Wondering how to get started with your Agile project plan? Here, Tisski Delivery Manager, Sam Adkin, discusses Tisski’s approach, offers some expert advice and presents an example project plan our team might use to help them set out on the right foot.
Something I’m often asked as a Delivery Manager is: How do you set about writing a great Agile project plan? After all, Agile is about being flexible, so is a plan really needed? Well, I’m a firm believer in sticking to the six Ps:
Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
At Tisski, we aren’t Agile evangelists but Agile pragmatists; we have developed an approach to delivery which remains Agile at its core, while also providing additional assurances and controls designed to make Agile slot into a broader IT and business function.
If you’re looking to kickstart an Agile plan, the key is to allow for controlled flexibility and the technique at the heart of this approach is the tried-and-tested ‘sprint’ – a timeboxed (fixed length) period of effort which comprises detailed design, development, testing and project management.
Try concentrating on two types of sprint: build sprints, for development of the solution, and deployment sprints, to deploy the solution to end-to-end User Acceptance Testing (UAT), followed by live environments, and then train your users ready for launch.
The number and length of sprints will be determined by several factors:
Once you’ve determined the number and length of sprints, you should then begin drafting a high-level plan to pull everything together. Remember, as an Agile project, you should avoid defining what will be delivered in each sprint – this will be a collaborative decision made by the entire project team.
Key moments to map out within each sprint will be:
So, taking all of this into account, let’s take a look at an example build and deployment plan:
Using the above as a template, you can structure your build and deployment sprints to deliver them to a suitable frequency and duration, helping you deliver a smooth and successful Agile project which fits into a broader enterprise IT delivery function and allows for stage gate controls and sign-offs.