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Formalize on an Agile Approach

Believe it or not, convincing the project team and stakeholders to adopt the Scrum methodology formally was a relatively easy task. They had already grasped some of the values we had employed, and they were impressed with the changes that occurred as a result. Whatever I was doing, they wanted to see it expanded. We started by simply declaring our intent to use Scrum to deliver what remained of the current project and also as a methodology for future projects.

At this point, I decided to study Agile project management in much greater detail. I found a good book about Agile and read it cover to cover: Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck. As I read, I adopted the practices that I felt would have the greatest positive impact on the project objective.

Once my management team was on board, I began looking for opportunities to share my experiences with other people. I found others in my organization who were also adopting Agile project management methodologies, and we helped each other to learn and use Agile tools more effectively. Every time we introduced a new Agile tool, we immediately started looking for more tools to use. At the time this article was written, these tools included the following practices:

  • Close collaboration with business partners
  • Work backlog lists, with business capabilities prioritized in terms of business value
  • Sprints, ordered in terms of business value
  • Sprint task lists
  • Daily Scrum meetings
  • A virtual war room
  • Self-organization
  • Automated unit testing
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