Pilot for agile project at a finance enterprise: product owner point of view

On 28 Feb., 2019

m a system analyst in a finance organization. Half a year ago we started a pilot of managing a project using agile methodology.  The agile team consists of developers, QA, customer and system analyst. We started with a workshop that provided the whole team with the basics of Scrum methodology and hands on experience with the tool we use to manage the Scrum process; TFS - Team Foundation Server of Microsoft.

Pilot for agile project at a finance enterprise: product owner point of view

 am a system analyst in a finance organization. Half a year ago we started a pilot of managing a project using agile methodology.  The agile team consists of developers, QA, customer and system analyst. We started with a workshop that provided the whole team with the basics of Scrum methodology and hands on experience with the tool we use to manage the Scrum process; TFS - Team Foundation Server of Microsoft.

The pilot project was executed with the guidance of an agile coach. We set the roles in the team; the team leader is holding the scram master position and I, the system analyst holds the product owner position. The first step was for me and the customer to define the feature then breaking it down to epics, each describes different module of the feature. Next, I listed each epic into user stories. Last, the scrum master defined the tasks for each user story. My part at this phase was to make sure the tasks are fulfilling the user story definition.

The team, with the help of the coach, decided on 2 weeks long sprints. Every sprint the team should deliver a valuable capability for the customer. Before the sprint begins there is a planning meeting in which the scrum master and me decide which stories will be developed at the sprint and the stories' tasks are planned. Once the sprint start, the team meets every day; the daily meeting is no more than 15 min in which every team member updates the progress. At the end of the sprint the team presents to me the deliverables of the sprint so I can confirm the stories are fulfilled correctly.  After each sprint we hold a retrospective meeting that provide a safe space for the team to reflect and discuss what works well and what we as a team can improve.

Before revealing how well (or not?) the pilot ended, I find it important to mention few points:

-         Good implementation of agile methodology has a positive impact on the team spirit which promote the success of the project. It's important to keep every team member involved.

-         Product owner is a pivotal role with big challenge in it. As the product owner I bridge the gap between the customer and the developers.

-         At First the daily meetings seem to be an overhead but after the first week it is clear how important they are, for the progress of the sprint as it provide continuous communication between the team members.

-          The agile methodology allows flexibility such that changes according to customer's early feedback are possible during the development phase. The result is a mature product at the end of the project.

-         QA engineers are part of the development team, and have the ability to test and verify bugs during the sprint using short cycles of system tests.

The pilot completed successfully. As any project, not without any problem, but we managed to fix the issues on time. The product went live to production with good customer's reviews and every member of the agile team felt part of it. Now I am a product owner of two more projects and I think that once you go agile you can't go back.

Read more...