Topic
  • 10 replies
  • Latest Post - ‏2013-02-22T17:38:09Z by dsparacin
HazelWoodcock
HazelWoodcock
10 Posts

Pinned topic Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

‏2013-02-19T09:55:50Z |

Agile Government Virtual Roundtable

 
Welcome to this round table discussion which will run until Tuesday 26th February.
In this thread we are discussing Agile Adoption/Transformation.
  • Can technology transform the role of government?
  • How does the government organization need to evolve to successfully adopt agile methods?

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Other Conversations Developing Governance Digital Strategy

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Updated on 2013-02-22T17:38:09Z at 2013-02-22T17:38:09Z by dsparacin
  • elizabethwoodward
    elizabethwoodward
    9 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-20T20:32:58Z  
    Can it be said that "A plan is not a prescription, it is evolving moving target"? Many believe that if you have no plan you have no project outcome. can you please provide some guidelines on this...?"
    The way I envision this one is to picture the development organization and customers/stakeholders in perfect alignment shooting an arrow at a target that is 12-18 months away (or however long the total project is expected to take). At the very beginning, everyone is in alignment, but as time goes on things change.
     
    On the one hand, the customer's environment may change, needs may change, they may learn more about what they *really* want versus what they thought they wanted 18 months ago. As a result, for them, the target shifts over time. Even if the development team hits the center of where the target used to be, they won't necessarily hit the current target and meet the customers current needs/expectations.
     
    At the same time, the development team's understanding of what's required, how the solution can best meet the needs, etc, also changes over time. Their understanding shifts...the target shifts.
     
    Agile takes this into consideration and expects that there's learning and shifting in the target. It becomes a negotiation to make sure that what's delivered meets the highest priority needs of the customer. You're continuously planning and do have an expected outcome, but it's negotiated and tuned over time.
  • Cherifa
    Cherifa
    30 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-20T22:32:12Z  
     "Scope get change" The questions is how do your measure the milestone, if you have no plan in the beginning? Is it true that project management and Business analysis framework will not work?
     Hi Tammy
    Not sure I understand  "Business analysis framework will not work?"
     If I look at one Business framework "Business analysis body of Knowledge (BABOK), this does not prescribe any approach. It has several knowledge areas that BA can benefit from when performing some business analysis on their project. Those knowledge areas describe several techniques (eliciting, prototyping, sketching, ..) but it is up to the BA to use those techniques whether in a traditional approach or agile. Being agile and wanting to align with the BABOK would mean basically taking some of the techniques and scaling them , applying the "Just about enough" and Just in time" practices.
    Updated on 2013-02-20T22:32:12Z at 2013-02-20T22:32:12Z by Cherifa
  • ScottAmbler
    ScottAmbler
    24 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-21T14:27:51Z  
     "In your experience, do you see any conflict between today's practices and acual agile understanding. Does today's culture conflect with the real meaning of agile? What can we do for quich demonstrations without access of tools, to demonstrate the vaue of agile? agile is not new. it's commonsense, but the word itself may be a new buzz word. people who work with real time softwae have more understanding of the agile concept."
     Paul Gorans, of IBM Global Services, and myself ran a survey a little over a year ago which explored some of the challenges facing organizations that are adopting agile.  The survey results are posted here.  Many of the challenges do in fact prove to be cultural in nature, which makes them difficult (but not impossible) to address.
  • tammykulesa
    tammykulesa
    7 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-21T14:39:24Z  
     "In your experience, do you see any conflict between today's practices and acual agile understanding. Does today's culture conflect with the real meaning of agile? What can we do for quich demonstrations without access of tools, to demonstrate the vaue of agile? agile is not new. it's commonsense, but the word itself may be a new buzz word. people who work with real time softwae have more understanding of the agile concept."
    Updated on 2013-02-21T14:39:24Z at 2013-02-21T14:39:24Z by tammykulesa
  • tammykulesa
    tammykulesa
    7 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-21T14:42:25Z  
    Can it be said that "A plan is not a prescription, it is evolving moving target"? Many believe that if you have no plan you have no project outcome. can you please provide some guidelines on this...?"
    Updated on 2013-02-21T14:42:25Z at 2013-02-21T14:42:25Z by tammykulesa
  • tammykulesa
    tammykulesa
    7 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-21T14:43:11Z  
     "Scope get change" The questions is how do your measure the milestone, if you have no plan in the beginning? Is it true that project management and Business analysis framework will not work?
    Updated on 2013-02-21T14:43:11Z at 2013-02-21T14:43:11Z by tammykulesa
  • bbaron
    bbaron
    1 Post

