Agile Project Management for Government - eBook - Part III

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However, they have different practices, processes, and techniques. While adopting Agile, it is not mandatory to follow a particular Agile methodology. The best practices from different agile methodologies can be chosen and implemented in the project. Scrum methodology is one of the leading Agile techniques developed in the s by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

It is a term used in Rugby game and refers to an interlocked team working together to push a rugby ball into the hands of their team members, so they can move it down the field and score. Some of the salient features that make Scrum methodology popular are as follows:. There are three pillars of Scrum methodology, such as Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation.

All aspects of the process or project must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. Use Information radiators, through which key information like product backlog, sprint backlog, impediments, risks, and project progress are made transparent to all the stakeholders. Based on the observations made during an inspection, necessary changes are made to the process to avoid problem recurrence and improve the project delivery position.

The Scrum roles are important features of Scrum methodology. There are three key roles defined in the Scrum guide.

The Scrum team comprises five to nine team members, which is seven plus or minus two. The roles of product owner and ScrumMaster are not included in this count unless they are directly contributing to the work of the sprint backlog.

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The Product owner is a product visionary and is responsible for the success of a project by defining the project vision, requirements, and priorities. ScrumMaster is responsible for the team and removes impediments that will prevent them from achieving the goals set by the product owner. The Development Team is self-organized and cross-functional. It works collaboratively to determine how the requirements decided by the product owner will be fulfilled. This team comprises people with a mix of roles to determine how best to meet the goals of the product owner. It contains both well-defined requirements and those requiring further definition.

Sprint : A period of 30 days or less, within which a set of work will be performed to create a deliverable. Sprint Backlog : Requirement that is well defined and can be worked on with little change, over 30 days or less, resulting in a tangible, potentially shippable incremental deliverable. Scrum : A daily meeting attended by the Scrum team to review the progress and impediments. There are four meetings defined by Scrum methodology that happen over the course of a sprint. Given below is a graphical representation of an ideal Agile project that uses Scrum.

The flowchart showcases the flow of events of a typical Scrum project. Product owner prepares the product backlog that has all the user stories documented along with their prioritization. The high priority features occupy the top of the product backlog. The team, based on their historical visibility and velocity, decides which of the user stories and how much of them can be delivered in the release based on the product roadmap.

These user stories are moved into release backlog. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects the user stories from the top of the release backlog, which can be completed within a two week period. Such user stories then become part of the sprint backlog. Once the sprint backlog is decided, the team breaks them into tasks—for the ease of tracking and reporting.

Should I become PMP® Certified or Agile Certified?

Through incremental iterations, the development team starts developing the features. Daily stand-up meetings are held to discuss the progress and raise issues. Burnup and burndown charts are used to showcase the progress. At the end of the sprint, the working software with the new functionality is demonstrated to the stakeholders to get their feedback.

Finally, the team conducts a retrospective on the sprint performance and agree upon the action requests.

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Further, the team captures its velocity, which will be used for planning future sprints. This cycle continues. While taking up different Scrum roles, a few key points must be kept in mind.


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As a product owner, resist the temptation to "manage" the team or add more important work after the sprint is in progress. The product owner should be willing to make hard choices during the Sprint planning meeting. A ScrumMaster assist both the team and the product owner-- empowers the development team by facilitating creativity and guides the product owner on how to maximize Return on Investment or ROI. The team has the autonomy to choose how best to meet the goals and is responsible for the same. Interested in learning more about Agile Methodologies?

Check out the course preview here! Extreme Programming or XP was developed by Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham in the s to respond to the high cost of changing requirements and establish strong engineering practices to improve software quality. XP is a software development-centric Agile method and focuses on implementing the best software practices.

XP emphasizes the same practices represented in the Agile Manifesto and reflected in Scrum. XP introduced many revolutionary concepts to software development that are now standard practices, such as Test Driven Development; Continuous Integration; Iterations; and User Stories. The aim of these practices is to ensure that customers receive what they need. XP allows developers to respond to changing customer requirements at any point in the project lifecycle.

The XP Practices introduced a wide range of techniques that are accepted as standard practices. In the given XP process diagram, you can see the normal flow of an XP project. Architectural spike and user stories are taken as input for the release planning. The outcome of this meeting would result in the release plan, which would drive the iterations planned within the release.

The outcome of each iteration would be compared against the acceptance criteria and upon customer approval, the code would be shipped to the live environment through small release. This cycle of release planning, iteration planning, development, testing, and customer acceptance repeats for the entire duration of the project. It is recommended to spend some time and go through the diagram for a better understanding of the concept.

The given image shows the problems faced during the development of a project named Phoenix, which is an Image-Processing Environment. To develop an Image Processing Environment, the Phoenix programming team had to outline the functionality of the system. Before they began coding, they outlined the functionality of the system with their customers and established a common understanding.

