How To Get Ready to Manage Your First Agile Project (Episode 1)?

Do you remember your project on the dinner described in the blog, "How To Get Ready to Manage Your First Project?" You invited friends for dinner. For that you had planned in detail, how would take place the whole evening before starting (as much as you could, of course). You initiated the project, planned it, monitored it, controlled it and closed it. You could have organized the dinner differently, wouldn’t you? Let’s see how?


Imagine that when you had the idea, you did not have much time to prepare all evening in advance. All you know is that you want to serve your guests an appetizer, a main course, and desserts. All this, accompanied by good drinks in a good musical atmosphere. But you can’t wait to meet your friends and share that good time with them.


This time, you want to offer them a home-cooked meal. And it is feasible since in the family you like to cook!


Although you don’t have much time, there are still some questions that come to mind: "What dish could they enjoy?”, “What for the desserts?”, “What do you need to make the evening perfect?”, etc.


You do not have time to answer all these questions before inviting your friends. You say to yourself, "Okay, the minimum is to shop, buy what I can. I will manage with what I will have in the fridge!"


When discussing this with your family, one of your daughters suggests to split the evening in three time frames of 2 hours (you will start early!): The time of appetizer, the time of the main course and the time of desserts. And reflect only on what is absolutely necessary to start the evening: the appetizer. You will treat the questions of the main course and desserts afterwards. The professionals of the agile method (scrum) would name each timeframe a "Sprint".


You find that the idea is not stupid and decide to focus only on the details related to the appetizer. This reinforces the idea that you need to discuss the organization of the dinner with the whole family, rather than alone in your corner. So, in your turn, you suggest to define the role that everyone will play to be effective.


You would like someone to focus on defining what the evening will look like. He will share what he thinks will make the dinner a success: the meal, the music, the entertainment, etc. You assign this role to yourself. Let's call this role Product Owner as the professionals do.


About cooking, everyone has his specialty in the family. Aaron is the starter specialist and will take care of the appetizer.


As this is the first time that you will cook the dishes, you include in the team, two of your nephews who like to taste the meals. They will test the dishes. Basically, you have the team that will cook, test the taste, and serve. In other words, the persons who will work together that evening to make your ideas a reality are ready. The professionals call that team a Development Team.


But you still need someone to coordinate the whole evening, a facilitator to provide the team with everything they need and encourage them. Your daughter, Joyce, loves this type of role. So, she will be happy to take care of it. Let's call this role Scrum Master, as the professionals do.


Ok, fine, the team is ready and the roles are defined. But that is only a part of the story! Now, what is going to happen the D-Day? How the family will work to turn their ideas into reality? That is the story the next episode will tell.


Oh, wait, before you leave… Do you know how the professionals of Scrum call the team composed of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team? You can even guess the answer: Scrum Team!


I love to provide you an experience of project management best practices in a way that you can live a real life project like in a company. So, if you wish, I can publish a book to share agile best practices in the same style as the "The Project Manager Adventures". For that, just leave a comment below and your email address here so that I inform you as soon as I publish the book.


Pierre Kouhozon, PMP and PMI-ACP for agile practices.



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