Assess some key characteristics of your project team and environment, and compare them against the characteristics of several Agile methodologies to determine which is the best approach for you.
What this is
A worksheet and guideline to help you and your project team determine whether agile is appropriate for your team, and which methods and techniques may be appropriate based on your organization, team, and project characteristics.
Why it's useful
Each project is different, and each organization is different as well. These widely varied environments introduce a wide range of challenges to teams trying to complete projects and implement agile methods. Luckily, differences in the various agile methods make some more appropriate to particular projects and environments than others, which helps to narrow the decisions some-assuming you understand those differences.
This template guides teams to appropriate agile methods based on two key project characteristics-uncertainty and complexity. These classifications are based on the experiences of a software product company, as analyzed by Todd Little. This classification is applicable to most organizations and can provide a jump forward to a team trying to determine the appropriate method to try out.
How to use it
This template is intended to guide the conversation of the entire project team surrounding the characteristics of a particular project-not just the decisions of project leaders or management. We suggest you take an approach similar to the one outlined here, in order to ensure input from every member of the team. Keep in mind that your team discussions should include the entire project team, including business and development team members.
Kent J. McDonald, partner and co-founder of Accelinnova, has more than a decade of experience guiding successful projects and designing business solutions in a variety of industries, including financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, non-profit, and automotive. By addressing common questions about project leadership, Kent demonstrates how agile practices can be applied in organizations, focusing on his "Words To Lead By: Collaborate; Iterate; Serve The Team; Consider Context; Practice Excellence; Reflect And Adapt; Deliver Value."
Kent has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Kent State University. He is co-founder, and Treasurer of the Agile Project Leadership Network, is a founder of the Agile Iowa Group, and is on the planning committee for the Agile 2007 Conference. He welcomes questions about project leadership with a focus on value at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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