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Senior management also has the role of selecting projects that are suitable for the Agile/Scrum methodology.
When to Use Project Selection
Whatever business processes are used for project selection and definition – such as annual budgeting, strategic planning, or small project prioritization – an element of the selection process should be to determine if the project should be managed with Agile/Scrum or a different methodology.
In addition to the role that senior management plays in preparing the organization for Agile/Scrum projects, they must select which projects to do, and whether to use Agile/Scrum methodology with each project.
- Senior managers select which projects to initiate – either formally or informally –based upon the allocation of resources.
- Required to implement the business or product line strategy.
- Required for compliance reasons.
- Best financial return on investment.
- When appropriate senior managers must choose to cancel or terminate projects.
- Business need for the project is no longer valid or a priority.
- Project has proven to be more difficult than what the organizational resources are able to address.
- Project is so poorly managed that a new approach and/or team must be used.
- When selecting projects, senior management should establish the project goal/objectives/vision. The senior management does not establish the Product Backlog – the Product Owner does that. However, the senior managers do provide a direction or purpose for the project.
- Senior management must consider organizational capacity when selecting projects. In particular are there enough trained Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and potential Scrum Team members to support the number of planned Sprints?
- Scrum Team members are dedicated during the Sprint.
- Scrum Masters and Product Owners can only support one or two Sprints at one time.
- Agile/Scrum projects normally have a set of characteristics that are aligned well with the Agile/Scrum methodology. Senior Management must either pick projects that have those characteristics, or refocus the desired projects so that they have those characteristics.
- Trying to use the Agile/Scrum methodology when the project characteristics do not fit will lead to poor project performance and may undermine the ability of the project team to be successful.
- The table below shows the characteristics that management should consider when selecting Agile/Scrum projects.
Hints and Tips
- Some organizations are reluctant to cancel projects, even when everyone knows that they should. If the results of the Sprint Demo indicate that the project is not likely to achieve the project vision or goal within the planned number of Releases and Sprints – consider cancelling.
- Don’t try to make every project follow Agile/Scrum. If the project characteristics don’t fit the methodology – either change the project or use a different approach.
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