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  • Welcome to the INITIATE PROJECT chapter.

  • We cover the following topics - Business case, Vision statement, Project Charter, Product

  • Roadmap, types of agile contracts, process tailoring, and who Stakeholders are and why

  • they are important for the success of a project.

  • Now let us hear from the coach

  • Thanks Dave, let me take it from here.

  • Business Case

  • A Business Case helps to decide whether a project is worth the investment for the business

  • It is used for decision making by managers and executives

  • It contains the business need and cost-benefit analysis and

  • Includes inputs from various stakeholders A project can come about due to many reasons,

  • and typically projects help realize the strategic objectives of an organization. Some of the

  • reasons for initiating a project are

  • Market demand - Such as a demand for cheaper gas;

  • Organizational need - For automating payroll; Customer request - For an online business

  • presence; Technological advance - Where customers need

  • smart phones; Legal requirement - For example, to comply

  • with Sarbanes Oxley act; Social needs - Such as improving quality of

  • living in a developing country.

  • Vision

  • A VISION statement helps explain the purpose or the WHY of the project. This helps everyone

  • on the project team to focus their effort.

  • Explaining the vision for a project can be done using various means, such as an elevator

  • statement or design-the-box activity

  • An Elevator statement concisely describes the vision of a project and a sample format

  • has been provided as shown.

  • Here is one vision statement for the case study example:

  • For Who

  • The is an

  • That ,

  • Unlike Our product

  • about patients medical records>.

  • In another method, called as the Design-the-box, team members work together and describe succinctly

  • about the product on the face of a box.

  • It is essential that everyone on the team knows what it is they are working on and WHY!

  • Without this single focus, team energies cannot be channeled. Hence the very first step for

  • the product owner is to work on the vision with the help of the team.

  • Agile Contracting

  • Agile Contracts can be tricky, since the complete scope of work may not be clear upfront. Therefore,

  • variations in the standard types of contracts exist. As a customer you will want to reduce

  • your risk and, hence may opt for a fixed price contract, while the vendor would be more in

  • favor of a Time and Material Contract. So, be aware that many factors dictate the type

  • of contract in a given situation.

  • Broadly speaking, here are the different types of contracts.

  • Number 1 : Fixed price contract Number 2 : Time and material contract

  • # 3: Time and material with a cap # 4: Fixed price per story point

  • # 5: Fixed price per release

  • Now let us get into each of the in detail:

  • Number 1: Fixed price contract Here the scope and time are fixed and hence

  • not agile friendly Any new changes may have to go through change

  • control or, if the contract permits, be accommodated by removing stories of equal story points

  • In this contract, it is suggested that customer pay at the end of every iteration

  • #2 : Time and Material [T&M] contractthis is best suited for agile projects, because

  • the customer can terminate the project anytime. In this type of contract, costs of material

  • or labor are known upfront while the only variable is the time required for the project

  • #3: Time and Material with a cap, which limits the customers exposure on the higher side

  • #4: Fixed price per story point, where the contract is paid based on the story points,

  • and #5: Fixed price per release, where the contract

  • is fixed price for a particular release

  • Scrum uses two clauses - Money for Nothing and Change for Free - that we will discuss

  • in detail next.

  • Agile Contracting

  • Here we discuss two clauses that are popular in Scrum contracts and they are - Money for

  • Nothing and Change for Free.

  • MONEY FOR NOTHING is a contract clause that under certain conditions allows the customer

  • to terminate a project by paying the vendor a small termination fee.

  • The customer may wish to terminate the project for various reasons, such as - changing business

  • conditions, project work having realized sufficient business value or for any other reasons.

  • This gives flexibility to the customer since they save money by NOT spending on features

  • they NO longer need.

  • Another contract clause is the CHANGE FOR FREE. Again, under certain conditions, the

  • customer and vendor can exchange equal amounts of work for no additional cost.

  • This means that any new work can only be accepted if an equal amount of existing work is removed.

  • Due to better understanding of their needs or due to changing business and market conditions,

  • customers may want to replace work they had already committed to. This mechanism protects

  • both the customer and the vendor and the customer gets to introduce new work for free.

  • These give us an idea of how agile contracts can be structured to benefit both the customer

  • and the vendor.

