Rapid Project Inception

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Rapid Project Inception

  1. 1. RAPID PROJECT INCEPTION Opportunity for Increased Agility
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Rajeev Singh • ThoughtWorks – Global IT Consultancy – Helps organizations drive agility and create software www.thoughtworks.com 1
  3. 3. AGENDA • PRESENTATION (30 mins) – History of Agile and it’s benefits – Focus of Agile – Big Picture of Agile in our industry – Anatomy of Rapid Project Inception • Q&A (20 mins) 2
  4. 4. Genesis in Iterative and Incremental Development HISTORY OF AGILE 3
  5. 5. Concept of agility has been around for almost 50 years 4
  6. 6. LAST 50 YEARS Reference: Craig Larman, Victor R. Basili, quot;Iterative and Incremental Development: A Brief History,quot; Computer, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 47-56, Jun., 2003 • X-15 Hypersonic jet • Project Mercury software development • TRW /Army Site Defense – Ballistic Missile Defense • LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System), Navy’s Helicopter-to-Ship weapon’s system • NASA’s Shuttle Program (1977-1980) • Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement (1985) 5
  7. 7. THE COMMON THREAD • These projects had timeboxed ITERATIONS • They all wanted to identify and eliminate risk early 6
  8. 8. IT WASN’T ALWAYS AGILE • The approach was called ITERATIVE and INCREMENTAL software development 7
  9. 9. BENEFITS WERE ENORMOUS • Allowed a retreat • Provided feedback early • In-Tune with End User needs • Responsive (not predictive) 8
  10. 10. IT ALSO PROMOTED • Collaboration • Self-Organization • Learning and Communication 9
  11. 11. MAINSTREM ADOPTION • This new approach to software development gained momentum in the industry in the 1990s • Software developers realized the benefits and were willing to adopt and adapt 10
  12. 12. BUT NOT SO FAST The PMO/Planning/Governance bodies are still document drive, plan sequentially, and have a gated approach 11
  13. 13. Where are we today? FOCUS OF AGILE 12
  14. 14. WE HAVE EVOLVED • A wider community in Software Developer practice Agile • Benefits perceived are not just Risk Elimination, collaboration, communication, etc. but also Time to Market. • Agile is seen as an enabler to delivery Quality Products More Often 13
  15. 15. Agile’s Economic Impact – Early breakeven compared to Waterfall We can move faster from Idea to Income (Concept to Cash) Reference: Examining the quot;Big Requirements Up Front (BRUF) Approach“ – Scott Ambler http://www.agilemodeling.com/essays/examiningBRUF.htm 14
  16. 16. IS THERE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT? • Yes! • We can focus on upstream and downstream areas to software development • Agile can be a competitive strategy 15
  17. 17. COMPETITIVE STRATEGY? • Hmm, how so? • Well, beat your competition in the race to market • Change your motto from Quality Products More Often to Quality Products More Often and Quickly 16
  18. 18. How can we be Quick? FOCUS ON UPSTREAM 17
  19. 19. WHY UPSTREAM? • That’s where it all starts • That’s where most time is spent • It may take months to prepare business cases, fund ideas, and charter projects 18
  20. 20. What happens before the first release to market? Inception (can be as much as 70% of the time before release-1) Development Deployment and Rollout 19
  21. 21. IMPACT OF A SHORT INCEPTION OR RAPID INCEPTION Still release as often First release is quicker Quality Product More Often and Quickly 20
  22. 22. How can we speed up and shorten the inception? RAPID PROJECT INCEPTION 21
  23. 23. DO WE NEED INCEPTION? • It depends. It’s not a required activity. • Larger project usually require inception to establish project parameters and set pre- design direction 22
  24. 24. IS THERE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT? • “We already do inceptions, and I don’t see how we can speed it up or improve it.” • “What do you mean by, “It’s too long”? Ours only take 2-3 months.” 23
  25. 25. Answer the following questions and if it’s a YES for more than one question, there’s a case for improvement 24
  26. 26. HOW’S YOUR INCEPTION • Does inception take more than 40% of the time of the first release cycle? • Is it being done in silos? Are Product Ideation and Product Management teams not collaborating? • Is it scattered between departments and teams? • As a participant do you find inception unproductive? • Do you find inappropriate consumables (deliverables) coming out of inception? 25
  27. 27. Participants seem to understand and agree, but actually they don’t Do you find team members having different mental models even after project inception? 26
  28. 28. What is Rapid Project Inception? ANATOMY OF RAPID PROJECT INCEPTION 27
