Introduction to leadership and governance,youth leadership program chester county,executive education government,florida lottery results december 8 2012 - Review

I was contacted by a reader recently who was enquiring about practical ways to introduce agile methods into their organization. Having being involved in the creation and roll-out of DSDM in 1994 and engaged on agile projects ever since, I have been exposed to a wide variety of process change initiatives, many of which had some pain-points.
Why Change?First of all, with any change initiative we should clearly understand why change is necessary.
That said most organizations have plenty of room for improvement in their software development process.
While the Standish reports are showing small signs of improvement year on year, the main theme is that the majority of companies continue to struggle at delivering successful projects. This is where the rubber hits the road, we need to make sure they are truly engaged in the process and involved in the planning and roll-out. Specialized groups like a database group, quality, or a project management office can be enablers or blockers to a process adoption. Now, I am not stating that you need to get formal written approval from each of these groups before introducing agile. What Changes Might be Necessary?Just what may require changing is likely to be wider ranging than you might think. New methods of decision making – dictatorial, command-and-control decision making does not fit agile methods, plus since the team will be doing more of their own local planning we ought to  have better ways of gaining consensus and resolving conflicts. Empowered teams – Are the project managers ready and willing to turn over iteration planning to the team?
Business prioritized features – is the business ready to get involved in prioritizing stories and evaluate increments of code on a regular basis? Working with a new group of colleagues – For some organizations having the development team working closely with the users of the system is new and disturbing. Doing your job differently – A switch to agile is likely to lead to less project documentation and more change requests. When new projects occur with high levels of requirements uncertainty – for instance a project with vague requirements “We need a customer self-service portal” that is likely to have a high rate of requirements evolution as the details become clear.
When new projects occur with high technical risk – for instance using new languages, unprecedented technology, untested interfaces. Time critical projects – for instance if a product has to be ready for a November trade show.
We can also look to Barry Boehm and Richard Turner’s Agility Radar Diagram to help guide us.

If, when we assess our project factors we see that the project has characteristics close to the inside of the chart then an agile approach is suitable. With this approach we run an initial project that has a real business need and is highly visible  for 3-6 months.
Note I did not call the initial project a “Pilot” project, it was pointed out to me many years ago that using the term “pilot” indicates that something is a trial and may not continue. Check back soon for Part 2 when I will explain why change is difficult, why people naturally resist change, and when people do accept changes. It is probably fair to say that if there are process introduction mistakes to make, I have made them, but I am (slowly) getting better and think I can guide people around a lot of the common pitfalls now.
Part 2 will outline change challenges and explain why people resist change.Part 3 will explain a cohesive strategic and human oriented change process and provide introduction tips. If an organization is having success with their existing process (be it formal or chaotic) I would question the need to introduce a new methodology. If they have previously played only a passive role, we need to now ignite them with the opportunities for more control and work on new engagement models to get them involved. Rather, be aware that the success of an agile introduction goes much beyond the development team. Is the project team ready to accept these development priorities and be directed by their customers? Some developers like to get their head down and code, deep in the moment of creative development. Most good project managers already know that they are there to make the project team successful, they do not add a lot of business value to software products so they need to support the team.
For the introduction of agile methods, it may well be appropriate:When there are problems with current processes – if the current process consistently delivers late, or over budget, or poorly accepted software. Whenever there is high technology risk, the iterative nature of agile projects is great for reducing risks early in the lifecycle. Timeboxed iterations and feature prioritization are effective ways of ensuring the best possible delivery for an immovable date. If however it scores further out, around the plan-driven periphery then perhaps agile is not the best approach to use this time.
So, if you are currently introducing agile methods to an organization save yourself some grief and at least learn to avoid the problems I encountered. While iterative projects can be run as multiple, short waterfall projects, the real benefits of agile are only realized when we learn how to tap into the ownership, power and accountability of empowered teams.

Users have a habit of interrupting coding nirvana with nasty exceptions to business processes, and special cases that not all developers enjoy. Instead the user community is engaged throughout the lifecycle and given more opportunities to interact and think about the evolving system so higher percentage of changes are uncovered during development when the costs of change are much lower than after deployment.) Also agile change processes welcome late breaking changes while many traditional change management processes are really “change prevention” processes. However for some project managers this downward serving model and increased levels of team planning and decision making can feel threatening. Then we review and document the project, publicizing its success and how happy the sponsor and users are. Call it an initial project with the assumption there will be follow-on projects and you will avoid this uncertainty risk. Likewise, many business folks equate working with the development team as having to join their mechanic in the muck and oil of a garage when getting their car repaired.
However, some people will feel uncomfortable without the two inch thick binder of (out of date) requirements sat on their desk. Make no mistake there is still lots to be done, just the role and relationship may be different than previously experienced.
Balance with this the need to see results quickly and roll out successful approaches to other projects, so they can get the benefits too.
Then individuals from that initial project can go on to be mentors for subsequent projects, scaling out the knowledge through the organization.
I think it is a much better way of working for most organizations and projects, but no panacea or silver bullet. Document centric people will be forced to communicate more with other project stakeholders and attend software demo’s to get the information they need, which for some people is uncomfortable. So do not choose a two year plus monster project if you want to use the results to win over other groups quickly. Teams or cultures where giving your boss bad news is difficult struggle to adopt agile methods.
Project managers or scrum masters can not remove impediments or help with resourcing problems if people are afraid to tell them what they are.

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