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-22T14:42:05Z  
     "In your experience, do you see any conflict between today's practices and acual agile understanding. Does today's culture conflect with the real meaning of agile? What can we do for quich demonstrations without access of tools, to demonstrate the vaue of agile? agile is not new. it's commonsense, but the word itself may be a new buzz word. people who work with real time softwae have more understanding of the agile concept."

    In Government, there are definite areas where Agile practices and processes do not always mesh with Federal requirements for management and budget of IT spend. I know that there are good models in Agencies for adopting Agile, but they do not seem to be connected to mainstream agile methods, any key areas where others have seen large differences?

  • RolfWReitzig
    RolfWReitzig
    2 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-22T15:39:31Z  
    The way I envision this one is to picture the development organization and customers/stakeholders in perfect alignment shooting an arrow at a target that is 12-18 months away (or however long the total project is expected to take). At the very beginning, everyone is in alignment, but as time goes on things change.
     
    On the one hand, the customer's environment may change, needs may change, they may learn more about what they *really* want versus what they thought they wanted 18 months ago. As a result, for them, the target shifts over time. Even if the development team hits the center of where the target used to be, they won't necessarily hit the current target and meet the customers current needs/expectations.
     
    At the same time, the development team's understanding of what's required, how the solution can best meet the needs, etc, also changes over time. Their understanding shifts...the target shifts.
     
    Agile takes this into consideration and expects that there's learning and shifting in the target. It becomes a negotiation to make sure that what's delivered meets the highest priority needs of the customer. You're continuously planning and do have an expected outcome, but it's negotiated and tuned over time.
    Tammy, to add on to what Elizabeth said I like to quote President Eisenhower: "Plans are nothing; planning is everything".  His point is that the planning process is continuous, not just a static point in time.  Agile teams recognize this and are constantly course correcting.  To think we can accurately plan quarters, or even months out is doing ourselves, our customers, and our company a disservice.
  • dsparacin
    dsparacin
    2 Posts

    Re: Virtual Roundtable - Agile Government: Agile Adoption/Transformation

    ‏2013-02-22T17:38:09Z  
    Can it be said that "A plan is not a prescription, it is evolving moving target"? Many believe that if you have no plan you have no project outcome. can you please provide some guidelines on this...?"
     Hi Tammy,
     
    I think I have a little bit different way of looking at this. At the top level we have the goals and objectives for a project/program and we usually have a "need by date" in mind. What we will actually end up with by this date is TBD, but we know we need something by this date. The next level down, particularly if we know there are going to be a set of formal releases, we typically have one or more themes for each release. Your critical stories, the ones that will make you or break you, should fit within the context of your first couple of themes. If they don't, then you need to reconsider your themes, or base you themes on these critical stories.
     
    Once you have done the story grooming for the critical stories (priority, sufficient detail, and points assigned) then you can begin assigning things to sprints. Within 2-3 sprints you'll have an idea of how much a given team can actually take on and make some predictions. (See the top-level topic blog for my posting on story grooming.)
     
    In your initial projects you may have to do more grooming up front vs. spread out over time until your management learns to trust you in this new mode.Or you may want to do this anyway to help answer some basic questions for totally new development areas like how big this project really is, do you have enough staff or budget, will you have enough of the high-priority things done by your "need by date", etc.
     
    As everyone else has pointed out though, these will not be hard, firm numbers, They are predictions only and will be fuzzier at first (very fuzzy) and get better over time. Don't let management turn your initial estimates/guesses into "poured in concrete" numbers. Instead use your numbers to help adjust expectations, get more staff, expert assistance for those new areas, budget, etc.
     
    It has been my experience that if you focus on delivering high value features on a regular cadence and reducing risk you will keep them sold on your project. [Yes risk management plays a huge role in agile development projects.] And guess what, you might just have enough of your project "done" by that "need by date" that they either won't care about the last 20% of low-priority things, or if they really have to have it they are willing to give you more time/budget because they know they can count on you to deliver.
     
    Hope this helps. Have a super week.