When I was first pulled into a project that intended to deliver a new online account opening capability for the bank, I thought to myself ‘this will take a while’. When the business then said “you have 3 months to deliver” I must not have been the only one to think ‘you’re pulling my leg, right?’ I have never seen that happen. EVER.
But now after 3 months of hard work — WOW! We’ve implemented the online system we set out to do. What an incredible ride!
We were a traditional Waterfall enterprise, delivering projects in strict phases: Concept, Analysis, Design, Development, Test and Implement. Everything was sequential and no phase started without completion of the prior.
Agile was introduced and it proved to be a better reflection of reality in that multiple phases were allowed to occur in parallel within one sprint e.g. Analysis, Design, Development and Testing occurred concurrently. We went with it and never looked back.
The first point of the Agile manifesto brings us back to the old ways of doing business:
Most of these showcases were a success — although one sprint failed to present some key features we set out to do. This turned out to be a good thing in the end as the wider audience were able to see the challenges and roadblocks we had.
Planning was a collaborative effort that started with the selection of user stories from the product backlog. We would then collaboratively discuss and size the user stories, ensuring that all voices were heard.
We might not have necessarily agreed on all points raised during development, as there are many way to handle a problem. But we still made sure that the business outcome was clear and understood by all.
Decisions are made based on best available information at a point in time. New information that comes later in the process, can therefore change things. Why are we killing ourselves over decisions made in the past?
The cycle went down like this: If there was a roadblock ahead, then someone called it out and the powers that be, removed them. If there was a problem, then people that were able and willing to assist, helped out.
BA, IM, doer and Agile super-fan. I am proud to be part of the team that transformed this ‘too-hard-to-do 2-year project’, into a success story in 3 months. We worked, cried, worked-through, retried and succeeded…then said ‘Bring it on!’
n.b. there’s a little bit more detail and presentation differences with the Medium version (click to see the magic).