4 things - before starting a large Agile project

Question Backlog.jpg

In my classes, I often ask participants to create a question "backlog" of the things they would like to have addressed before the end of the class. The participants write questions, prioritize them, and decide when a question has been satisfactorily addressed. As the trainer, I determine whether a question is in or out of scope and facilitate discussion. Sometimes, toward the end of class, I'll ask the question's author to share with the class the answer they have learned.

In a recent class, a participant wrote, "What are the top 5 things that must be done in the 12 months before embarking on a large Agile project?" You may be thinking, "But Jim, you wrote '4 things...' in the title of this post. For those of you that have been reading these "4 things" posts, you know by now that I never stop at just 4. ;)

By the end of the second day of the class, without a specific, targeted discussion around this question, the question's author put together this poster from various related discussions that gave him insights for a possible answer.

Top 5 Activities.jpg

Top  5 activities to prepare for flagship Agile Product

  1. Educate the team/stakeholders of the benefits & expectations of the change
  2. Create a Meta team [a team to focus on the change initiative associated with the Agile adoption]
  3. Pilot 1 small product
  4. Create Product Backlog/Release Plan
  5. Choose the right Product Owner



Note that the list implies a faster start than 12 months with an experimental pilot to accelerate learning. Also, note the shift from an "project" to a "product".

Not a bad list. What would you include in your top 5?