AgileSHIFT Online Learning
The course is part of this learning path
AgileSHIFT isn't designed to replace other project management methods and frameworks like Scrum, PRINCE2 or Kanban. It provides a simple, flexible framework that enables a team to work in an agile way by focusing on iterative working that delivers incremental change. This module looks at how an AgileSHIFT approach can be put into practice through the AgileSHIFT workflow. It then looks in detail at an iteration and review the activities within it.
The objectives of this course are to provide you with and understanding of:
- Key stages of the workflow – the trigger, start-up, the iteration and close-out
- The AgileSHIFT Iteration in detail – iteration planning, the daily stand-up, the value demo, the iteration retrospective and canceling an iteration
The target audience for the AgileSHIFT qualification is any employee of an organization that intends to adopt AgileSHIFT. This includes people who will become champions of the new working practice and employees from any part of the business who will contribute to the incremental improvements that will make up the wider change the organization requires.
There are no specific pre-requisites to study the AgileSHIFT course or for entry to the examination.
We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think.
In this video we’re going to look at how an AgileSHIFT approach can be put into practice through the AgileSHIFT workflow.
Developing organization-wide agility means working in an iterative way – working in short bursts, being transparent with the work that’s been done, adapting the work through each iteration and providing value to the customer as soon as possible. AgileSHIFT does this by reflecting the AgileSHIFT principles and working to the AgileSHIFT practices.
The AgileSHIFT workflow is structured through a series of iterations. However, an iteration is just one part of the process and we’ll go through that in more detail later on. For now, we’ll start at the beginning and go through each stage of the workflow to explain the key activities and outputs.
For work to start, there must be a trigger, or a good reason to do the work. This identifies to the team that they need to deliver something that leads to a change. The trigger might be a customer request, an internal requirement, a legislative change or a decision to react to a delta created by a competitor.
The AgileSHIFT workflow is a lightweight approach to delivering value so the response to the trigger should be quick to stop a disruptive competitor reacting to the change more efficiently. This is done through the start-up.
The start-up period is where the value of the proposed delivery is assessed by answering the question: ‘Will this work achieve the value we need?’. This helps to decide if the work’s worth doing at all and, assuming it is, the team starts planning.
It’s a common misconception that Agile ways of working don’t need planning – in fact, one of the AgileSHIFT practices is ‘plan to be flexible and adaptable.’ During the start-up period the individuals doing the work will establish who’ll do what and by when, how it’ll be done, what it’ll cost and how long it’ll take.
Planning might take anywhere between a few hours and two weeks, depending on the work required. It needs to achieve a number of things, like:
Clarifying the requirement for the work;
Developing the vision statement
Defining the justification – the business case;
Creating the roadmap;
Creating the task list;
Finalizing the roles in the team;
Identifying the stakeholders;
Identifying any risks, challenges and concerns; and
Creating the information radiators to help the delivery team keep track of how they’re progressing.
The outputs should be at a level appropriate to the work being planned – agility needs planning but not over-planning.
We’ve mentioned the vision statement in the start-up period. This should be a concise and engaging statement that tells the organization, stakeholders and the team what they’re looking to achieve.
After the start-up period there’s the first ‘go, no go or re-plan’ decision. Here the AgileSHIFT sponsor decides whether to proceed or not, based on the information received from the start-up activities and whether they think the activity will create the desired value.
If the decision is ‘no go’ then the activity will need to be re-planned or bought to a controlled close. If the decision is ‘go’ then the first AgileSHIFT iteration begins. We’ll look at an iteration in more detail in the next video – for now we’ll take a high-level view in the context of the overall AgileSHIFT workflow.
Working in an agile way means avoiding complex processes that create inefficiencies, increase cost and increase resource usage. To keep it simple, each iteration follows the Plan-Do-Show-Listen cycle:
‘Plan’ is about understanding what’s needed, and clarifying the work and people required;
‘Do’ is when the work is carried out and the change or output is created;
‘Show’ lets the stakeholders see and use the output; and
‘Listen’ is when stakeholders are asked for their feedback so it can be incorporated into planning for the next iteration.
The cycle contributes to a continual improvement of the output and the way the team works during the AgileSHIFT cycle.
Each iteration needs to be time-boxed which means it should have a fixed duration of around 1-4 weeks. This is important to encourage the team to prioritize their work to ensure something of value is achieved, help to avoid overrun on time and cost, and provide the drive and motivation to achieve the agreed outputs.
Another ‘go, no go or re-plan’ decision is made at the end of each iteration. This asks the same question as during the start-up – ‘does this work provide co-created value for the organization and the customer?’
The sponsor makes the decision after taking advice from the customers and other stakeholders, and they then either:
Authorize the release of any work outputs, deliverables or changes;
Proceed to the next iteration; or
Re-plan the work.
After all the iterations are done and the outputs are delivered, the last event is close-out. This is a controlled process where the delivery to the customer is recorded, loose ends are tidied up, contracts are closed, resources (like floor space and equipment) are returned, and people are released to other work or retained for further AgileSHIFT activities.
It’s also when lessons learned are recorded, service and support arrangements are handed over to the new business owners and the champagne gets uncorked!
About the Author
Tony has over 20 years’ experience in Business Development, Business Change, Consulting and Project/Programme Management working with public, private and third sector organisations.
He has helped organisations to design and create process and procedures to align ways of working with corporate strategy. A highly motivated and detailed solution provider utilising a wide range of methods and frameworks to provide structure whilst promoting creativity and innovation.
As a confident and self-motivated professional with excellent communication skills Tony is able to bring people together and get them working as a team quickly.
Tony is an Agile and Scrum trainer with a vast knowledge spanning IT Systems, Business Change, Programme and Project Management. With excellent presentation skills and a solid background, he ensures that all clients gain maximum benefit from his training. He has successfully guided those new to the industry through their initial training, helped experienced staff as they progress in their careers and worked at Director level advising on best use and practice, as well as tailoring courses to fulfil the exact needs of clients.