As we work with clients who are exploring how to make a waterfall to agile transformation, we find ourselves asking many of the same questions. The questions help us to create an initial 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 exhaustive, but we believe that it includes the most common things to be considered when planning for Scrum Teams or an Agile Transformation.
Planning for Waterfall to Agile Transformation
Preparation for Success with Agile and Scrum
- If asked, can we answer the question “Why Agile?” in a way that makes sense for everyone?
- Does everyone understand and agree on the reason?
- What do we hope to achieve?
- What is our current performance level?
Getting Started with Scrum
- What are the best products or applications to start with?
- Based on the product, who is the best candidate for product owner?
- What is the release cycle for this application or product? When can we kick off the initiative?
Scrum Team Formation
Questions in this area revolve around forming dedicated and cross-functional Scrum teams.
- What are the skills needed to enable the team to take backlog items all the way to done?
- Will it be possible to create completely co-located teams? If not, can we at least create teams in the same time zone? (see also 5 Questions to Ask When Forming Teams, How Important is it to Co-Locate Teams)
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? (See also Develop Your Agile Training Plan)
- 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 a waterfall to Agile Transformation, you may find this free downloadable 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.
For more resources on Agile Transformation, please visit our Agile Transformation Consulting page.