As we work with clients who are exploring how to get started with Agile and Scrum, we find ourselves asking many of the same questions. The questions help us to create a plan for success with Agile and avoid some of the problems that teams encounter when trying to adopt something new.
To address this need and help clients think broadly about the change, we developed a checklist of things to consider. The planning checklist is not intended to be comprehensive, but we believe that it includes the most common things to be considered when planning for Scrum Teams.
Here are the categories of activities we've included:
- Preparation for Success with agile and Scrum - If asked, can we answer the question "Why Agile?" Does everyone understand and agree on the reason? What do we hope to achieve? What is our current performance level?
- Getting Started with Scrum - Considerations include which products, who is the best candidate for product owner, what is the release cycle, and when can we kick off the initiative?
- Scrum Team Formation - Questions revolve around forming dedicated and cross-functional Scrum teams capable of taking backlog items all the way to done? Will it be possible to co-locate the team, or create teams in the same timezone?
- Physical Environment, Infrastructure, and Tools - Evaluate the ability for the team to sit together in one room. Which tools (including automation) will they need to successfully deliver working software in a two or three-week sprint?
- Knowledge/Skills Assessment and Development Plan - What skills gaps will we have on the team and do we have a plan for cross-training and knowledge transfer? How will we address Agile and Scrum training? What level of Agile coaching will be required?
- Organizational Environment Assessment - How receptive is the environment to Agile and Scrum? What can be done now to reduce or eliminate unnecessary governance or documentation that will impede the team?
If you find yourself considering an Agile or Scrum Pilot or a full-scale Agile Transformation, you may find this checklist a handy reference of things to be considered.
Let me know if you have feedback, or additional items that should be added to the list.