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Keep Adding Practices that Make Your Project Better

At this point, I had developed a greater appreciation for the principles and values that make Agile project management methodologies effective. People began to notice the effects that these ideas were having on my project and the project team. Once that happened, I knew it was time to introduce more Agile practices into my project. Here’s what we did:

  • We divided our project into short iterations, each delivering a small set of business capabilities that had been integrated and tested. We ordered these iterations based on the business value each capability would create. We were building the most important features first.
  • We started to plan as a team every day. We set up a short daily meeting just after lunch in which we answered three questions: What progress had we made since the previous day? What did we expect to accomplish before the next meeting? What roadblocks had we discovered, and what could I do as project manager to eliminate them?

Using these practices didn’t necessarily make us "Agile" in the sense of following a formalized Agile methodology, but it certainly made our project team more "agile" in the true sense of the word. We were moving faster and delivering more, but we still had a lot more change to embrace.

The practices I chose initially are foundational practices that can be executed even in a waterfall environment, but they created a stir nonetheless. People in our organization began to notice that our team was working in noticeably different ways, and the results were positive. Project stakeholders began to ask where the ideas had come from and how they could be applied even more effectively. I decided that the time had come to let the cat out of the bag and pitch an Agile project management methodology to my management and the project team.

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