Practical Agile – 5 Implementation Principles to Secure Project Success

These principles are essential to a successful agile project.

Embedded Power User: Having an experienced, forward-thinking user who can lead capability development and bring in other users as necessary ensures that capabilities under development are aligned with the business and minimizes capability gaps after implementation. You can also get agile training through

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Time Fences: Instead of having each member of the team set their own delivery dates for work, the project team must work together to establish time fences and then adjust the work to meet the time fence. This is possible by allowing the project manager to modify a time fence when it makes sense.

Governance Architecture: A project that had six capability teams that went off the rails due to too much architectural freedom was what I witnessed. Five sprints in, the capabilities were not able to fit together due to individual decisions by capability teams. This led to massive rework. Capability teams need to understand the technical and functional architecture.

Persistent testing: Developers love "grand reveals." Developers don't want to show others a capability until they are 100% sure it works. To find issues early, I prefer power users and testing to be as close to development as possible. This approach requires trust to work.

Strong Project Management: Agile is not code for anarchy. It's not the time when the PM should be relegated just to administrative tasks. The PM must be responsible for ensuring that issues are addressed, risks are minimized, dates are met and scope is adhered to. 

The PM is the one who gets the first shot if the project goes sour. He or she must ensure that everyone does their job and meets the budget, schedule, and scope goals.