  • Project Charter

  • After the contract is signed, the customer issues a project charter, which formally authorizes

  • the project into existence. The project charter can be a simple document and should contain

  • high level details of the purpose and business objectives of the project.

  • This is typically developed by the sponsor, that is, the one who funds the project.

  • At a bare minimum, it should contain the Vision (to answer theWhyof the project),

  • the Mission (to state theHow”), and the success criteria (to measure if the project’s

  • goal is achieved).

  • Traditional project success criteria generally focus on satisfying Scope, Schedule and Cost

  • parameters. This in itself may not provide true business value, which actually should

  • be the project success criteria. This is what Agile follows

  • Let us listen in on Bob, the Manager, authorizing the project.

  • I am authorizing this project by issuing a Project Charter.

  • Thanks Bob!

  • Dave, remember that our goal is to create value to the customer.

  • Product Roadmap

  • A PRODUCT ROADMAP shows the overall plan of what features go in which release over a time

  • period. The product owner with the assistance of the team is responsible to create the overall

  • plan laying out in broad details as to what will be accomplished in each time period.

  • As business conditions change, the product roadmap should be updated to keep it current

  • with the overall project understanding.

  • Take a look at the example here. The product roadmap lays out three releases, one in each

  • quarter. At a high level it presents what is planned to be achieved.

  • Again, remember this is just a plan, and subject to change!

  • Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders are people and organizations Who are involved in the project, or

  • Who are impacted by the project, either positively or negatively, as a result of project execution

  • or completion

  • An example of a positive stakeholder would be the customer, since they benefit from the

  • project. A negative stakeholder could be an employee whose job would be replaced by automation.

  • It is critical that stakeholders are identified early and as often as required.

  • Here is an example list of stakeholders, which includes:

  • Agile Manager or Coach Senior Manager

  • Developers Testers

  • Sponsors Users

  • Vendors and others

  • The stakeholder diagram is just one representation; it most likely will be different in your own

  • case.

  • Managing stakeholders is one of the keys in Agile projects, and we will discuss this in

  • greater detail next

  • Stakeholder Management

  • STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT is about understanding stakeholder interests, involvement and potential

  • impact on project success.

  • This calls for an intensive communication and dialogue with all concerned

  • As someone managing an agile project, you must engage with both primary and secondary

  • stakeholders and constantly monitor and redesign processes to better serve everyone

  • The typical skills required in stakeholder management include interpersonal and management

  • skills

  • Examples of Interpersonal skills includeResolving conflict

  • Building trust Active listening

  • Overcoming resistance to change

  • Examples of Management skills includePresentation skills

  • Negotiating Writing skills, and

  • Public speaking

  • Now, let us focus on how we manage stakeholder expectations

  • Manage Stakeholder Expectations

  • Stakeholder Expectations should be managed effectively, since each one's needs could

  • differ. If you are in the role of managing a project, then it is your responsibility

  • to find a solution that satisfies multiple stakeholders.

  • Let’s take an example:

  • You are an agile manager working at EvantTech. Let us see what some of the stakeholder expectations

  • look like: The client wants to get as much of the scope

  • into the project for the given budget Your manager expects you to complete the project

  • as fast as possible, to bring in new revenue Your vendor is desperate to work with you

  • on a large piece of the pie, so as to make more profit

  • Your project team is excited to try out the new technology on this very project

  • The functional manager is requesting that you release (right away) one of the key team

  • member loaned to you The PMO is insisting that you follow the company

  • processes and standards The Quality department has issued you a Non-Conformance

  • report

  • And we can go on. Now it becomes apparently clear how you are

  • expected to use multiple skills in managing the stakeholders to ensure a successful project.

  • Stakeholder Classification

  • It is important that Stakeholders are managed appropriately based on their interest in the

  • project and the power they have. Take a look at the graph here which plotspower

  • vsinterest”; “Poweris the authority they can exert over the project, whileinterest

  • implies concern

  • The most important quadrant of stakeholders that needs to be managed closely is those

  • that have high interest and also high authority.

  • The next most important quadrant of stakeholders that needs to be kept satisfied is those that

  • have low interest but have high authority or power.

  • The stakeholders in quadrant 3, that is, those who have high interest but low power, needs

  • to be kept informed.

  • Finally, put in a minimum effort to monitor stakeholders low on interest and low on authority.

