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Implementing Agile Iterative

Project Delivery Approach


and Achieving Business
Responsiveness

Alan McSweeney
Objectives

• To describe a generalised agile and iterative approach to


information technology projects and the use of the agile
approach within organisations

August 16, 2010 2


Agenda

• Introduction
• Agile Iterative Approach to Projects
− Using Agile Effectively and Productively
− Control Components of Agile Process
− Agile Tools and Techniques
− Iterative Agile Framework and Phases
• Using Agile Iterative Approach for Specific Projects
• Introducing Agile Iterative Approach into an Organisation

August 16, 2010 3


Introduction

August 16, 2010 4


Projects

• Projects are about change


− New or changes to existing processes, systems, applications, structures
• Organisations need to be good at two sets of skills
− Running the Business (RTB) – business as usual operations
− Change the Business (CTB) – changing existing operations to survive or compete
• Projects are the way of introducing change into organisations
• Projects tend to be multidisciplinary, involving some or all of:
− Requirements gathering
− Solution design
− Hardware installation
− Product selection
− Software development or modification
− Testing
− Process change
− Organisation change
− Data conversion
− Implementation
− Parallel operation
• Organisations need to be good at projects in order to deliver change

August 16, 2010 5


Dimensions of Being Good At Organisational Change
Ability to
• To be good at change, three Execute Projects
dimensions must come
together within the
organisation:
− A clear vision for the
organisation and the set of
projects needed to deliver on
the vision
− A proven capability to deliver
projects quickly and
effectively Completeness of
Organisational
− Focus on the realisation of Vision
expected business benefits
and business value associated
with the implementation of
information technology
investments
• Agile approach to projects is
one way of being good at Effective and Proven
change Benefits Realisation
Approach
August 16, 2010 6
Projects Fail

• Yes – projects fail – it’s no surprise


• Fail occurs largely because of people rather than technology issues
• Project success means the project delivered on time, on budget, to agreed
specification and delivering the agreed business benefits
• Different types and scales of project failure
− Delivered solution fails to meet the business requirements for which it was
implemented and its use is abandoned or expensive adjustments are made
− There are performance problems in the delivered solution which means it is insufficient
to meet the needs of users and its use is abandoned or expensive adjustments are
made
− After implementation errors and gaps appear in the delivered solution causing
unexpected problem and its use is abandoned or expensive adjustments are made
− Users reject, bypass or circumvent the delivered solution because of lack of
consultation, involvement, commitment, agreement or other reasons
− Delivered solution is used but over gradually become to expensive or complex to
maintain and falls into disuse
− Project is late and/or over budget
− Project does not deliver the business benefits

August 16, 2010 7


Spectrum of Project Failures
More Expensive Functionality Delivered
to Operate Than Does not Meet Business
Planned Requirements
Specified
Business Benefits
and Savings Not
Project Late Delivered Significant
and/or Over Rework
Budget Required

Complete Complete
Success Failure

Performance and/or
Operational Solution
Problems Largely Unused

Complete Project Complete Project


Success: Failure: Cancelled,
On-time, On-budget Unused, Rejected
August 16, 2010 8
Balancing Solution Functionality and
Implementation Project Cost/Resources and Time
• Traditional view of
projects is that they are
a balance between
meeting requirements
(solution functionality),
implementation project
resources (and thus
cost) and project time
• Functionality
(requirements) is fixed
and cost and time must
vary

August 16, 2010 9


Balancing Solution Functionality and
Implementation Project Cost/Resources and

• Resources are constrained so • Time is constrained so


project time must increase resources must increase

August 16, 2010 10


Project Risk/Quality Factor

• Reality is that all


projects have a risk
dimension – projects
fail all too frequently
• Risk and quality are
interrelated
• Risk increases with
project duration, size of
project team and
complexity of solution
being implemented

August 16, 2010 11


Projects and Changes

• Organisations need to deliver projects to business in shorter timescales in


response to internal and external
• Project processes need to be flexible, responsive and agile in order to deliver what
the organisation needs when it needs it
• Traditionally projects are delivered in a series of sequential phases designed to
create certainty around the solution being delivered
− Gather requirements
− Design solution
− Technical and detailed design
− Development/modification
− Testing
− Implementation
− Operation
• Sequential approach has disadvantages
− Not sufficiently flexible to accommodate changes in requirements
− Resources are wasted building features that nobody needs
− Opportunity to provide feedback limited until a large part of the solution is delivered
− Solution stability and operability not certain until late in the project

August 16, 2010 12


What Makes Projects Succeed

• User involvement and commitment


• Executive management sponsorship
• Defined and certain business objectives
• Defined and agreed requirements
• Defined scope
• Flexible and reactive delivery process
• Project management skill and experience
• Good control of project costs
• Skilled and experienced project team
• Project delivery methodology
• Proven technology

August 16, 2010 13


What Makes Projects Fail

• Lack of or changing executive • Unclear definition of roles and


management commitment responsibilities
• Unclear of scope, objectives and • Artificial and unrealistic deadlines
requirements • Specifications not agreed
• Lack of user commitment and • New or radically redesigned
involvement underlying business processes
• Changing scope and objectives and • Use of new technology
poor change control
• Poor planning and estimation • Poor project control against targets
• Poor project management • Large number of organisational units
involved
• Failure to manage end-user • Lack of effective project
expectations methodologies
• Lack of agreement between • High project staff turnover
stakeholders
• Lack of skills and experience in the
project team
August 16, 2010 14
Flexible, Responsive, Agile Project Approach

• An agile approach to project delivery seeks to reduce risks


associated with sequential solution delivery approach
− Multiple iterations/releases
− Sets of smaller deliveries
− Prioritised requirements
− Greater user involvement
− Lower overall cost
• Agile approach tends to be good for projects with inherent
uncertainty and volatility
− Transformation and organisational change projects
− Support and maintenance
− Research and development
− Information technology
August 16, 2010 15
Applying Agile Approach to Projects

• Agile approach tends to be associated with software


development projects
• More general approach and can and should be applied
more widely to other projects (that may have a
development component)

August 16, 2010 16


Classification of Projects
Highly Here be
Undefined Dragons
and Far from
Agreement

Project Requirements Highly
Complex

Complicated

Difficult

Well
Defined/ Simple
Agreed
Project Technology
Well Highly
Proven Uncertain
August 16, 2010 17
Solution Functionality Used

• Most of the functionality of


delivered solutions is never
or seldom used
− Not surprising – think of all the
features in applications such as
Microsoft Office
− How much do you use?
• Represents a significant cost
• Tendency is always to deliver
complex feature-rich
solutions
• Simplicity is not seen as good

August 16, 2010 18


Agile Iterative Approach to Projects

• Time is fixed for the life of a


project and resources are
fixed as far as possible
• Requirements that will be
satisfied are allowed to
change
• Flexibility of requirements to
be satisfied has significant
impact on the development
processes and controls, and
on acceptance of the system
• Iterative approach reduces
risk by continuously
reaffirming and validating the
solution being implemented

August 16, 2010 19


Agile Iterative Approach to Projects

August 16, 2010 20


What is Meant by Agility

• Driven by user descriptions/scenarios of what is required


of the solution
• Seeks constant user feedback
• Recognises that plans are short-lived
• Develops solution iteratively with a emphasis on
development activities
• Delivers multiple working solution increments
• Adapts as changes occur

August 16, 2010 21


What Are the Potential Issues With Agile Approach

• May not apply to large and complex projects


• May not be suitable to all organisations and people
• Delivered solutions may not be scalable to large volumes
of users/transactions/workload/data
• Delivered solutions may not be adaptable to meet future
business needs

August 16, 2010 22


Agile and People

• People are at the core of an agile process


• The process adapts to the needs of the team needs rather
than imposing a structure on the team as with
conventional sequential processes
• An effective agile team should be:
− Competent
− Working towards a common goal
− Collaborative
− Able to make decisions
− Good at solving problems
− Trust and respect one another
− Self-organising with respect to workload, schedule and project
processes
August 16, 2010 23
Iterative Agile Approach to Projects

• Fundamental assumption of agile approach to projects is that


nothing is built perfectly first time
• 80% of the solution can be implemented in 20% of the time that it
would take to produce the total solution
• All deliverables from previous project steps can potentially be
revisited as part of the iterative approach
• Only enough of the current step need be completed to move to the
next step
• Designed to address the current and immediate needs of the
business
• Deliver simpler solutions more quickly that are fit for purpose and
easier to maintain and modify after their initial implementation

August 16, 2010 24


Agile Approach to Ensuring Project Success

• Satisfies the real requirements of the organisation


prioritised by importance
• Supports the way the organisation needs to work
• Aims to deliver quality solution on time and within budget
• Aims to deliver quickly and effectively
− Required functionality, performance, security, operability and
maintainability

August 16, 2010 25


Using Agile Iterative Approach

• All too frequently seen as a panacea to project problems


− It is not
− Agile is hard
• Agile has become fashionable without an understanding of
the effort involved
• Agile requires commitment, involvement and can be
intense and demanding
• If you have current project problems, agile is probably not
the solution
− You need to fix the underlying organisational issues first

