I’m blogging the conference Agile Approaches for Delivering Business Value
**The Ten Golden Rules for Successful Agile Projects
** Keith Richards, Keith Richards Consulting
- Agile approaches to projects are maturing and becoming mainstream, yet some are more successful than others
- This presentation describes the ten golden rules that will increase the chances of success, and make the difference between an “OK” project and an “excellent” project.
- The golden rules also highlight what NOT to do.
Keith Richards – process/method consultant, specialising in Agile projects. Author of “Agile Project Management” (TSO). Led team for DSDM Atern.
The Golden Rules
No survey – just first hand experience…
- Define the project objective in less than 10 words
- Build a team with those who say “can”
- Go slow early to go fast later
- Look backwards to go forwards
- Change is great!
- To be understood, seek first to understand
- Collect actuals – “oxygen” for your project
- Use fat communication channels
- Work hard at controlling what you can’t control
- One more day? NO! We’ll catch up NO!
If you can’t understand the rationale for doing a project you shouldn’t be doing it! Expect to spend half a day writing the <10 words.
Good people above good process – in fact good people more important than that they have the skills. Test: ask “Can I ask a favour?”
How much design up front (DUF) is enough? Answer: Enough! But try and avoid grabbing early at solutions. Test: “Is it safe to move on?”
ALWAYS have project reviews! Kaizen is vital.
Embrace change… How do you feel when the customer changes their mind? Should be happy! Change to get a closer fit to the business need (depth change) is good – change in breadth might be a problem… (signals possible issue with project objective)
Facilitation and influencing skills are core competencies for Agile projects – especially for the project manager. Try the 10 second silence when getting a progress update!
Measuring actuals – start now, start simple, start using to calibrate your estimates…
Communication – go visual, use workshops, never write when you can talk…
Continuously manage external risks – be “a bit of a worrier” – actively manage your risk log!
Time focus is your greatest weapon. Force the issue – timeboxes, not milestones. If you are going to fail, fail early. Never extend deadlines.