12

If you are building a product for a client, your internal testing / QC work is not subject to negotiations. It is part of the work, part of the price, and there is no reduction in that area. If the client does not want to conduct UAT, that's their choice and risk to accept; however, there's secondary risk on the seller in this scenario. To mitigate the ...


10

Disengaged stakeholders will threaten your success, as you know. They will remain a threat until either they are turned around or removed, literally. Now, I typically segment stakeholders into two groups (I know, oversimplified): participating with seemingly no issues, stakeholders that are in a constant state of opposition. On the surface, it would seem ...


8

I would ask myself a fundamental question: If I don't have stakeholders, who am I building this product for? In your situation, it sounds like you're building it because the owner of the business, your product owner, said so. No problem. In other words, your product owner isn't representing stakeholders, he is your stakeholder. Cool! But there's a catch. ...


8

I love defect management, it throws up some wonderful logic problems :) What actually is Criticality? If you could define that then you would know the answer. I believe it is the combination of Severity and Priority, both of which should always be defined independently in defect management. The severity of a defect, i.e. the impact it has on the ...


8

First, I love your scenario - very fun. I think I've heard Mike Cohn actually call them "anti-user stories" in a talk. Frankly though, I don't think it matters what you call them because they're a very short-term device. I wouldn't bother actually recording these anywhere because as soon as they're shared, they should result in real user stories that ...


7

You have to GET them engaged. And you can only do that by getting them to have a stake in the outcome. Here's where part of the problem lies - the three PM's (you being one of them) have a problem; of that group only you were tasked to solve it. So you've started off down a point in their eyes. Regardless of the reality, to them it looks like you're now ...


7

Management Owns Cost-Overruns A Developer estimates between 70 to 100 hours for a task. Due to the urgency of the task and the developer's unavailability, a far less experienced developer is assigned to the project. The new developer takes 200 hours to complete the task. This is the agency's responsibility 100% of the time. Whether the estimate was wrong,...


7

Stakeholder management 101: define the rules of engagement, define the two-way communication requirements, point out and resolve the inconsistencies in the stakeholder requirements--such as what you pointed out here--and whatever else you need such that you get what you need from the CEO and he gets what he needs from you. Schedule a meeting or two and ...


7

I am drawing assumptions on your PO's agenda, based on my experience of other PO meetings, and discussing a stakeholder's objections on spend would not be consistent with that agenda. The PO, or you, or another leader of the team, should acknowledge the issue, validate the issue, and then table it with a promise of an immediate meeting to discuss further. ...


7

TL;DR I was thinking at the back of my mind to either: defend the PO and budget defend the team, since they were kept busy delivering items from the backlog Bring focus to the meeting by telling POs to keep focus on delivering high value items in the following sprints The correct answer is "none of the above." Your goal as Scrum Master isn'...


6

there are no stakeholders If there were no stakeholders, the projects wouldn't have existed or had money in the first place. Chances are, they are not properly identified, and this is where you have to start. It's not like the whole team should go search for random stakeholders. You can have a single person doing that, and, unsurprisingly, it better be a ...


6

Represent the Stakeholders to the Agile Team The primary role of a product owner is to represent the needs and desires of the stakeholder community to an agile delivery team: Provides timely information and decisions on requirements and priority Is an active participant in customer testing Facilitates requirements gathering Represent the Agile Team to the ...


6

The following is pulled from a few different sources (including my own experience as a solo freelancer with multiple clients); however, you mentioned Agile and Scrum - so my terminology will be similar. Shorter development efforts, with extended silence: What I found worked for me was to have, essentially, a one week sprint. On Monday, you meet the ...


6

Project Objectives are typically higher level than individual Stakeholder Requirements. They usually come first, created up-front in the Project Initiation phase before you've delved in to individual Stakeholder Requirements. Stakeholder Requirements are lower level and more specific that Project Objectives. They'll carefully define the needs of the various ...


5

Despite the fact that I agree with David that design by committee is sarcasm [and a real phenomenon, I agree with Michael Hogan too :-)], question is about examples (not about "design by committee" term). So, take a look at this article. There is a list of projects designed by committee in the "Case Studies" part: Design by Committee: The U.N. ...