August 16, 2010 26


Agile Approaches

• Lots of different agile approaches


− Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
− Agile Unified Process (AUP)
− Crystal Clear
− DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method)
− Essential Unified Process (EssUP)
− FDD (Feature Driven Development)
− Incremental SDLC
− Open Unified Process (OpenUP)
− RAD (Rapid Application Development)
− Scrum
− Spiral SDLC
− TDD (Test-driven development)
− XP (Extreme programming)
• Common features
− Teamwork, collaboration, and process flexibility adaptability throughout the project lifecycle
− Divide tasks into smaller increments with accelerated planning
− Multiple small iterations
• Many agile processes are focussed on software development projects
• Need a more generalised agile approach that can be applied to all information technology
projects

August 16, 2010 27


Benefits of Iterative Agile Approach to Solution
Delivery
• Users are more likely to be committed to the solution
• Risk of building the wrong solution is substantially reduced
• Final system is more likely to meet the real needs of the
organisation
• Implementation is more likely to be easier because of the
involvement of all parties concerned throughout the
project

August 16, 2010 28


Agile Iterative Approach Structure
Generalised Approach to
Agile Iterative Projects

Project Selection and Control Components of Agile Tools and


Agile Phases
Validation Agile Process Techniques

Agile Approach
Timeboxing Workshops Pre-Project
Suitability Checklist

Solutions and Projects MoSCoW Prioritisation Feasibility Analysis and


Models and Modelling
When to Use Agile of Requirements Study

Agile Project Critical Business Analysis and


Estimation Prototypes
Success Factors Study

Key Principles of Project Management Functional Model


Testing
Iterative Agile Approach and Project Planning Iteration

Configuration Design and Build


Risk Management
Management Iteration

Quality Management Implementation

Measurement Post-Project

August 16, 2010 29


Using Agile Effectively and Productively

Agile Approach Solutions and


Suitability Projects When
Checklist to Use Agile

Agile Project Key Principles


Critical Success of Iterative
Factors Agile Approach

August 16, 2010 30


Checklist of Suitability of Projects for Agile Iterative
Approach
• Do the sponsor and management understand and accept the agile philosophy as their buy-in is
essential?
• Will the team members be empowered to make decisions?
• Is there senior user commitment to provide end user involvement?
• Can the organisation accommodate the frequent delivery of increments?
• Will it be possible for the project team to have access to the users throughout the project?
• Will the project team remain the same throughout the project as stability of the team including the
user representatives is important?
• Will the project team have the appropriate skills including technical skills, knowledge of the business
area?
• Will the individual project teams consist of six people or less?
• Will the project use technology suitable for prototyping?
• Is there a highly demonstrable user interface?
• Is there clear ownership?
• Will the solution development be computationally non-complex as the more complex the development
the greater the risks involved?
• Can the solution be implemented in increments if required?
• Has the development a fixed timescale?
• Can the requirements be prioritised with a mix of Must Haves, Should Haves, Could Haves and Want to
Have but Won't Have This Time?
• Are the requirements not too detailed and fixed so users can define requirements interactively?
August 16, 2010 31
Solutions and Projects When to Use Agile

• Solution that is interactive, where the functionality is clearly


demonstrable at the user interface
− Agile is based on incremental prototyping with close user involvement
− User must be able to assess the functionality easily through viewing and
operating working prototypes
• Solution that has a clearly defined user group
− If the user group is not clearly defined, there may be a danger of driving the
solution from a wrong viewpoint or ignoring some important aspect of the
project entirely
• Solution that is computationally complex, the complexity can be
decomposed or isolated
− If the internals of the solution are hard to understand via the user interface
then there is a risk
− Level of computational complexity is often quite difficult to determine in
advance
− Interactions between different components that can be difficult to identify up
front

August 16, 2010 32


Solutions and Projects When to Use Agile

• Solution that is large, possesses the capability of being split into smaller functional
components
− If the proposed solution is large it should be possible to break it down into small,
manageable chunks, each delivering some clear functionality
− These can then be delivered sequentially or in parallel
− Each sub-project must be constantly aware of the overall system architecture
• Solution that is time-constrained
− There should be a fixed end date by which the project must be completed
− If there is no real case for the end date to be fixed, it will be relatively easy to allow
schedules to slip and the fundamental benefits of agile approach will be lost
• Solution where requirements can be prioritised
− Requirements should be able to be prioritised using the MoSCoW rules
• Solution where requirements are unclear or subject to frequent change
− In periods of rapid change it may be difficult to specify the requirements in detail at the
outset of the project making traditional approaches unsuitable
− Agile approach is designed specifically to deal with requirements that change and
evolve during a project
− Applications that are difficult to specify in advance because the users do not know
exactly what is needed at the outset

August 16, 2010 33


Solutions and Projects When Not to Use Agile

• Process control/real-time applications


• Requirements that have to be fully specified before any
programs are written
• Safety-critical applications
• Solutions aimed at delivering re-usable components

August 16, 2010 34


Agile Project Critical Success Factors

• Acceptance of the agile approach before starting work


• Delegation of decision-making to the business people and
developers in the development team
• Commitment of senior business management to provide significant
end-user involvement
• Incremental delivery
• Easy access by developers to end-users
• Stability of the team
• Project team should be highly skilled people in terms of both the
business area as well as the technical environment
• Size of the project team should be small in order to minimise the
overheads of management and communication
• Solution technology that allows iterative development,
demonstrable work products and control of versions
August 16, 2010 35
Key Principles of Iterative Agile Approach

• Iterative agile approach requires acceptance of key


principles
1. Active user involvement is essential
2. Collaborative and co-operative approach between all
stakeholders is essential
3. Agile project team must be allowed make decisions
4. Focus is on frequent delivery of products
5. Fitness for business purpose is the essential measure for
acceptance of deliverables
6. Iterative and incremental development is necessary to converge
on an accurate business solution
7. All changes during solution implementation are reversible
8. Requirements are baselined at a high level
9. Testing is integrated and performed throughout the lifecycle
August 16, 2010 36
Principle 1 - Active User Involvement is Essential

• Agile is user-centered
• If users are not closely involved throughout the project
lifecycle, delays will occur during decisions making
• Users may feel that the final solution is imposed by the
project team and/or their own management
• Users are not outside the project team acting as suppliers
of information and reviewers of results but are active
participants in the project process
• User and thus business commitment is fundamental to
success

August 16, 2010 37


Principle 2 - Collaborative and Co-operative
Approach Between All Stakeholders is Essential
• The nature of agile projects means that low-level detailed
requirements are not necessarily fixed when the team is assembled
to perform the work
• The short-term direction that a project takes must be quickly
decided without the use of restrictive change control procedures
• The stakeholders include not only the business and development
staff within the project, but also other staff such as service delivery
and resource managers
• When development is procured from an external supplier, both the
vendor and the purchaser organisations should aim for as efficient a
process as possible while allowing for flexibility during both the pre-
contract phase and when the contracted work is carried out
− Can be difficult and needs substantial mutual trust

August 16, 2010 38


Principle 3 - Agile Project Team Must Be Allowed
Make Decisions
• Project teams must be mixed and consist of both IT
personnel and users
• Project teams must be able to make decisions as
requirements are refined and possibly changed
• Project teams must be able to agree that defined levels of
functionality, usability, etc. are acceptable without
frequent need to refer to higher-level management

August 16, 2010 39


Principle 4 - Focus is on Frequent Delivery of
Products
• A product-based approach is more flexible than an activity-
based one
− Products include interim development products, not just
delivered solutions
• Work of a project team is concentrated on products that
can be delivered in an agreed period of time
• Enables the team to select the best approach to achieving
the products required in the time available
• By keeping each period of time short, the team can easily
decide which activities are necessary and sufficient to
achieve the right products
August 16, 2010 40
Principle 5 - Fitness for Business Purpose is the
Essential Measure for Acceptance of Deliverables
• Focus of agile is on delivering the necessary functionality
at the required time
• Traditional project focus has been on satisfying the
contents of a requirements document and conforming to
previous deliverables, even though the requirements are
often inaccurate, the previous deliverables may be flawed
and the business needs may have changed since the start
of the project
• Solution can be more rigorously engineered subsequently
if such an approach is acceptable

August 16, 2010 41


Principle 6 - Iterative and Incremental Development is
Necessary to Converge on an Accurate Business Solution

• Agile iterative approach allows systems to grow incrementally


• Therefore the project team can make full use of feedback from the
users
• Partial solutions can be delivered to satisfy immediate business
needs
• Agile approach uses iteration to continuously improve the solution
being implemented
• When rework is not explicitly recognised in a project lifecycle, the
return to previously "completed" work is surrounded by controlling
procedures that slow development down
• Rework is built into the agile iterative approach process, the solution
can proceed more quickly during iteration

August 16, 2010 42


Principle 7 - All Changes During Solution
Implementation are Reversible
• To control the evolution of all products (documents,
software, test products, etc.), everything must be in a
known state at all times
− Configuration management must be all-pervasive
• Backtracking is a feature of agile iterative approach
− Sometimes it may be easier to reconstruct than to backtrack
depending on the nature of the change and the environment in
which it was made

August 16, 2010 43


Principle 8 - Requirements are Baselined at a High
Level
• Baselining high-level requirements involves "freezing" and
agreeing the purpose and scope of the system at a level
that allows for detailed investigation of what the
requirements imply
• Further, more detailed baselines can be established later
in the project
− The scope should not change significantly
• Changing the scope defined in the baselined high-level
requirements generally requires escalation

