I spent the day with a customer planning out the deployment of software they bought last year. They really did intend to use it – but could never quite find the time to take that next step. So we looked at what problems they had with the way they work today, and then looked at what changes they could make in the way they worked, and also how some of their not-so-new tooling could assist in this change. Fired up with enthusiasm in the last few weeks, they were all for using all their new tools, but we managed to persuade them to take things littler slower. A sure-fire way to have change go badly wrong is to try and change everything at once.
They first thing they needed to fix was getting everyone working to a plan. Not the plan they got from their boss, or his/her boss – but the one they needed to make themselves. Add all these more realistic plans together – and you have a decent start of a proper plan. We have people looking at requirements planning out how they will spend their time, the developers planning out their work in a Scrum-like fashion, and the testers planing out their own work too. Some of you might notice that this is not your typical “proper” Agile team structure, but this is a start – a path on the road to a better way of working. We are using Team Concert to do the planning, because it is easy enough for the analysts and testers to use (this approach to planning is very new to them), and comprehensive enough that the developers could really start making Agile work for them.
So – we have a plan….