Being agile isn’t always easy on all client projects. A project manager colleague and I came across a familiar problem recently, being handed a project with signed off wireframes for the whole site (not to mention a hard deadline and agreed days – but I won’t go into the project manager triangle right now). Signed off wireframes acts like a signed off feature list, which is a prerequisite for a waterfall project ?
Other challenges on the project included: a barrier to the client, so a proxy product owner; 7 weeks until the delivery date, and a small team: 1.5 RoR developers, 2 x 0.5 front end developers and a project manager, all of which mean “proper” Agile was not really an option.
So all we could do is take lessons from agile and apply as best we could to. The first thing to do was to prioritise the deadline/time or features, he deadline was immovable as it was tied into a marketing campaign so that was the focus.
What we devised was to run along these lines:
A planning session to take the wireframes and turn them into stories for an initial release plan, the prioritisation for those stories is based on the things that have to happen for the campaign to function and those that don’t. Around this criteria it would be based on normal prioritisation methods.
That release plan can then be broken down into 2 week periods to create timed boxed goals.
As the client will only be involved once a week (gulp) some time needs to be built in at the end of each 2 weeks to allow for their changes, so 3 x 2 week, plus a few days at the end of each for changes to amount to 7 weeks.
We also put together a rough idea of how points relate to time to create an initial velocity as there won’t be the lead time to try this out.
We’ll see how it works out.