  29. 29. IT IS • Collaborative & • Workshop Driven Inclusive • Utilizes Low-Fi • Time boxed and Rapid Techniques • Iterative and Feedback Driven • Highly Visual (Tangible Models) • Business Value Focused 28
  30. 30. Collaborative and Inclusive There’s wide representation in the workshops 29
  31. 31. WORKSHOPS AIM TO • Define the problem • Achieve Common Understanding • Identify Key Business Features • Prioritize the features • Estimate • Consider Technical Options • Develop initial plan and timeline 30
  32. 32. Everyone participates Only the right people are in the room. Distractions like electronic toys are discouraged. 31
  33. 33. WORKSHOPS • Business Process Model • Lo-Fi Prototypes • Future Perspective* • Estimation • Anchors & Engines* • Prioritization • Roles and Goals • Release Planning • As-Is • Iteration 0, 1 Planning • To-Be • Showcase • Integration Points Patterned on Luke Hohmann’s workshops • Initial Systems http://www.enthiosys.com Architecture 32
  34. 34. Low -Fi White boards, index cards, sticky notes and markers are about as much as we need. 33
  35. 35. Facilitator Driven To maximized knowledge generation, trained facilitators runs the sessions so that the key participants are best utilized. 34
  36. 36. WHO PARTICIPATES? • Business Analysts, Developers, Quality Analysts, Project Managers, Sponsors, Sbuject Matter Experts, End-Users, Legal • Empowered Individuals, who can make decisions • Duration – 2-3 Weeks • Timeboxed – Not Rigid, Not Schedule Driven • Heavy Visual Aides 35
  37. 37. TIME TABLE? • Duration – 2-3 Weeks • Schedule is not rigid • Facilitators plan the sessions but may choose not to share it with all the participants 36
  38. 38. THE GOAL IS SUFFICIENT DETAILS Analysis is just enough details so that everyone is on the same page 37
  39. 39. WORKSHOPS ARE TECHNICAL ENOUGH Integration Points are identified, if there’s a need. 38
  40. 40. 39
  41. 41. ISN’T TIMEBOXING COUNTERPRODUCTIVE? • Usually not • Every workshop has a goal and an acceptance criteria • Workshops are aimed at answering specific questions 40
  42. 42. ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA 41
  43. 43. DELIVERABLES OR CONSUMABLES? • The aim is to produce artifacts that we think will be utilized and are necessary at that stage • We, therefore, try to create artifacts that are consumables and not deliverables 42
  44. 44. CONSUMABLES • Objectives, Roles & Goals, Future Perspective, Scenarios • As-Is / To-Be (processes) • Lo-Fi Prototypes, Master Story List • Priority List • Estimates • Integration Points, Initial Systems and Application Architecture • Release Plans, Iteration 0, 1 Plans • Risk Logs 43
  45. 45. Although the workshops utilize Lo-Fi techniques, the information is still compiled electronically daily, outside of the core collaborative hours, by the facilitators 44
  46. 46. MASTER STORY LIST This is just one example of the consumables that are created. An Excel sheet (electronic format) is compiled and made available to the participants 45
  47. 47. ARE ALL WORKSHOPS REQUIRED? • No • Rapid Project Inception is tailored for every project • Greenfield Vs. Brownfield projects, maintenance or enhancement projects are just some considerations that determine the structure of a rapid project inception 46
  48. 48. PERIPHERAL ACTIVITIES • Because we meet for 6-7 hours daily, energizing activities are utilized to keep the participants productive • At the end of day everyday there’s a retrospective. The objective is to get feedback from participants on how they feel the process is going and what the facilitators can improve upon 47
  49. 49. WEEK - 1 48
  50. 50. WEEK - 2 49
  51. 51. Rapid Project Inception definitely seems very structured What are some of the benefits you have realized with this apporach? 50
  52. 52. BENEFITS • Build efficiency in the process • Early identification of dependencies • Increased understanding of requirements and business value • Strong Working Relationships between project team, customers, and business partners • Builds the pace for start of development • Clear and Unified Vision 51
  53. 53. Clear and unified vision We end up having the same mental models 52
  54. 54. There definitely must be some challenges If it were so easy, everyone would be already doing it 53
  55. 55. CHALLENGES • Availability of Participants for 2-3 weeks • Scalability – What if you have multiple projects? • Effective Facilitation Skills – It is only as good as the facilitators. Where do we get these effective facilitators from? • Time reporting – Believe it or not, but this is a challenge. “Our time reporting system doesn’t have a code for it yet.” • Determining a fit – Creating a workshop roadmap is not trivial 54
  56. 56. THANK YOU ! RAJEEV SINGH (312) 543-7347 rsingh@thoughtworks.com bizvalu.blogspot.com 55

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