August 16, 2010 44


Principle 9 - Testing is Integrated and Performed
Throughout the Lifecycle
• Testing is not treated as a separate activity
• As the solution is developed incrementally, it is also tested
and reviewed by both the project team and users
incrementally
− Ensures that the project is moving forward not only in the right
business direction but is also technically sound
• Early in project lifecycle, the testing focus is on validation
against the business needs and priorities
• Towards the end of the project, the focus is on verifying
that the whole system operates effectively – system and
integration testing
August 16, 2010 45
Control Components of Agile Process

• Since agile iterative projects are flexible in their


development activities all aspects of their management
need to be flexible while maintaining a level of control that
ensures successful delivery of the required business
solution
• Key control techniques and components
− Timeboxing
− MoSCoW prioritisation of requirements
− Estimation
− Project management and project planning
− Risk management
− Configuration management
− Measurement
August 16, 2010 46
Timeboxing

• Very important aspect of agile iterative process and projects


• Process to reach defined objectives at a pre-determined and fixed date through
continuous prioritisation and flexing of requirements using the MoSCoW control
rule
• Timebox is a fixed interval of time - typically between two and six weeks in length
but the shorter the better
• Without the control of timeboxing, project teams can lose their focus and run out
of control
• Used at various stages of project
− Project end-date is fixed and the overall business objectives to be achieved by that date
are defined
− End date for each increment within the project is fixed and the prioritised set of
business and technical requirements to be satisfied by that date are defined
− End date for phase level activities is fixed, e.g. for the Feasibility Study, and the
objectives for this project defined
− End date for part of the prototyping activity is fixed and the prototype is created,
reviewed and tested according to the objectives defined in the timebox schedule
contained in the Development Plan
− End time for a workshop, meeting or review is fixed and the participants work to the
predefined and prioritised objectives

August 16, 2010 47


Timeboxing

• A timebox must have an agreed scope and clear objectives based on a subset of
the prioritised requirements list
• With timeboxing control is not activity-based
• Objective of a timebox is to make a product - produce something tangible in order
for progress and quality to be assessed
• How that product is put together will be decided by the people doing the work, as
long as the project's standards and procedures are followed
• Team working in the timebox must agree the objectives and must themselves
estimate the time required
• At the deadline, the users must be able to approve the delivery of the products
covered by the timebox
• If it appears that deadlines could be missed, the deliverable should be de-scoped
dropping the lower priority items
• Detailed planning of a subsequent timebox containing dependent work cannot be
started before the current timebox is complete

August 16, 2010 48


Timebox Plan

• Plan for an individual timebox within Functional Model and


Design and Build Iteration phase
• Purpose and objectives
• Define the products of an individual timebox
• Define key milestones, e.g. technical or user review dates,
within a timebox
• Agree the prioritisation of products and activities within a
timebox

August 16, 2010 49


Timeboxing and Daily Meetings

• During each timebox, the team working on the timebox should meet
daily to review their progress and to raise issues
− Provides the team with evidence regarding their progress and the problems
they face
− Highlight risks as they occur
− Each daily meeting should be limited at 30 minutes and ideally lasts no longer
than 15 minutes
− All team members attend
• Agenda
− What work has been completed for this timebox since the last daily meeting?
− What (if anything) got in the way of completing the planned work?
− What work will be done between now and the next daily meeting?

August 16, 2010 50


Timebox Plan Questions and Checklist

• Are the estimates of effort reasonable? Were they produced by the


people doing the work?
• Have acceptance criteria been agreed for the products of the
timebox? If they have not, is it clear when these will be available?
• Is there a high degree of certainty that the Must Haves will be
created, developed and tested to the required standard?
• Are the review dates agreed with all key personnel?
• Have lessons learnt in previous timeboxes been applied?
• Can the team commit to delivering at least the Must Haves by the
agreed end date?

August 16, 2010 51


MoSCoW Prioritisation of Requirements

• MoSCoW
− Must Have
• Requirements that are fundamental to the system
• Without them the system will be unworkable and useless
• Must Haves define the minimum usable subset
• Agile project guarantees to satisfy all the minimum usable subset
− Should Have
• Important requirements for which there is a workaround in the short term
and which would normally be classed as mandatory in less time-constrained
development, but the system will be useful and usable without them
− Could Have
• Requirements that can more easily be left out of the increment under
development
− Want to Have but Won't Have This Time
• Requirements that can wait till later development takes place - the Waiting
List
August 16, 2010 52
MoSCoW Prioritisation of Requirements

• Delivering on a guaranteed date means that what was originally envisaged for an
individual delivery may have to be left out
• Important that essential work is done and that only less critical work is omitted
• Means of ensuring that this is true is clear prioritisation of the requirements
• Provides a basis on which decisions are made about what the project team will do
over the whole project, within an increment of the project and during a timebox
within an increment
• As new requirements arise or as existing requirements are defined in more detail,
the decision must be made as to how critical they are to the success of the current
work using the MoSCoW approach
− All priorities should be reviewed throughout the project to ensure that they are still
valid
• Essential that not everything to be achieved within a project or a timebox is a
Must Have
− Having lower level requirements that enable teams to deliver on time by dropping out
lower priority requirements when problems arise

August 16, 2010 53


MoSCoW Prioritisation of Requirements

• Solution
functionality is
prioritised and
delivered according
to available time
and resources but
time and resources
are fixed

August 16, 2010 54


Estimation

• Estimation provides the information that is required for


two main purposes:
− Assess project feasibility by evaluating costs and benefits
− Use in project planning, scheduling and control
• Estimation in agile iterative projects
− Estimates should be tight from the outset with frequent
deliverables
• Not unacceptable for activity overrun and for long timescales for agreeing
the quality of products
− Estimates that are based on outline business functions provide
the closest match with the agile iterative process
• Starting point for estimating should be the expected functionality of the
end products rather than the activities used to deliver those products

August 16, 2010 55


Estimation

• Estimation is a conditional forecast based on the information available at the time


− An extrapolation from past and current knowledge to the future
− Cannot be done with complete certainty because the future is unknown, therefore the
actual effort or cost to deliver will almost always be different to the estimate
− Better the quality of the information available for estimating, the closer the estimate is
likely to be to the actual figures
• Estimation must be based on a defined process so that it is rigorous and
repeatable
− Whatever process is used the primary information required to estimate is:
• Scope of what is to be delivered
• Delivery capability
• Contingency must be included in any estimate in order for it to be realistic
− estimates are conditional forecasts that will be affected by future events both internal
and external to the project
− Events cannot be known with certainty and the estimate must make reasonable
allowance for them
− Solution development itself is not an exact science
− The size of the contingency in an estimate must reflect the degree of uncertainty

August 16, 2010 56


Estimation

Before the project begins properly an estimate must be prepared for the work to be done
Pre-project Phase during Feasibility Study phase
Estimation Estimate could be a timebox - a fixed team for a fixed period - or could be based on a schedule
of workshops and the associated effort to complete the products

First estimate for the whole project is prepared towards the end of Feasibility Study
Feasibility Study
Phase Estimation Rough estimate, based on high level requirements - assist management to assess the value and
practicality of continuing with the project

Second estimate is produced at the end of the Business Study - scope of the project is decided,
the necessary business functionality to be delivered is defined and prioritised, and the system
architecture is defined
Detailed estimate as it based on the likely major components of the delivered solution
Business Study identified from the prioritised requirements
Phase Estimation
Estimate must reflect a level of risk and confidence that is acceptable to the relevant
stakeholders
Purpose of this estimate is to plan and schedule the project and used to re-evaluate the
August 16, 2010 Business Case to assess whether the project is still viable 57
Estimation
Detailed estimate from Business Study provides the basis for the whole project, and
throughout the remainder of the project this estimate is frequently monitored and revised
Functional Model Estimation is performed for each timebox to assess whether the timebox plan is achievable,
Iteration Phase and to evaluate the impact on the project if any revisions to the estimate are required
and Design and
Build Iteration Before the start of each timebox an estimate for the expected work is carried out to ensure
Phase Estimation that it remains achievable in light of project experience to date
If there is significant deviation from the estimates, the original estimates should be carefully
reviewed

Until the Implementation Plan is prepared during Functional Model Iteration, there are only
Implementation very high level estimates available for this phase
Phase Estimation Before the Implementation phase begins, the estimates must be reviewed to ensure they are
still reasonable

August 16, 2010 58


Estimation Techniques

• Top Down - estimating by comparison where the proposed project is compared to


similar completed projects
− Based on the business requirements (rather than system components)
− Give a figure for the project as a whole, which may be broken down into phases on a
pro rata basis
− Fast to prepare
− Can be derived from very high level requirements
− Give a high level view of the project (its overall cost and timebox) which can be used in
evaluating the feasibility of the project
• Bottom Up - counting components and other implementation-related information
shown in a design and estimating the effort for each of those
− Based on tangible system components
− Give detailed figures for low level components of the project which can be aggregated
to give higher level views
− Take time to prepare
− Need sufficiently detailed information to allow identification of system components
− Provide a good basis for project planning, scheduling and management

August 16, 2010 59


Collaborative Estimation

• Facilitated workshop can be an excellent approach to


gaining both sound estimates and buy-in to these
estimates from the team and the stakeholders
• Participants should, between them, have expertise in all
the main technical and business areas covered by the
project
• Project management and estimation participants
• Estimation workshops require considerable preparation in
order to achieve their objectives