  • Can you answer these questions, please?

  • A high level plan which shows the grouping of features to be delivered at different times

  • is a:

  • (A) Project Plan (B) Product Roadmap

  • (C) Vision Document (D) Project Charter

  • What is your choice?

  • Project Plan - This only offers help on how to accomplish the project goals

  • Product Roadmap - A high level plan on what will be accomplished and when

  • Vision Document - Indicates the ""Why"", or the reason, for the project

  • Project Charter - Authorizes a project and states the overall objectives

  • The Scrum Master needs to obtain constant support from all the stakeholders, including

  • the customer, for a successful project. What should she be good at?

  • (A) Project Management (B) Scrum Practices

  • (C) Customer Relations (D) Stakeholder Management

  • What is your choice?

  • Project Management - While project management is no doubt important, getting the support

  • of stakeholders requires a special kind of attention

  • Scrum Practices - Only knowing the Scrum Practices will not help, unless the stakeholders are

  • engaged as well

  • Customer Relations - While this is a good skill, a project has stakeholders apart from

  • customers. A Scrum Master needs to keep this in focus

  • Stakeholder Management - This is all about understanding stakeholder interests, their

  • needs and influence on a project. This is critical for a Scrum Master.

  • Process Tailoring

  • A standard process such as Scrum, XP, DSDM, Crystal may not be applicable out of the box

  • in all situations. In these cases, appropriate PROCESS TAILORING maybe made after gaining

  • sufficient expertise in using one of the standard methods.

  • The martial arts concept of SHU-HA-RI comes to mind, which can be understood as follows:

  • SHUmeansfirst learn the process” “HAmeans tweak the process or make adjustments

  • to it as you need, and finallyRImeansBe the process”, that

  • is now that you have mastered the art, you may go on to create your own.

  • Incremental Development

  • INCREMENTAL DEVELOPMENT means developing in small increments to reduce risk of building

  • the wrong thing. Based on customer needs at that point in time, an increment of the system

  • is built. This provides the customer an opportunity to test and provide feedback.

  • By enforcing a short iteration cycle, all agile methods follow incremental development

  • as a basic practice.

  • Time Boxing

  • TIME BOXING involves setting up a short term goal and focusing on work termed as high priority.

  • This reduces the risk of building everything at once, while improving efficiency and effectiveness

  • This short term goal includes budget and deliverables IsJust-in-timework for things known

  • at that point in time Helpful in effectively prioritizing work in

  • the given time frame Results are delivered in increments

  • Helps increase focus and motivation Provides the team with an opportunity to inspect

  • and adapt through constant feedback from the customer

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  • Conclusion

  • In this chapter we covered many topics A business case helps a business to decide

  • if a project should be taken up to meet its strategic goals.

  • A “Visionstatement helps in describing the purpose of a project. This should be clear,

  • unambiguous and easy to understand for everyone involved.

  • A sponsor is an individual or an organization funding the project

  • A project charter is issued by the sponsor to authorize the project.

  • The client determines the type of contract to use in working with a vendor.

  • A project is successful when it provides value to the business.

  • Product roadmap shows the high level plan of the product’s capabilities.

  • It is important to manage stakeholders proactively in a project.

  • Business case development - Describes whether a project is worth the investment for the

  • business and is used for decision making by executives. Contains business need and cost-benefit

  • analysis

  • Incremental Delivery - A development process where parts of the product are developed in

  • stages and delivered to users, with the intention of obtaining feedback.

  • Process Tailoring - Standard processes may not fit organizational needs. Hence start

  • with a standard method and customize after gaining sufficient expertise (Follow: SHU-HA-RI)

  • Product Roadmap - Shows prioritized work of what features are planned for which release.

  • It depicts the overall set of planned product features. It is a high level guide, subject

  • to change

  • Product Vision - A statement describing the desired future state that would be achieved

  • by developing and deploying a product. Vision should be simple, and easy to understand

  • Project chartering - A set of up-front activities needed to define a project at a level of detail

  • that would help in funding decisions

  • Sponsor - A person or organization that funds the project

  • Stakeholder - People or organizations involved in the project, or impacted by the project,

  • either positively or negatively

  • Stakeholder Management - Is about understanding stakeholders interests, involvement and potential