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Step 0: Vision
A clear goal or vision is essential to project success. That is as true with Agile/Scrum as with traditional projects.
When to Use Step 0: Vision
The Vision is set by the project sponsors before the project is initiated. The Goal or Vision is used by the Product Owner when collecting stories, prioritizing stories, setting the demo criteria, and doing release planning. The Vision is used by the Scrum team when making trade-off decisions.
- This is labelled Step 0 because it is outside of the typical Agile/Scrum activities. In fact, often a Vision is set, and then the organization decides whether to use Agile/Scrum or traditional project management to achieve the Vision.
- Project Vision or goal is a description of the business impact or end state after the project is completed. It is usually a “big picture” description.
- The vision is normally set by senior management, the business team or whoever else is acting as the project sponsor.
- While a large project could have multiple releases, multiple Sprints, and even simultaneous Sprints. There is only one vision for a project.
- There is no set format for how the vision should be stated. The most common method is to use a Project Charter format. Every organization has their own Project Charter format. Use your standard format even though this is an Agile/Scrum project, at the level of detail found on a Charter, it shouldn’t matter what approach is used.
- This step is accomplished by the senior management or business team. Once a vision is created and the organization decides to use Agile/Scrum to implement the vision, the Product Owner and Scrum Master will often meet with the sponsors to ensure they clearly understand the vision and can articulate it to the Scrum Team once they have been selected.
Hints and Tips - Example
- In this section of the course, I will use an example to provide the hints and tips. The example is based upon a project I was involved with recently. I volunteer with a local museum. The museum’s website had not been updated for several years. A decision was made to update it and an Agile/Scrum approach was used.
- The Charter for the project is shown below.
- The summary of the vision was to create a responsive website for the museum.
- As part of clarifying the Charter, we used the “In scope / Out-of-scope” technique. Ensuring that we had agreement with the Stakeholders about what we would be doing and what we would not be doing. One key discussion point was the decision not to include the store (which was not in the current website either). This meant we did not need to upgrade to secure connections and add the complexity of a shopping cart. Getting this type of clarity is very helpful for deciding which stakeholders to work with to ensure the Demo Criteria is written correctly.
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