Euphoria Meets Everyday Life
In many ways, the introduction of agile project management resembles the beginning of a new relationship. Management and teams make big plans, and the euphoria about what you want to achieve together is great. Everyone is excited and swears eternal loyalty and sets common goals. Then, as in relationships, everyday life happens.
Management: The project has been running for 6 months now. Can it be so difficult to convert the story points into hours, just so we can get a feel for the real duration?
Agile Teams: Really? Weren't we promised the freedom to use agile, which means organizing ourselves independently and working iteratively and incrementally? Why are we constantly being watched over our shoulders?
This friction can essentially be traced back to one cause. Both sides have to deal with challenges of everyday life, which happen at different levels. Management needs to plan resources and decide when which projects should be done and what commitments can be made to customers. They need to know when something is done. This occurs at the strategic planning level.
The teams, on the other hand, face quite different challenges, which are at the implementation level. The cause of Bug 433a2X5 is still unclear. The current story is much more complicated than initially thought and probably needs an additional sprint. In addition, the stakeholders constantly have new ideas, but that's OK. That's why we work agile. It's obvious that this complicates long-term planning, right?