August 16, 2010 60


Estimation Guidelines

• Use more than one technique to allow cross-checking, e.g. top-down and bottom-up
• Produce estimates by workshops involving all stakeholders, rather than by individuals
• Ensure the estimate includes sufficient effort for all timebox activities not just those directly
resulting in business functionality, including
− Project management, team leading, technical co-ordination
− User involvement
− Non-functional requirements and technical products
− Specialist roles, such as business and technical consultants, quality and test managers, security
specialists, etc.
− Specialist roles, such as business and technical consultants, quality and test managers, security
specialists, etc.
− Workshop preparation, attendance and follow up, including facilitation and scribing
− Completion of project documentation
− Quality reviews, inspections, walkthroughs, timebox planning and estimating
− Travel and meetings particularly if cross-site
− Mentoring if project and/or organisation is new to agile iterative projects
− Specialist testing such as stress and performance, or operational acceptance.
• Ensure all areas of development are included: avoid focus on pure coding effort
• Capture project metrics and feed back actuals vs. estimates into the estimating process
• Ensure that anyone who estimates is trained, particularly for specialist techniques such as
function point analysis

August 16, 2010 61


Project Management

• Aim of project management is to deliver the right solution on time


and on budget using the available resources wisely
• Management of traditional projects is about control
− Preventing drift from the signed off specification, controlling resources, etc.
• Managing an agile project is about enabling constant change while
continuously correcting the course of the project in order to
maintain its aim at the target - a fixed delivery date for a usable
system
• To be successful with agile iterative approach, the organisation may
have to change organisational, social and technical elements at the
same time
• All impact on the management of the project

August 16, 2010 62


Project Management

• For tradition projects, the project manager has a detailed plan


against which to monitor and control activities
• In an agile and iterative project, there are typically more activities
going on in parallel
− Project Manager has a number of distinctive responsibilities to ensure that the
project is under control in each phase
• Speed of progress can pose some difficulties for managers from a
traditional background in IT project management
− If problems arise during a timebox then it is often tempting for the traditional
manager to renegotiate the end date as that is what they would normally do
− In an agile project, the timebox deadline is fixed usually because it is set by the
business need
− Consequently, the approved approach is to renegotiate the content of the
timebox rather than its duration

August 16, 2010 63


Project Management

• In the agile iterative collaborative approach, there is a great deal of


interaction between users and implementers in task completion
• Important that communication is clear and concise if rapid
development is to be achieved
• Agile projects should have an informal but planned communication
process
• As each timebox is completed, it is the responsibility of the Project
Manager to ensure that there is a clear understanding about what is
to be delivered in the following timeboxes and to ensure that the
relevant requirements are established in detail
− Likely that the users will change their minds about priorities and requirements
− Project Manger must be open to making such changes whilst ensuring that any
consequences are fully understood by the users

August 16, 2010 64


Project Management
• Initial planning
• Verify suitability of profile for agile approach
• Agree project review and termination evaluation and decision factors
Pre-project Phase • Confirm user involvement
• Give training in agile approach for all people new to the method
• Schedule workshop facilitators

• Set up the Feasibility Study team


• Attend all workshops
• Review/accept and get signoff for the Feasibility Report
Feasibility Study • Ensure that all key stakeholders have bought in to the Prioritised Requirements List and
Phase the proposed timescales for (incremental) delivery for the project
• Create a high-level Business Case for the project
• Create the Outline Plan
• Schedule Business Study workshop

• Manage production of the Business Study products


• Attend all workshops
• Review and update project risks
Business Study • Create the Development Plan jointly with all relevant people
• Refine the Business Case and get it agreed by the relevant people
Phase • Obtain agreement to proceed into development
• Ensure that all project Team Leaders are aware of the contents of the Business Case so
that they can use it as the basis for negotiation about what is important within their
timeboxes
August 16, 2010 65
Project Management
• Agree individual Timebox Plans with the Team Leaders
• Participate in timebox kick-off and closeout meetings
Functional Model • Accept all timebox deliverables to the project at each timebox closeout meeting
• Monitor the team(s)
Iteration Phase • Create the Implementation Plan jointly with all relevant people
• Publish the Implementation Plan and get it agreed by the relevant people before the end
of the last pass through the Functional Model Iteration

• Agree individual Timebox Plans with the relevant Team Leader


Design and Build • Participate in Timebox kick-off and closeout meetings
Iteration Phase • Accept all timebox deliverables to the project at each timebox closeout meeting
• Monitor the team(s)

• Manage the migration of the system to the operational environment


• Ensure all necessary training takes place in a timely way
Implementation • Run the Increment Review workshop and produce the Increment Review Document
Phase • Obtain sign-off of the increment from all relevant parties
• Plan the next increment if there is one
• For the last increment, set the date for the Post-Implementation Review

August 16, 2010 66


Project Management

• Ensure all lessons learnt are made available to other projects


Post-project Phase • Participate in the Post-Implementation Review

August 16, 2010 67


Project Planning

• The purpose of project planning is to ensure the success of the project


• For agile projects planning is not just an activity that takes place at the beginning
of the project - it continues throughout the lifecycle
• Planning an agile project can be especially difficult for a project manager used to
traditional methods
• Agile project plans evolve with more and more detail as the project progresses, as
requirements are progressively refined and as lessons are learnt
• Plan should address all products generated by, and activities undertaken in, the
project
− Includes the deliverable products (prototypes, models, documentation, etc.)
• Project initiation
• Configuration management
• Change control
• Product breakdown structure
• Product descriptions
• Risk management
• Work instructions

August 16, 2010 68


Project Planning

• Traditional project planning


− Focus on agreeing a detailed "contract" with customers about the totality of
the system to be delivered along with the costs and timescales
− Concerned with understanding the requirements in complete detail so that the
right level of resources can be secured and an estimate of the completion time
can be made
− Plan is created in a great detail and is ideally executed with minimal change
• Agile project planning
− Focus on setting up a collaborative relationship with the customers, bringing
them fully into the make-up of the team
− Concerned with agreeing with the users the process by which the business
requirements will be met
− Initial plans are created in sufficient detail to establish the main parameters of
the project and with the firm expectation that the customers will change the
plan during the course of the project as they gain a deeper understanding of
their needs

August 16, 2010 69


Pre-project Phase Planning

• Objective of pre-project planning is to provide the basis for


carrying out the project successfully
• Understand the requirements just sufficiently to assess the
risks and suitability of the project for an agile approach
• Establish the right conditions for the project with the user
management
• Ensure that the managers from the business have agreed
to release their staff into the development team for
significant periods of time (including full-time secondment
when the project requires it)
• Agree a definition of "fitness for business purpose" for the
system being developed with the business
August 16, 2010 70
Agile Project Plans

Outline Plan
Feasibility Study
Phase Means to define and agree the terms and conditions for a successful project and
contains as a detailed plan for the Business Study

Development Plan
Business Study
Phase How the project will be carried out and in particular which prototypes will be built
and when

Functional Model Timebox Plan at the start of each timebox


Iteration Phase and
Design and Build Refines the Development Plan where each Timebox Plan contains at least one
Iteration complete cycle of the Functional Model Iteration or Design and Build Iteration for
Phase part of the system

Implementation Implementation Plan


Phase Defines how the successful implementation of the solution will be achieved

August 16, 2010 71


Agile Planning Success Factors

• The contents of timeboxes are crucial


• Plan for deliverables and not activities
− Consider the key questions "who, when what, where, how" when planning
• Define quality criteria for each deliverable
• Plan for frequent delivery of products
− Distinguish "delivery to the project" from "delivery to the end user population"
• Focus of planning and control in agile projects is on sustaining a high rate of progress, agreeing
priorities, keeping relationships healthy, learning as the project progresses, and allowing plans to
evolve based on experience gained
• Make project planning work by focusing on principles, products, and people rather than methods and
techniques
• Manage expectations by planning appropriate briefings and training on agile approach, addressing
roles and responsibilities, and defining and agreeing products and acceptance criteria
• Plan for the use of experienced mentors where there is insufficient experience in the team
• Plan to do the work during normal working hours
• Plan contingency only for prerequisites (software, hardware, setup, etc.) but not for time or resource
on the project itself
− Contingency in agile is managed through prioritisation of requirements
• Plan for regular daily team meetings
• Plan formal reviews at the end of each timebox and establish dates in diaries early
• Plan early for testing interfaces, theoretical performance analysis, and performance prototyping

August 16, 2010 72


Agile Planning Problems

• Objectives and requirements that are either too vague or


too detailed
• Failure to architect the approach
• Frequent changes to the schedule for user involvement
• Incomplete and conflicting information
• Introducing too much change at one time

August 16, 2010 73


Risk Management

• Ongoing process throughout the life of a project


• Actively control all the risks facing a project or the
implementation of the solution it is delivering
− Identification of any and all risks that may threaten the project for
business, systems or technical reason
− Assessment of the impact of those risks on the success of the
project should they arise and deciding on the likelihood of the risk
occurring and if it does on the severity of its impact on the project
− Management of those risks through defining specific
countermeasures that are aimed at either avoiding the identified
risks or accepting them and minimising their detrimental effect on
the project
− Applying the appropriate countermeasures when a risk
materialises

August 16, 2010 74


Risk Management

• Risks must be identified and their impact assessed as early as


possible
• Risks should be continuously reviewed throughout the life of the
project, particularly at critical go/no go decision points within the
project such as the end of the Business Study and before initiating
the development of a new increment
• All risks should be assessed in terms of their potential impact
• Risks must be actively managed through countermeasures to
minimise their possible impact
• The emphasis of risk management activities should be on the risks
with the highest levels
• Projects with risks determined as unacceptable by the Executive
Sponsor should not be started
• Projects whose risks rise to an unacceptable level should be stopped

August 16, 2010 75


Risk Log

• Opened at the start of the project to assist management in deciding the future of
the project
− Class of risk (business, systems or technical)
− Description of the risk - should be in sufficient detail to be understood by all interested
parties but short enough to enable a checklist approach to risk monitoring throughout
the project
− Likelihood of the risk occurring (high, medium or low)
− Severity of impact on the project should the risk occur (high, medium or low)
− One or more proposed countermeasures, which will mitigate the risk either by
preventing it occurring or by containing when it arises
• Countermeasures should include the dates beyond which they are no longer applicable
− The status of the risk (open or closed), open risks are still possible, closed risks have
either happened and have been dealt with or the time at which they were likely to
happen has passed
− Owner of the risk (who is responsible for monitoring the risk and/or implementing any
countermeasures)
• Checklist
− Are all the factors potentially affecting the success of the project discussed?
− Are risks sufficiently quantified for a decision to be made?
− Does each risk have at least one countermeasure identified?

