Fight ambiguity!

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Agile teams are constantly faced with uncertainty and ambiguity.

In these situations, your unspoken responsibility as an Agile Team Member, Product Owner, ScrumMaster, or Program Manager, is to fearlessly seek out clarity. Elliot will present a series of visualization tools that will help you to fight uncertainty and ambiguity in the following scenarios:

1) The product backlog is unknown, poorly defined, or not well-communicated

2) Realistic delivery dates are unknown

3) Cross-team dependencies are unknown, hidden, or not yet defined

You’ll look like a super-star when you show up at the office with these handy tools, clear up ambiguity, and help your team to better deliver.

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  • Scope, REQs, Roles, etc. It’s Everywhere!
  • How many of you have heard this before? Is your definition of agile the same as mine? What does this even mean?
  • Ask audience for examples: REQs, project goals, roles, delivery dates, scope
  • Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that this is worth thinking about, let’s assess your project
  • The tools that I’m presenting are not the most sophisticated, but can be created extremely quickly. There may be better tools, and if there are, I want to hear about them. These have worked well in my experienceThe core challenge that I was trying to solve is ambiguity in our PMO. Because we don’t have a PMO.
  • Story Map. Idea is not my own, original source is Jeff Patton. Great resources online, can be used in a more sophisticated manner.
  • Single team, single backlog is easy.
  • “Agile release trains”
  • We’ve got multiple teams, possibly multiple projects, but how do we get to the finish line? Further, what happens when you have one team that needs to consume something that another team needs to build.How might we conventionally solve this problem using agile tools/methodologies?
  • Do people know what an epic is?
  • Let’s say that project 6 cannot start until project 1 is done. This becomes immediately obvious. This is obviously different than a gantt chart. Are people familiar with gantt charts?
  • “Portfolio backlog”
  • Let’s say we have some set of products but have no clue when they can be completed/launched. We’re building iteratively, but given what we know today, when will each project be done? Many of the projects are unestimated and unstoried. How do come up with a rough estimate?How might we conventionally solve this problem using agile tools/methodologies? We might have a release burndown. We estimate story points.
  • The elephant in the room, that I’ve not really talked about is culture. Building a culture where people feel comfortable asking questions, and seeking clarity, is essential.
  • Story Map. Idea is not my own, original source is Jeff Patton. Great resources online, can be used in a more sophisticated manner.
  • Let’s say that project 6 cannot start until project 1 is done. This becomes immediately obvious. This is obviously different than a gantt chart. Are people familiar with gantt charts?
  • Fight ambiguity!

    1. 1. Fight Ambiguity! @ElliotSusel  
    2. 2. @ElliotSusel  
    3. 3. Ambiguity Systems Advice
    4. 4. Ambiguity Anything  that  is  undefined  or  could   easily  be  misinterpreted  
    5. 5. “We do agile”
    6. 6. THIS IS SCARY We  think  we  understand  each  other   We  do  not  understand  each  other  
    7. 7. Let’s Assess
    8. 8. High  Ambiguity   Ignorance   Overextended/   Managed  Risk   Low   Awareness   High   Awareness   Lucky   Living  the  dream   Low  Ambiguity  
    9. 9. Ok, now what? Let’s  solve!   How  about  a  system?  
    10. 10. A SYSTEM, YOU SAY? Losers  have  goals   Winners  create  systems  
    11. 11. A USEFUL SYSTEM Makes your life easier Solves the problem Light-weight Transparent Simple
    12. 12. Our system uses 3 tools They  can  work  stand-­‐alone,   But  are  more  powerful  together  
    13. 13. Story Maps
    14. 14. The Backlog Unknown   Poorly  defined   Not  well  communicated  
    15. 15. Sedan Booking App RegistraPon   Booking   Payment   Enter  Contact   Informa<on   Set  pickup   details   Charge  Credit   Card     Enter  Credit  Card   Confirm  Pickup   Details   In-­‐app  Payment   Confirma<on   Set  Password   Receive  updates   on  my  Sedan   Email  Receipt  to   Rider  
    16. 16. How do teams coordinate?
    17. 17. Project Alignment
    18. 18. Cross-Team Dependencies Unknown  
    19. 19. Project Alignment
    20. 20. Project Alignment
    21. 21. Project Alignment
    22. 22. Project Alignment
    23. 23. Project Alignment
    24. 24. What will we finish in the next 3 months?
    25. 25. Project Portfolio
    26. 26. Delivery Date Unknown  
    27. 27. Project Portfolio
    28. 28. Project Portfolio
    29. 29. Project Portfolio
    30. 30. Advice
    31. 31. Culture Matters Only  YOU  can  prevent  forest  fires  
    32. 32. Customize Create  systems  that  your  teams  are   happy  using  
    33. 33. Questions? @ElliotSusel  

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