Can an Agile Process Recognize Appointments?
Introducing Scrum meant introducing a culture change. Moving away from waterfall planning with big concepts to small iterations with quick feedback, and new prioritizations every 2 weeks. Just how much can be done in the next sprint is decided by the team alone.
This secretly led to the perception that “things are done when they’re done.” You might even need another sprint – which keeps the team from rushing and stressing. The client does not. They simply want to know when something is done and what they’ll get. Every additional sprint tends to increase the adrenaline level.
And right in the middle of this adrenaline rush is agile product management (whether it’s product manager or product owner doesn’t matter). On the one hand, there are the benefits of agile, on the other hand, the importance of reliable planning. How do you bring this together? When it comes to product development, they both have their benefits. My experience shows that it comes down to transparency and communication.
Let’s take another look at these two perspectives. Senior management presents a strategically important topic to product management and would like to develop the product accordingly in three months. The product owner and the project team create an exciting concept that should be implemented in roughly three months. The team is always planning their sprints and is continuously improving so that everything in the sprint will get done. If you only look 2 weeks ahead, you quickly run the risk of no longer putting the effort required for a story into the overall context and will want to do too much or try to make everything perfect. And software development (often) takes longer than you originally thought. Management has the end of the three months firmly in mind, but the team is thinking about the next sprint. Where you often get shipwrecked using waterfall, can also happen in small ways with agile.
Here, progress and remaining requirements must be assessed openly and made transparent. The agile method should help to deliver a suitable product to the customer as early as possible, not create a perfect product for any target date. The period for which a budget is made available to fund developments always has a beginning and an end. The agile approach is just the mode of working on the topic within the time frame.