst must employ additional project management and business analysis tools and techniques to effectively lead their teams and deliver their projects.

The course will explore how your projects can easily and successfully make the transition to an effective Agile environment.

Agile Scrum is an incremental, iterative framework for project management and software development - where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. This disciplined project management process involves:

  • A leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability

  • A set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software

  • A business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.

Course Outline

Section 1: Introduction

  • Why Agile?

  • How to recognize that your organization is heavily regulated,
    regimented, micro-managed using the waterfall model of
    development

  • What Agile SCRUM can do to address this problem

  • Common obstacles to overcome

  • The Agile Manifesto

  • The Agile Lifecycle

  • Introducing Agile SCRUM to the organization

  • Roles and Responsibilities on an Agile project team

  • Establishing core hours - How will the team work during a day?

  • Planning and Managing Business Analysis Communication and Performance

  • ACTIVITY – Identify Product Owner, ScrumMaster, Committed and non-committed roles


Section 2: Initiate an Agile Project

  • Envision the Product and Project outcomes

  • Assemble the Agile project team – what are their responsibilities?

  • ACTIVITY – Create a roles and responsibilities matrix (RACI) that are
    aligned to the desired outcomes

  • Setting expectations with stakeholders

  • Compile the Product Backlog (Coarse-Grain Requirements)

  • Plan Sprints and Releases

  • Embrace the High-Level (Coarse-Grain) Plan


Section 3: Plan the Iteration (Sprint)

  • Sprint Zero activities

  • Define the vision and Iteration Requirements

  • ACTIVITY – Define the vision

  • Creating the Product Backlog – Guidelines for writing User stories

  • Managing the Solution Scope and Requirements using 2-4 week Sprints

  • Adapting a change-driven (Agile) Project plan that works – what are the
    key differences from traditional (waterfall) project plans?

  • Finalize the Iteration Plan and how the team will operate

  • ACTIVITY – Write user stories for the product backlog


Section 4: Planning Releases and Managing Expectations

  • Planning Releases

  • Establishing decision and acceptance criteria for user stories

  • Planning Poker

  • ACTIVITY – Estimate User stories using Planning Poker

  • Prioritize themes and releases

  • Prioritize user stories

  • ACTIVITY - Prioritize user stories

  • Estimating team velocity

  • Preparing for change – Is the organization ready?

  • Create a release plan

  • ACTIVITY – Create a Release plan


Section 5: Planning the Sprint

  • Elements of a successful Sprint Planning meeting

  • Create a Sprint Backlog

  • Create a Sprint plan – Establishing Spring success metrics

  • How to create a task board

  • ACTIVITY – Create a Task Board and Sprint Backlog for the first Sprint

  • Coach the Team – How to keep them motivated and moving forward towards the
    desired outcome

  • Immerse the Team in Status

  • Communicate Status


Section 6: Running the Sprint

  • Managing your Scrums and setting expectations with your team

  • Using Burndown charts to track progress

  • ACTIVITY – Conduct a Scrum, update the task board, and create a Burndown chart

  • Manage changes during the Sprint – What questions to ask

  • Prepare for the Sprint Review

  • Obtain Customer Acceptance of the Product Increment

  • Hold a Sprint Retrospective - What is working and what needs to be improved upon during the Sprints

  • Update the product backlog - Rework the High-Level (Coarse-Grain) Plan

  • Plan and Execute the next Sprint


Section 7: Verifying and Validating Requirements

  • Creating a master test plan using Agile

  • Verifying and Validating requirements using an Agile approach

  • Identify Assumptions

  • Define Measurable Evaluation Criteria

  • Determine Business Value

  • Determine Dependencies for Benefits Realization

  • Evaluate Alignment with Business Case and Opportunity Cost

  • ACTIVITY - Create test scenarios and test cases from your User Stories

  • Defining Transition Requirements

  • Evaluating Solution Performance

  • Capstone exercise, a simulated Agile project for participants to apply the skills they have learned


Section 8: Additional Information

  • Useful books and links on Agile

Audience

Executives, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Business and IT stakeholders working with analysts, Quality and process engineers, technicians, managers; supervisors, team leaders, and process operators; anyone who wants to improve their Business Analysis skills.

No prerequisites - This course suitable for both novices and experienced people who need to manage and implement a project. Having an understanding of project management and business processes is helpful and recommended.