August 16, 2010 76


Quality Management

• Quality of an information technology solution often defined in terms


of the way in which that system provides the capability and support
required by the user
• Agile approach designed to ensure the quality of the project's
products
− Facilitated workshops ensure that the system's requirements are properly
considered at the outset
− Continuous and focused user involvement helps to ensure that all parties
understand each others - needs and viewpoints
− Reviews (whether of prototypes or of supporting documentation) serve to
ensure (and record) that the system continues to meet the needs of the
business - the quality criteria against which products should be reviewed are
identified the Product Descriptions
− Thorough testing validates the delivered system against its requirements
− Configuration Management and Change Control serve to ensure that quality,
once built in to the system, is preserved

August 16, 2010 77


Quality Planning

• Quality planning should be an integral part of the project planning


activity
− Identification of which products are to be produced and which of those
warrant specific quality-related activities
− How the quality of each type of product is to be checked - for example by
review and/or by testing
− When quality checks are to be performed; and whether they are they optional
or mandatory, whether or not all examples of a particular type of product must
be checked or only a sample, and whether items are checked during
development or only on completion
− Who is responsible for reviewing and testing each product, who has authority
to accept the product and what is to happen if such a review or test is
unsuccessful
− Which criteria are to be used to assess each product's quality - typically by
reference to the quality criteria defined in each of the Product Descriptions
− Which procedures are to be used to define quality-related processes
− Which records are to be kept to document decisions and actions taken
− Which standards are to be applied to products (for example, coding standards
and user interface style guides)

August 16, 2010 78


Quality Audits

• Audit projects from time to time in order to determine their


compliance with the organisation's procedures, practices and
standards
• Very important in agile projects that such audits are not allowed to
result in unnecessary rework or ineffective effort expenditure
• Greatest benefit obtained from audits is frequently in causing
corporate procedures, practices and standards to be revised in the
light of real experience
• Agile-specific audit questions
− Is the user involvement there?
− Are the users empowered?
− Is the life-cycle being followed?
− Are comments from prototype reviews being incorporated?
− Is backtracking allowed when necessary?
− Are priorities being adhered to?
− Are timeboxes being respected?

August 16, 2010 79


Measurement

• Measurement is necessary in order to:


− Establish a baseline for predicting what will happen in the future
− Provide evidence that the process is successful and working
− Investigate the process itself in order to highlight and quantify problems
• Can provide the information to convince management that the
introduction of agile iterative approach can provide tangible benefits
to the organisation
• Projects should keep careful records of defects classified by severity
and type
• Success of a project will be whether or not it achieved the stated
objectives so these should be described in precise measurable terms
− Agile approach is focused on satisfying all of the "must haves" within a fixed
elapsed time frame so any measurement of success needs to include all of
these

August 16, 2010 80


Agile Tools and Techniques

• Tools and techniques that are applied to agile projects


− Workshops
− Models and Modelling
− Prototypes
− Testing
− Configuration Management

August 16, 2010 81


Workshops

• Workshop is a structured approach to ensure that a group of people can reach a predetermined
objective in a compressed timeframe supported by an impartial facilitator
• Benefits
− Rapid, quality decision-making
• Because all stakeholders are present at the same time, there is great confidence in the result
• Group is focused on the objectives to be achieved in the session so that the information gathering and review cycle is
performed at a greater speed
• Misunderstandings and disagreements can be worked out at the time
• Concerns should therefore have been raised and resolved or noted by the end of the workshop
− Greater user buy-in
• Workshops, run effectively, lead to participants feeling more involved in the project and decisions being made
• Build and maintain enthusiasm
− Building team spirit
• Controlled way of building rapport as well as delivering
• Promotes understanding and co-operation between departments - important when a solution involves many groups
− Process redesign by the user community
• If practices are reviewed as a result of a workshop, participants can gain a greater understanding of the inputs and implications
of their work
• Leads to improved efficiencies that are led by the participants themselves, giving greater buy-in and commitment
• Greater chance of successful implementation
− Clarification of requirements when they are unclear
• Business users can be led through their objectives and processes to define what they may require
• Participants can explore and model ideas
• Successful through a combination of structured discussion and the presence of knowledgeable participants

August 16, 2010 82


Applying Iterative Agile Principles to Workshops
• Active user involvement is essential
− Workshops provide an ideal format for the business to be directly involved in planning, designing and implementing a solution
• A collaborative and co-operative approach between all stakeholders is essential
− Create a climate of co-operation within the workshop and enforcing any ground rules for the group to behave effectively
− Only possible with the co-operation and commitment of all stakeholders
− Effective way of achieving either compromise or consensus
• Agile project team must be allowed make decisions
− Workshop participants need to be empowered and have the right level of knowledge and authority within the scope of the workshop, so that decisions can be
made without delay
• Focus is on frequent delivery of products
− Structure a workshop so that there are intermediate deliverables
− Helps to order participants' thinking as they progress in logical steps
− Enables them to work towards an ultimate goal and gives them a growing sense of achievement as the workshop progresses
• Fitness for business purpose is the essential measure for acceptance of deliverables
− Fitness for purpose is achieved by keeping participants focused on delivery against an agreed set of objectives
− Ensure all are involved in decision-making
• Iterative and incremental development is necessary to converge on an accurate business solution
− Strength of workshops is the synergy achieved by the group
− Ideas do not have to be born fully developed but can grow during discussion
− Ideal setting to try out ideas with all stakeholders and it is up to the facilitator to provide a safe environment in which this can happen
• All changes during solution implementation are reversible
− Information and decisions should be recorded as necessary by either one or both of the facilitator and scribe so that ideas can be backtracked where necessary
− Often what happens in practice is that an idea or decision is redeveloped
• Requirements are baselined at a high level
− Objectives must be set during the preparation for a workshop
− As the workshop progresses, information is gathered, analysed and interpreted so that discussion can be effective and a decision reached as a result of an
increased understanding of the issues involved
• Testing is integrated and performed throughout the lifecycle
− Because all stakeholders are present, workshop provides the quality control approach of testing ideas and deliverables as they are discussed
− Participants can challenge or agree

August 16, 2010 83


Models and Modelling

• Modelling helps the project team gain a good understanding of a business


problem, issue or process
• Accurate models reflect the realities of the business world
• Understanding can be gained by analysing the problem from different viewpoints
− Business View - uses a selection of techniques to understand and interpret the business
need and to model the business from a future perspective
− Processing View - models the system as a set of business processes, or activities, which
transform input data items to output data items
• Processes can be either combined to form higher level processes, which in turn can be
combined again to form yet higher level processes, or decomposed into their constituent sub-
processes
• Corresponds to the traditional "Why, What and How" type of questioning used during
requirements elicitation
− Data View - models the business information as a set of objects, or entities, and the
relationships that exist between these objects
− Behavioural View - models the behavioural characteristics of the system in terms of a
set of events and states, where events cause changes in the states of the system. Events
may be generated within or external to the system
− User Interface View - models the interactions and interfaces between the system user
and the system itself

August 16, 2010 84


Prototypes

• Prototypes provide the mechanism through which users can ensure


that the detail of the requirements is correct
• Demonstration of a prototype broadens the users' awareness of the
possibilities for the new system and assists them in giving feedback
to the project team
• Accelerates the development process and increases confidence that
the right system is being built
• Types of prototype
− Business - demonstrating the business processes being automated
− Usability - investigating aspects of the user interface that do not affect
functionality
− Performance and Capacity - ensuring that the system will be able to handle full
workloads successfully
− Capability/Technique – testing a particular design approach or proving a
concept

August 16, 2010 85


Testing

• In agile projects testing takes place throughout the project


lifecycle
− Validation - check that a system is fit for business purpose
− Benefit-directed testing - testing the parts of the solution that
deliver the key business benefits is the highest priority
− Error-centric testing - objective of designing and running a test is
to find an error
− Testing throughout the lifecycle - performed on all products at all
stages of the project
− Independent testing - a product should be tested by someone
other than its creator
− Repeatable testing - tests must be repeatable

August 16, 2010 86


Testing

• Testing activities must be prioritised based on the business goals


− Overall business process performance (i.e. business processing cycle times)
− Large processing volumes (i.e. very frequently occurring events)
− Labour-intensive or complex business tasks
− Human computer interface, particularly if the computer system will be visible
to customers
• Efficient use of time available can be made through risk based
testing
− Identify the risk areas
− Assess the impact of errors
− Plan for risk based testing
− Reduce the risk of errors