They coded most parts of the Image Processing Environment together for 10 to 14 hours per day, for a period of four months. This gave them complete command over the development process. They decided what had to be developed and why. Further, this approach was ideal for the Phoenix project that consisted of more than 40, lines of code. Despite the development process requiring 10 to 14 hours per day, for a period of four months, the project was completed on time because of the teamwork.

In Crystal Agile Methodology, projects are categorized according to the size of the project, the number of people involved, and criticality. Crystal Methodologies, developed by Alistair Cockburn, are designed for projects ranging from small teams developing low critical solutions to large teams developing mission-critical solutions. Depending on the project span, Agile processes must be extended beyond face-to-face communications.

Additional verifications, validations, and traceability measures can be introduced as needed, thereby improving project flexibility. Crystal Agile methodology can be categorized in different ways. The important categories are Crystal Clear and Crystal Red.

Agile Project Management for Government - eBook - Part III by Brian Wernham

Crystal Clear is for small teams working on projects with low risk to life and using discretionary monies. In the image, the projects that fall on the far left, with a team size of one to six, belong to this category. These projects develop less critical solutions and failure of which would result in a low financial loss.

Crystal Red is for a larger project that deals with life and death implications, which would have more governance, documentation, and control gates. In the image, the projects on the far right belong to this category. Failure to achieve the required results would result in significant loss to the organization. Hence as the team size increases, it is important to increase communications within the team using tools to help improve project delivery. Also, the crystal methodology moves on to Crystal Yellow and Crystal Orange as the size of the team and complexity increases.

The latest version is called Atern. It is one of the earliest Agile methods and covers the entire project lifecycle. This method is quite detailed and ensures the project does enough design up front before any of the development activity begins. The Atern methodology fixes the schedule, cost, and quality while achieving contingency by varying the features.

This is also illustrated in the given image. In the Pre-Project phase, identify and select the right project for development that would deliver value. In the Feasibility phase , identify if a feasible solution exists for the project selected during the pre-project phase.

In the Foundation phase , establish a strong foundation for the project from a business and technical front, and identify the necessary standards that the project needs to adhere to. In the Exploration phase , iteratively and incrementally develop the solution. The resultant solution is not expected to be production-ready as the non-functional requirements need to be developed during the Engineering phase. In the Engineering phase , iteratively and incrementally develop the non-functional requirements to make the product production-ready. The focus here is on factors such as maintainability, security, portability, response, and time.

In the Deployment phase , deploy the solution to the live environment. In the Post-Project phase, assess the business benefits that are realized through the delivery of the solution developed. Features are small pieces of client-valued functions expressed in the form given below. Through decomposition, domain models are broken down into subject areas, which are then expressed as business activities. The team using FDD method would first develop a prototype of the product, and then build a list of features to be developed. Next, they would plan on how the product would be developed using iterative and incremental approach.

Each step in a business activity is a feature. FDD popularized the cumulative flow diagram and parking lot diagrams, which are useful for tracking and monitoring the delivery progress. Care needs to be taken to ensure that each feature does not take more than two weeks to complete; else they should be broken down into smaller pieces.

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The primary focus is to deliver value and quality within the constraints of cost, schedule, and scope. APM also states that while the value is extrinsic and can be seen through the delivery of features, quality is intrinsic. Quality is defined as part of the requirement and later built into the solution by the team. The given image shows the correlation between the two.

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Here, the Initiation phase is parallel to Envisioning, Planning phase is parallel to Speculating, Executing phase is parallel to Exploring, Controlling phase is parallel to Adapting, and Closing phase is parallel to Closing. Tom and Mary Poppendieck introduced Lean software development to the Agile community. TPS was developed to address issues that affect manufacturing processes, like Muri Overuse , Mura irregularities , and Muda waste.

Muri is to cause overburden, such as unnecessary stress on the employees and processes. This is caused by Mura and a host of other failures in the system, such as lack of training, unclear ways of working, and wrong tools. Mura is the waste caused by unevenness or irregularity.

Unrealistic demand results in unevenness in the processes, which leads to waste creation. Mura drives Muda. Muda is any activity or process that does not add value. This can refer to waste of time, resources, and money. Kanban is a Japanese term for a signal board. Find out more about Segue's Discovery process and how it can benefit you in planning and initiating your development project. Through our experience of taking on unique and challenging development and sustainment projects, Segue has developed an approach to minimizing assumptions and better scoping the size and complexity of the work before us.

This process is called Discovery. The following eBook contains articles on the Segue Discovery process and how it can benefit you in planning and initiating your development project. In this eBook, our experts give you an introduction to software development methodologies, agile development, agile principles, and agile teams. The following eBook contains an introduction to software development methodologies, agile development, agile principles, and agile teams. Developing a great mobile app begins with devising a solid plan to turn your idea into a reality.