Agile in a Waterfall World

I’ve had some time recently to do some training that has been on the shelf due to my client responsibilities.  One of the items on that shelf was learning more about Agile and Scrum and seeing how to use some of the practices from those processes with future clients. 

I sat in on a webinar today put on by Rally Software that was focusing on how to run an Agile project in a Waterfall enterprise.  A lot of it was fluff as it was covering what Agile was, which I already knew, but the speaker covered 10 keys that I thought were good points:

  1. Find an executive champion.

  2. Socialize, don’t evangelize.

  3. Use the power of the backlog.

  4. Jump right in.  Don’t try to fix/adjust everything in preparation for Agile…just do it and fix/adjust as you move.

  5. Use the “Barely Sufficient” guideline.  Meaning you first ask “Is this something we must do?” and then “If so, what’s the simplest way to satisfy the request?”.  I’m still not 100% sold on this one, though.  Putting on an architecture hat, sometimes the simple answer now makes things a lot more difficult later.  But I’ll keep an open mind.

  6. Include Waterfall reps in all Agile planning meetings.  If you have to pick just one meeting to be mandatory, it’s the Release meeting.

  7. Inspect and Adapt.

  8. Send Agility up the change to expose other areas of the company.

  9. Pay attention to behaviors.  Make sure folks don’t revert back to their old ways.

  10. Include everyone in the Project Retrospective.

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