August 16, 2010 87


Configuration Management

• Dynamic nature of ale projects means good configuration


management is required
• Many activities are happening at once and products are
being delivered at a very fast rate
• Configuration management strategy must be decided and
documented in the Development/Implementation Plan
before leaving the Business Study phase

August 16, 2010 88


Iterative Agile Framework

• Solution delivery lifecycle is iterative and incremental


• Solution is not be delivered in one go, but in a series of
increments, which increase what it does each time
• Urgent business needs are addressed early while less
immediately important functionality is delivered
• Users see work under construction, review and comment
on it and request changes during the development of an
increment
• Agile approach provides a generic framework for iterative
solution delivery

August 16, 2010 89


Overall Agile Iterative Process - Phases

1. Pre-Project
2. Feasibility Analysis and Study
3. Business Analysis and Study
4. Functional Model Iteration
5. Design and Build Iteration
6. Implementation
7. Post-Project

August 16, 2010 90


Overall Agile Iterative Process
6

2 Implementation
4
Feasibility 7
1 Analysis and
Study
Functional
Model Post-Project
Pre-Project Iteration

Business
Analysis and
Study Design and
Build
Iteration
3
5
Sequential Iterated Phases
Phases
August 16, 2010 91
Iterated Phases
Agree How Agree How
and When To and When To
Do It Do It

Functional Identify Identify


Create Create
The Model What Is
The Implementation What
To Be
Is
To Be
Product Iteration Product
Produced Produced

Check That It Has Check That It Has


Been Produced Agree How Been Produced
Correctly and When To Correctly
Do It

Design and Identify


Create What Is
The Build
Iteration To Be
Product
Produced

Check That It Has


Been Produced
Correctly
August 16, 2010 92
Agile Iterative Sequential and Parallel Phases

Functional Model Iteration Phase

Feasibility Business
Pre-Project Post-Project
Analysis and Analysis and Design and Build Iteration Phase
Phase Phase
Study Phase Study Phase

Implementation Phase

Increment 1 Increment 1 Increment 1

Increment 2 Increment 2 Increment 2

Final Increments Prior Increment P


Increment M to Final
Implementation
Increment N

August 16, 2010 93


Phase 1 - Pre-Project Phase

• Ensures that only the right projects are selected and that
they are set up correctly to ensure success
• Initial definition of the business problem to be addressed
• Decision to proceed with the project
• Project manager assigned to the project
• Initial project governance in place

August 16, 2010 94


Phase 2 - Feasibility Analysis and Study Phase

• Assessment if iterative agile is the right approach for the


project
• Feasibility Study should be short and should last no more
than a few weeks
• Consider using workshop(s) to perform feasibility analysis
• Feasibility Study outputs
− Feasibility report
− Outline plan for implementation
− Feasibility prototype
− Solution risk log

August 16, 2010 95


Feasibility Analysis and Study Report

• Enables the project steering committee to decide not only which option to choose for the
way forward and whether or not the project should proceed beyond the Feasibility Study
• Objectives and purposes
− Outline the problem to be addressed by the new system
− Define the scope of the project or set of projects
− Give a preliminary indication of any areas within the scope which may be desirable but not
essential
− State, at least in outline, the Business Case for the project(s) - including where possible expected
costs, benefits, assumptions and risks (whether quantifiable or not)
− Indicate what alternative solutions have been or could be considered
− Define the major products to be delivered by the project
− Report on the suitability of an agile approach for use on the project, which may vary for each
solution
− Document the objectives of the project including process performance criteria
− Document high-level technical and business constraints, e.g. timescale, hardware and software
platforms
− Identify whether the system may be safety-related or if there may be any product liability issues
− Describe at a high level the business processes and data that are expected to be automated
− Identify at a high level the interfaces necessary to existing data and applications
− Identify which business processes and/or systems (whether automated or not) might be impacted
by the new system and which might need to change in order to accommodate it
− Define the expected life of the computer system and hence the requirements for maintainability

August 16, 2010 96


Feasibility Analysis and Study Report Questions and
Checklist
• Is the problem definition in line with the needs of senior business management?
• Is the scope of the project sufficiently clear for it to be refined within the Business
Study?
• Are the business objectives to be met by the development clearly defined?
• Is the solution to the problem, as laid out in the major products to be delivered
and in the objectives of the project, feasible in both technical and business terms?
• Is the case for the project approach sound and are the risks acceptable?
• Does management accept what has been included and excluded from the scope?
• Are all associated systems and their interfaces identified?
• Is any impact on those systems acceptable?
• Is the Business Case for the project to proceed valid?

August 16, 2010 97


Feasibility Prototype

• Feasibility prototype may be produced as a proof of


concept for the proposed solution
− To prove one or more of the possible technical solutions
contained within the Feasibility Report
− To demonstrate to the business the possible content of the user
interface and the look and feel
• Prototype should only be produced if it will really assist the
decisions made in the Feasibility Report

August 16, 2010 98


Outline Plan for Implementation

• First planning product within the project


• Sets deadlines and milestones for various major phases of
work and key deliverables (particularly incremental
delivery dates)
• Deadlines become the major control points around which
the later, lower level plans will be developed
• Provides the detailed plan for how the Business Study
phase will be run

August 16, 2010 99


Outline Plan for Implementation

• Purpose and objectives


− Provide management with ballpark estimates of the financial and resource
implications (both project team and user) of the proposed project
− Provide a basis for agreement of timescales for the proposed development
activities
− Define the high-level acceptance criteria for the proposed deliverables such as
that the system will conform to all agreed requirements
− Define and agree the approach to the Business Study phase
− Identify any particular facilities which the project team will require
− Define the expected path through the agile framework for the project
− Identify any currently known issues surrounding the implementation of the
system and in particular aspects such as data take-on and user handover

August 16, 2010 100


Outline Plan for Implementation Questions and
Checklist
• Are the estimates for effort realistic in the light of the details within the Feasibility
Report?
• Are the estimated timescales consistent with the business needs of the project?
• have the business needs been addressed in terms of what is delivered and when?
• Is business management able to commit to the level of business resources
required for the Business Study and to ongoing user involvement for the proposed
duration of the project?
• Is development management able to commit to the level of development
resources required for the Business Study and to ongoing involvement for the
proposed duration of the project?
• Will all necessary equipment and facilities be available as required?
• Is it clear what the criteria for acceptance are and are they rigorous enough to
define the quality of deliverables while allowing the requirements to flex during
development?
• Are all the currently identified standards and guidelines available and for those
that are not yet available, are there sufficient resources to enable their
development or procurement?

August 16, 2010 101


Phase 3 - Business Study Phase

• Only initiated if Feasibility Study and Report recommends to proceed with solution
development
• Forms the basis for all subsequent work
• Should be kept as short as possible (weeks rather than months) while achieving
sufficient understanding of the business requirements and technical constraints to
move forward with safety
• Focus is on the business processes affected by the solution and their information
needs
• Phase has to be very strongly collaborative using workshops attended by
knowledgeable staff who can quickly pool their knowledge and gain consensus as
to the priorities of the development
• Key workshop output is the Business Area Definition which identifies the business
processes and associated information and the groups/types of users who will be
affected in any way by the introduction of the solution
• Users who will participate in the solution development will be identified and
agreement reached with their management regarding their involvement

August 16, 2010 102


Business Study Phase Outputs

• Business Area Definition


• Prioritised Requirements List
• Development/Implementation Plan
• System Architecture Definition
• Updated Solution Risk Log

August 16, 2010 103


Business Area Definition

• Contains a high-level view of the business processes,


people and information to be supported by the proposed
solution
• Evolves into the Functional Model during Functional Model
Iteration(s)
• Must be in enough detail to enable both the Development
Plan and a realistic business case

August 16, 2010 104


Business Area Definition

• Purpose and Objectives


− Identify the business needs that should be supported by the
proposed solution
− Refine the Outline Business Case (documented in the Feasibility
Report) to include benefits, risks, costs and impact analyses
− Outline the information requirements of the business processes
that will be supported
− Identify the classes of users impacted by the development and
introduction of the proposed system
− Identify the business processes and business scenarios that need
to change
− Clarify all interfaces with other systems (human or automated)
− Verify that the proposed solution is still suitable for development
using an agile iterative approach

August 16, 2010 105


Business Area Definition Questions and Checklist

• Are the business context, business process and business objectives defined and agreed?
• Have all the currently identified requirements been prioritised (including non-functional
requirements)?
• Have all the priorities been assigned in collaboration with the users?
• Have high-level acceptance criteria for the delivered solution been defined?
• Are the business areas clearly documented, including high-level information needs that are
affected by the system?
• Is the envisaged boundary of the proposed new system realistic in the timescales?
• Are all classes of users affected by the new system identified?
• Are the information and processing requirements of the proposed system defined at least
in outline?
• Is it still clear that the business needs are being addressed by the proposed new system?
• Is the person responsible for each business process identified? Can they commit the
necessary resources and time?
• Are all major business events (e.g. financial year-end, order received, new supplier taken
on) identified?

