How To Plan An Agile Project That Doesn’t Fail
Reading time: 2 minutes
With support from Sean Stone.
1. Identify Your Stakeholders
These are the people that will help you deliver your product. These will be your executives, sponsors, key customers, partners and any other interested parties that can influence the outcome of the project.
Identify the Product Owner
This is a key to running a successful Scrum project. The Product Owner is the person that ultimately makes the decisions on what to build and what not to build. They assess the feedback from stakeholders, user, developers and set priorities for the team. They are responsible for the return on investment of the project.
Sync up the Stakeholders Regularly
Establish expectations for a regular feedback loop with your stakeholders. Ideally, your stakeholders will be updated on a weekly basis on the progress of the project. The feedback collected will help the team adjust their priorities.
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
― Winston Churchill
2. Create a Product Vision
The product vision is what will align your team and stakeholders. It may evolve over time, but it should always be accessible to everyone.
Identify Your Customers
Whether it’s an internal product, a B2B or a B2C product, your end users are your customers. You are building the product for them, so always keep their needs in mind.
Create a Product Roadmap
Product roadmap is a living document that shows the direction that the product is heading. It is not a set release schedule, rather a reflection of the direction the company is heading.
Validate Your Vision
Plan to test your product with real users as soon as you can. Whether you have created a high-fidelity prototype or fully implemented and integrated a feature, nothing compares to real user feedback. Share the feedback with the team and stakeholders to help them make better choices throughout the project.
3. Failure is Still Possible
Any project can fail. Agile projects allow you to plan for failure and minimize the costs and damages. The short feedback loop will surface any issues fast so you can act on them early on in the project.
Create a register of risks and issues. Whether these are business, technical, or interpersonal. The stakeholders need to be aware of the issues so they can be addressed appropriately.
Budget and Timeline
Agile development is iterative. The feedback loop is short. This allows you to change direction fast. Key decisions must be made from time to time. Keeping track of the progress and the burn rate will help you make the best decision of when to switch focus, abandon a feature, or cancel the project.
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