project management

Podcast 76 – Tips for agile project management

Elise Stevens
Podcast 76 - Tips for agile project management

Let’s talk about: tips for agile project management

Shane Hastie is Chief Knowledge Engineer & Agile Practise Lead at Software Education & specialises in agile practices, business analysis, project management, requirements and methodologies for Software Education in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

Over the last 30+ years Shane has been a practitioner and leader of developers, testers, trainers, project management and business analysts; helping teams to deliver results that align with overall business objectives.

Shane has assisted a number of companies in producing methodologies and implementing processes to improve their end-to-end software development capabilities, from initial scoping and business case through to final user acceptance testing. This included defining workflows, training and mentoring technical teams across the entire product development lifecycle.

Points raised in this podcast:

• Agile is not the practices that you do; it is the mindset you have.

• Consider what are the real challenges including what are the requirements themselves unstable? If the period of stability is outlined as 90 days, where the average period to implement is 9 months – clearly something is broken in this instance.

• At the business end of our projects where value is derived the world is changing rapidly, so sometimes we are set up to fail. This means out techniques of PM need to be fundamentally adapted.

• Slice products differently and approach projects differently – consider moving your delivery process so you are delivering small slices of valuable information so we can bring it to the market quickly and test with a small snapshot of the audience.

• IDKWIWBIKIWISI – I don’t know what I want but I know it when I see it.

• The studies and statistics show that in a typical IT product, 68% of the features that we build are NEVER used. By the time the product is ready, needs have changed. Agile says that we should only build the features we want and will use.

• We still need to do upfront planning in agile implementations; we need to have enough of an understanding to ensure we can provide the outcomes the organisation is looking for.

• Being agile enables us to test if we are on the right track and building the right thing, whether we are building it right (quality risks) and whether it is being built together (social risk).

• Through being agile, projects managers can take a thin slice of implementation, get the ‘order’ right and then test before we proceed with the next stage.

• The technology shouldn’t drive the focus of the project; ideally everything should be expressed in business management terms. Focusing primarily on business capability and business value.

• Remember; it’s not about your convenience, it is about the value to the organisation. Slice the project by value not technical perspective.

• Explore the ‘Stand Back And Deliver’ model – a range of elements to consider in the model including elements that are business critical, irrelevant, or tasks that we need to engage with other external partners.

• Agility is not the goal, find out what the problem is that you are trying to solve and work towards having the correct technique and tools to ensure you achieve the desired outcome.

• Agile is a way of thinking that influences a way of working.

• Show true leadership and get your stakeholder to think about what you are trying to achieve and try not to be driven by the technology.

Find out more about Shane’s work and the courses and training available from Soft Education by clicking on this link.

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