August 16, 2010 106


Generating and Managing Requirements

• All of the requirements identified during the Feasibility and Business


Studies have to be prioritised and recorded so that the most
important features will be developed in preference to less essential
parts that can be added later if required
• Prioritisation will mainly be led by business need but will also need
to take into account the technical constraints that may drive some
requirement to be satisfied first even though it may be less
important in business terms
• Some non-functional (operational) requirements, such as security
and performance, may also affect the prioritisation
• As parts of the solution will begin to be produced in the next phase
(the Functional Model Iteration), it is not only important to
understand the functionality to be developed but also the system
architecture that will be used

August 16, 2010 107


Development/Implementation Plan

• Defines the plans and controls for the whole project or just for the
next increment
• Purpose and objectives
− Refine the Outline Plan to provide a more detailed plan for activities within the
Functional Model Iteration and Design and Build Iteration
− Provide the development team with a strategy for development
− Prioritise prototyping activities
− Define the categories of prototypes that will be developed and when
− Define the mechanisms for deciding when a particular prototyping activity
should terminate
− Identify individuals who will take on the various roles and responsibilities on
forthcoming phases of the project
− Identify which items are to be subject to configuration management and to
outline how configuration control is to be applied
− Define the approach to be taken to testing: what types of tests are to be run,
how they are to be specified and recorded

August 16, 2010 108


Development/Implementation Plan

• First Development/Implementation Plan produced in a


project should cover the overall development approach
and the plan for the Functional Model and Design and
Build Iterations for the first increment
• As new increments are started, the controls should be
checked for their validity and possibly updated
• Plan for the next increment is added to the
Development/Implementation Plan
• Should include the schedule of timeboxes but not their
details

August 16, 2010 109


Development/Implementation Plan Questions and
Checklist
• Are the timescales consistent with the business objectives in the Feasibility Report
and the Business Area Definition?
• Does the order of activities within the Development/Implementation Plan reflect
the priorities, dependencies, etc. in the Prioritised Requirements List?
• Is the timebox schedule realistic in terms of currently estimated effort and the
flow of products?
• Does the timebox schedule reflect the need to address areas of risk at appropriate
times?
• Are all affected classes of users identified in the Development/Implementation
Plan?
• Is the proposed user effort consistent with the needs of both the existing business
processes and the development?
• Will the necessary effort (from all personnel) be available when required?
• Is the selection of the categories of prototypes feasible within the expected
development environment?
• Is the method of configuration management appropriate to the environment?
• Are the proposed extent, depth and formality of testing appropriate?

August 16, 2010 110


System Architecture Definition

• Includes both functional architecture and technical architecture


• Describes the coherence of hardware, software and available
components
• Produced during the Business Study because it is needed as soon
Functional Model Iteration begins
• Purpose and objectives
− Provide a common understanding of the technical architectures to be used
during development and implementation
− Describe the target platform and (if different) the development platform
− Give an outline description of the software architecture (i.e. the major
software objects or components - both process and data - and their
interactions)

August 16, 2010 111


System Architecture Definition Questions and
Checklist
• Is the architecture appropriate for the requirements?
• Have the risks in the proposed architecture been properly
considered - in particular, are all components of the proposed
architecture available and mutually compatible?
• Will migration from the development platform to the target
platform be able to occur easily? If not, are all foreseeable problems
identified?
• Is the outline software architecture sufficiently well defined to give
developers a high-level view of the proposed computer system?
• Is the architecture defined at an appropriate level, so that it will not
be too vulnerable to change as the project progresses?
• Has advantage been taken of any opportunities for reuse of existing
components?
• Can the architecture be expected to cope with performance,
capacity and resilience requirements?

August 16, 2010 112


Phase 4 - Functional Model Iteration Phase

• Consists of refining the business-based aspects of the


computer system that is building on the high-level
processing and information requirements identified during
the Business Study phase
• Consist of cycles of four activities
− Identify what is to be produced
− Agree how and when to do it
− Create the product
− Check that it has been produced correctly (by reviewing
documents, demonstrating a prototype or testing part of the
overall solution)

August 16, 2010 113


Phase 4 - Functional Model Iteration Phase
Agree How Agree How
and When To and When To
Do It Do It

Functional Identify Identify


Create Create
The Model What Is
The Implementation What
To Be
Is
To Be
Product Iteration Product
Produced Produced

Check That It Has Check That It Has


Been Produced Agree How Been Produced
Correctly and When To Correctly
Do It

Design and Identify


Create What Is
The Build
Iteration To Be
Product
Produced

Check That It Has


Been Produced
Correctly
August 16, 2010 114
Phase 4 - Functional Model Iteration Phase

Functional Model Iteration Phase

Feasibility Business
Pre-Project Post-Project
Analysis and Analysis and Design and Build Iteration Phase
Phase Phase
Study Phase Study Phase

Implementation Phase

Increment 1 Increment 1 Increment 1

Increment 2 Increment 2 Increment 2

Final Increments Prior Increment P


Increment M to Final
Implementation
Increment N

August 16, 2010 115


Functional Model Iteration

• Purpose and objectives


• Demonstrate the required functionality using a functional model
consisting of both working software prototypes and static models
(e.g. class models and data models)
• Record the non-functional requirements which may not be
demonstrated by the prototype
• Outputs
− Functional Model including functional prototypes
− Non-functional requirements list
− Functional Model review details
− Implementation plan
− Timebox plans
− Updated risk log

August 16, 2010 116


Functional Model

• Defines what the solution will do without going into the detail of
how non-functional/operational aspects
• Develops from and refines the Business Area Definition created
during the Business Study phase
• Evolves over the life of the project expanding in scope and
deepening in content with each pass through Functional Model
Iteration phase within an increment and with each increment
• Consists of both documents and tangible deliverables
• Purpose and objectives
− Provide a cohesive demonstration of the functionality and data requirements
to be met including all currently known constraints
− Demonstrate the feasibility of achieving the non-functional/operational
requirements

August 16, 2010 117


Functional Model Questions and Checklist

• Does the Functional Model match the users' needs as elicited during discussions
and prototyping sessions?
• Is it within the scope of the development as defined in the Business Area
Definition?
• Are all parts of the Functional Model mutually consistent?
• Does the model contain the minimum usable subset?
• Are all essential aspects of integrity and security contained within the Functional
Model?
• Are the requirements for system administration visible?
• Are all static models (e.g. data models) consistent with the Functional
Prototype(s), and vice versa?
• Does the model give confidence that the right levels of performance, capacity and
maintainability will be achievable?
• Is any necessary supporting documentation available and to an adequate
standard?

August 16, 2010 118


Phase 5 - Design and Build Iteration Phase

• Solution is developed to a sufficiently high standard to be


safely placed in the hands of the users
• Prototypes are refined to meet operational/service
requirements
• Consist of cycles of four activities
− Identify what is to be produced
− Agree how and when to do it
− Create the product
− Check that it has been produced correctly (by reviewing
documents, demonstrating a prototype or testing part of the
overall solution)
• Generates the Tested Solution

August 16, 2010 119


Phase 5 - Design and Build Iteration Phase
Agree How Agree How
and When To and When To
Do It Do It

Functional Identify Identify


Create Create
The Model What Is
The Implementation What
To Be
Is
To Be
Product Iteration Product
Produced Produced

Check That It Has Check That It Has


Been Produced Agree How Been Produced
Correctly and When To Correctly
Do It

Design and Identify


Create What Is
The Build
Iteration To Be
Product
Produced

Check That It Has


Been Produced
Correctly
August 16, 2010 120
Agile Iterative Sequential and Parallel Phases

Functional Model Iteration Phase

Feasibility Business
Pre-Project Post-Project
Analysis and Analysis and Design and Build Iteration Phase
Phase Phase
Study Phase Study Phase

Implementation Phase

Increment 1 Increment 1 Increment 1

Increment 2 Increment 2 Increment 2

Final Increments Prior Increment P


Increment M to Final
Implementation
Increment N

August 16, 2010 121


Operational/Service Requirements

• Often called non-functional requirements because they do not relate to specific solution
functions and features
• Define how well the system should operate rather than what it should do
− Performance Requirements - Specify numerical values for the measurable variables within the
system, such as response rates, capacity volumes and communication rates
− Interface Requirements - Specify the hardware or software elements with which the system, or
system component, must interact or communicate
− Operational Requirements - Specify how the system will run and communicate with the system
users including all user interface requirements
− Resource Requirements - Specify the limits on physical resources, such as memory capacity, disk
capacity, processor power
− Security Requirements - Specify the requirements for the system for securing against threats to
confidentiality, integrity and availability
− Portability Requirements - Specify the need to install the software components on other hardware
platforms and/or operating systems
− Reliability Requirements - Specify the acceptable mean time between failures of the system,
averaged over a significant period
− Maintainability Requirements - Specify how easy it is to repair faults and adapt the software to
new requirements
− Safety Requirements - Specify the requirements to reduce the possibility of causing damage as a
direct result of system failure
− Recovery Requirements - Specify what needs to be done before and after system failure, e.g.
backup requirements to enable recovery when needed, business continuity requirements (the
minimal service) and full recovery requirements

August 16, 2010 122


Operational/Service Requirements

• Operational/service requirements can have significant


impact on the degree to which quality controls are applied
to software products
• Need to be carefully examined to see the impact on the
flow of development and the rigour that will be applied in
static and dynamic testing
• Requirements relating to performance, reliability, security
and maintainability are of particular importance in projects
that are trying to deliver a system quickly
• Decisions have to be made by the business as early as
possible in the project about what has to be done now and
what can be left until later

August 16, 2010 123


Operational/Service Requirements Questions and
Checklist
• Are all the non-functional requirements sufficiently quantified?
• Where non-functional requirements have already been addressed by
a Functional Prototype, are these noted as such in the list of non-
functional requirements?
• Have all areas identified in the high-level constraints in the
Feasibility Report been considered?
• Is the set of non-functional requirements complete and consistent
both within itself and with the Functional Model?
• Do all the non-functional requirements add value to the business
processes?
• Are the non-functional requirements realistic and achievable?

