Agile project management has been found to be highly effective when applied at io.
Agile's interactive approach to projects allows for early engagement of the project team, avoids delays in providing insights to our clients and allows for a continuous decision dialogue.
The agile approach is characterised by succinct iterative sprints that execute agreed packages of prioritised scope, over a short timeframe. These short sprints ease the rapid incorporation of new information and allow the early creation of a minimum viable product, which is built upon in subsequent sprints. At the end of each sprint, a retrospective review of the team’s performance is carried out to capture and implement learning.
specifically for FEL 0-2 projects, io uses the following agile approaches:
Build small multi-discipline teams that cover all aspects (technical, commercial and strategic), are truly collaborative and thereby can rapidly iterate and progress.
model early and model smart (systems modelling)
Support analysis and decision making with robust models that, are as simple as possible, but not simpler. Complexity is added only when it is necessary. Such models provide early insight, helping a project understand what is important, concentrate effort and avoid waste, ultimately enhancing the quality and minimising the quantity of the FEL activities. Smart models are by their very nature adaptable to change and retain usefulness through FEL 3 by serving as a check that the evolving project plan will deliver the promised business value.
decision maker collaboration
Frequent and effective decision maker engagement is required. The adoption of the Agile approach, where collaboration with the client (commonly called the Decision Review Board) is advocated, suggests a high level of trust and intimacy. A true collaborative relationship will allow a more complete understanding of mutually agreed requirements; a forum to share findings, insights and explore decision trade-offs as they arise; and, once sufficient mutual trust has been gained, a vehicle to air and resolve candid project performance feedback from all parties.
sprint when you can
In the early project phases (FEL 0/1 and to some extent FEL 2), given the fuzzy nature of the work, organising by sprints (rather than defining large packages) helps maintain project pace and provide flexibility to respond to the inevitable change. Sprints would force regular discussion about requirements and assist in maintaining cost and schedule discipline; the customer only commits to a few sprints at a time.