We’ll use a real life example to show how these tips can work on an actual project.
Imagine leading a software project where your company has been contracted to build an enterprise e-commerce system to power your client’s new website. Our task manager of choice is Atlassian JIRA, but of course this is one tool of many.
The 14 person team consists of:
- 1 Executive Stakeholder who funds the project and reports back to the C-suite
- 1 Product Owner who sets the priority of the backlog
- 3 Functional Managers who inform requirements
- 1 Project Leader
- 1 Business Analyst who works with stakeholders to write and organize the epics and user stories
- 1 Software Architect
- 2 Software Engineers
- 1 Front End Developer
- 2 Quality Assurance Engineers
- 1 User Acceptance Tester
In the last 3 iterations, the performance looks like this:
Iteration 35 — Quick Additions & Removal Early Iteration, Low Throughput
Iteration 36 — Additions Mid-Iteration, Successful Burndown, Low Throughput
Iteration 37 — Late Iteration Additions, Low Burndown, Low Throughput
This will give the product owner flexibility to adjust priorities as needed up until it’s time to start the next iteration. Implementing this practice narrowed down the focus on analysis and greatly increased the number of stories marked as Ready for Development.
- We had many more stories ready for development including more detailed analysis from developers which contributed to faster burndown.
- The development process went far more smoothly leaving plenty of time for analysis for the following iteration.
- Team members were far more focused, engaged, and energized.
- We significantly increased our overall velocity.
- We gained far more predictability and were able to develop a solid product roadmap.
- Planning meeting time was reduced because we had far more work analyzed.
- Based on the current rate of throughput, we can add more work to future iterations.
This is just one example of how small changes can make a huge impact. Every project and team is unique but with more techniques in your toolkit you can help your team achieve their best.