August 16, 2010 124


Phase 6 - Implementation Phase

• An operational system includes not only the computer system but also the people
who interact with it and the business processes they use
− All of these must be successfully migrated for the solution to be considered to be
delivered
− Users of the system who may require training include not only the business end-users
but also people working in support functions
• Purpose and objectives
− Place the tested solution in the users' working environment
− Train the users of the new system
− Determine the future development requirements
− Train operators and support staff
• Review of the implementation increment must be run as soon as possible after
delivery of the solution so that the next phase of development can be planned and
kicked off with as little delay as possible
• If the current increment was not originally planned to be the final increment, the
project must not assume that the next increment will happen
− End of implementation is a go/no go point for the project

August 16, 2010 125


Phase 6 - Implementation Phase
Agree How Agree How
and When To and When To
Do It Do It

Functional Identify Identify


Create Create
The Model What Is
The Implementation What
To Be
Is
To Be
Product Iteration Product
Produced Produced

Check That It Has Check That It Has


Been Produced Agree How Been Produced
Correctly and When To Correctly
Do It

Design and Identify


Create What Is
The Build
Iteration To Be
Product
Produced

Check That It Has


Been Produced
Correctly
August 16, 2010 126
Agile Iterative Sequential and Parallel Phases

Functional Model Iteration Phase

Feasibility Business
Pre-Project Post-Project
Analysis and Analysis and Design and Build Iteration Phase
Phase Phase
Study Phase Study Phase

Implementation Phase

Increment 1 Increment 1 Increment 1

Increment 2 Increment 2 Increment 2

Final Increments Prior Increment P


Increment M to Final
Implementation
Increment N

August 16, 2010 127


Implementation Plan

• Implementation Plan is produced no later than during the last pass


through Functional Model Iteration Phase
• All Implementation phase stakeholders (e.g. networks support and
help desk) must be involved in the creation of the Implementation
Plan and agree that it is realistic and achievable
• Defines the activities needed to move the current system increment
from the development environment to full operational use
• Includes not only the migration of the system itself but also the
Training Strategy to ensure that the operational system is used
effectively
• Purpose and Objectives
− Define the detail of how the increment being currently developed will become
operational
− Define the costs and effort in more detail, enabling management to reassess
the costs and benefits of the development
August 16, 2010 128
Implementation Plan Questions and Checklist

• Are the plans agreed with the people who will support the increment in
operation?
• Does the timetable still fit in with business needs?
• Do the cost and effort estimates (both developer and user) look realistic for
achieving delivery of the solution?
• Are the necessary resources (both developer and user) available to meet this
plan?
• If relevant, are the procedures for handover to maintenance and support staff
clear?
• If relevant, have the requirements for data take-on and/or system cutover been
adequately considered?
• Is the Training Strategy appropriate?
• Have all changes to the physical environment been adequately considered?
• Have issues relating to third parties been considered?
• Has communication (e.g. within the organisation and customers) been
considered?

August 16, 2010 129


Implementation Plan Activities

• Identify the various classes of users


• Define the skills and/or training they may need in order to
use the system and any new business processes
• Identify the gap between the skills required and those
currently held by the different classes of users
• Plan the training method, e.g. classroom, computer-based
training, one-to-one sessions, guided tutorials
• Produce the training material needed
• Produce training schedule if appropriate to the training
method
• Deliver the training

August 16, 2010 130


Phase 7 - Post-Project Phase

• Occurs once the project is delivered


• Includes support and maintenance activities and
(optionally) a post-implementation review to assess the
system in use
• Purpose and objectives
− To keep the solution operational
− To assess whether or not the proposed benefits of the project as
stated during its initial phases have been achieved
− To enable development processes to improve
− To review the solution in use

August 16, 2010 131


Post-Implementation Review

• Captures lessons learnt about the system in use and an assessment


of the benefits achieved
• Purpose and objectives
− Determine whether or not the product has caused any problems in use
− Decide if there are any enhancement opportunities that have been revealed by
use of the product
− Demonstrate how well the expected benefits from the project were actually
achieved
• Questions and checklist
− Does the report include comments from representatives of all those affected
by the end product?
− Does the report make recommendations in cases where a problem has been
identified?
− Have all proposed benefits from the business case been considered?
− Where benefits have not been realised is there a clear approach to addressing
the issue?
August 16, 2010 132
Tested Solution

• Solution ready to be migrated into operational use


consisting of the solution increment to be delivered
• Purpose and objectives
− Provide a system that performs all agreed functionality and which
meets all the agreed non-functional requirements
− Provide a working system which can be placed safely in the users'
environment
− Provide support and maintenance staff with sufficient information
to perform enhancements, support the users, perform system
management tasks, etc.

August 16, 2010 133


Tested Solution Deliverables

• User documentation
• Handover documents
• Support guide
• Operating procedures
• Backup and recovery procedures
• Disaster recovery procedures
• Build procedures
• Install procedures
• Help desk scripts
• Design documentation (taken from system architecture definition)
• Selected models and textual parts of the functional model
• Business procedures
• Service level agreements
• Training documentation

August 16, 2010 134


Tested Solution Questions and Checklist

• Does the solution satisfy all the user-defined acceptance criteria?


• Is the project team satisfied that the solution is sufficiently robust to be put into
full operation?
• Has the solution been tested at an appropriate level, considering its intended use?
• Is there evidence that all the essential requirements (functional and non-
functional) have been tested and, where necessary, demonstrated to the users?
• Have any and all safety-related and product liability aspects of the system been
properly validated?
• Has all functionality that is provided to support implementation been adequately
tested (in particular, has account been taken of any need for data
conversion/uploading tools)?
• Are all components of the Tested Solution traceable to the Functional Model?
• Are all components rejected in the design review documents omitted from the
Tested Solution?
• Is the solution documentation consistent with the solution?

August 16, 2010 135


Maintenance

• Maintenance is a fact of life since the business needs change, so although


maintenance is necessarily in the Post-Project phase, it has to be considered from
the very beginning of the project
• Poor maintainability is a real risk to the business
− A new solution could rapidly become a problematic, unmaintainable legacy solution so
triggering user requests to replace it
• Agile iterative places fitness for business purpose as the essential factor for
acceptance of deliverables
• Components with poor maintainability can slow the development of future
increments
• Maintainability and the ability to deliver quickly therefore go hand in hand
• Poor maintainability means solutions
− Take more resources in maintenance
− Take longer to change
− Are more likely to introduce further errors with change and be unreliable
− Will cost more to maintain

August 16, 2010 136


Using Agile Iterative Approach for Specific Projects

August 16, 2010 137


Using Agile Iterative Approach for Specific Projects

• Agile approach can be used for many project types


− Software development
− System integration
− Process change/process introduction
− Business intelligence
• Focus of these projects is the frequent delivery of
products, active user involvement and iterative approach

August 16, 2010 138


Introducing Agile Iterative Approach into an
Organisation

August 16, 2010 139


Introducing Agile Iterative Approach into an
Organisation
• Introduction of agile iterative project approach into any
organisation must be a carefully planned and managed
programme to achieve a successful outcome
• Introduction is effectively a Business Process Re-
engineering of project delivery activities
• Recommend an incremental approach
• Pilot projects should be selected to prototype and review
the use of agile iterative approach
• Key risks need to be identified and managed by iteration
and refinement, i.e. the agile iterative approach itself
should be used to introduce agile into the organisation
August 16, 2010 140
Agile Iterative Approach Introduction Steps
Pre-Project

Feasibility Study

Business Study

Identify Suitable
Project(s)

Deliver Agile
Project(s)

Post-Project

August 16, 2010 141


Pre-Project

• Identify and quality the opportunity to introduce agile


iterative project approach into the organisation
• What are the business problems to be addressed?

August 16, 2010 142


Feasibility Study

• Is the organisation prepared to change to an agile iterative mind set?


• Identify initial risks to the successful introduction of agile
• Does the culture within the organisation encourage risk taking?
− Is the organisation prepared to change?
− The success of agile iterative approach depends on acceptance of the
underlying principles
− Is the organisation prepared to accept them?
• Identify the key business needs
• Produce strategy for way forward
• Produce the project plan

August 16, 2010 143


Business Study

• Identify key stakeholders within the organisation


• Promote agile iterative approach so all the stakeholders
within the organisation are aware of the key benefits
• Determine business benefits and perform a cost/benefit
analysis
• Produce programme of candidate agile iterative projects
• Gain commitment to proceed

August 16, 2010 144


Identify Suitable Project(s)

• Select suitable pilot project(s) using agile evaluation and


critical success factors
• Determine main project risks
• Identify required project environment including tools and
infrastructure
• Review and update quality procedures
• Determine key project metrics

August 16, 2010 145


Deliver Agile Project(s)

• Procure necessary tools and support environments to


enable agile iterative project delivery
• Select the project team
• Train the project team
• Run the agile project and produce the business application
• Manage and monitor the project
• Review the project

August 16, 2010 146


Post-Project

• Measure business benefits


• Promote project success
• Amend standards and procedures
• Develop agile skilled mentors
• Identify/run the next project or set of projects

August 16, 2010 147


More Information

Alan McSweeney
alan@alanmcsweeney.com

August 16, 2010 148