5

Excellent question: To answer the question directly, yes, the developers can and should talk with the customer when possible. As you've pointed out though, the logistics of this can be difficult. Something that is rising in use, that directly addresses this, is the Product Owner Team (also known as the agile business team and the agile customer team). ...


5

As a Scrum Master I encourage team members to talk with the stakeholders. But I suggest they either do it in the presence of the Product Owner or brief the Product Owner as soon as possible after the conversation has finished. The Product Owner sees the big picture. What sounds like a perfectly reasonable request to a developer might actually be a bad idea ...


5

Stakeholders are anyone who has a stake, role, share, etc. in the project. I am not sure the schools are stakeholders at all because based on the limited description of the application, you are targeting students, not schools. If you plan to partner with schools to help market or get proprietary university data, then they can become a stakeholder; however, ...


5

From Agile Manifesto - "Responding to change" over sticking to a plan. It is a good practice to respond to a change so that your product/project evolve in right direction. It will lead to client's satisfaction. But there are some precautions you can take. 1. Please start writing the requirements in the form of Stories (As a user<>.. etc) and also with ...


5

TL; DR Your underlying question appears to be whether the customer, rather than the Product Owner, should be allowed to prioritize the Product Backlog. You are also questioning whether label-based sorting is useful in any way. In short, only the Product Owner (PO) may prioritize the Product Backlog, although s/he is expected to do so with the support and ...


4

TL;DR Your process may be missing some intermediate queues in your work-flow, making estimates harder than they need to be. You may also need to work more closely with your stakeholders to decompose epics in order to provide meaningful estimates. And finally, you may need to provide your team and organization with more education about how estimates are ...


4

There is a difference between an estimate and planning value. An estimate is a probabilistic range and should include variables such as less qualified resources doing the work plus about 1,000 other aleatory and epistemic variables. Therefore, the proper estimate should have been 70 to 200+ hours. In this range, you need to chose the planning value, say ...


4

As an Information Security Architect, I am with you on the idea of anti-story, and I would counter Daniel and request that they do become permanent record. In Archimate, you can model risk as events, then design security measures to counter them. The same approach could work well for user stories. This is similar to Daniels last approach, but retains the ...


4

Summary You must leverage your framework more effectively. This includes pulling your stakeholders into Backlog Refinement and explaining the iterative/incremental nature of the project's delivery framework. You also need to increase the level of collaboration with the CEO. Being dismissive or using emotion-laden statements like "he moans all the time" are ...


4

I'm a big fan of a continuous feedback loop rather than making it stick to a schedule. My suggestion would be to: Deploy frequently to your staging environment (whenever you have a stable build). Inform your stakeholders of anything new and significant in the staging environment (perhaps with a newsletter or updated wiki page). Accept feedback at any time (...


4

It seems a little surprising that one of the answers hasn't covered this, but: do you hold a review meeting at the end of the iteration? Scrum and XP both include this meeting to address the challenge you raise. This meeting gets all of the stakeholders there using your app and giving feedback at one time and place before your next sprint. It also gives the ...


4

If you are following pure Scrum then Sprint Review can help you. Only sprint review is the event of Scrum when Increment (developed software/feature) is ready for stakeholder review and stakeholders are allowed in this meeting. Sprint Review: A Sprint Review is held at the end of the Sprint to inspect the Increment and adapt the Product Backlog if needed. ...


3

TL; DR [I]n a situation where the consulting firm or agency has multiple clients, is the Client the same as the Product Owner? No, they are fundamentally different roles. While the Product Owner may come from the client, the Product Owner is a specific one-person role within the Scrum framework. The client is a stakeholder (a "chicken"), while the ...


3

Find your sponsor (VP of XXX??) and his business case (Save X by Y by doing Z) and have him drive it. Give them carrots for helping, but use the stick of your sponsor if you need. There's a limit to your power as an external, but be reliable and utilize whoever hired you.


3

I think most "register" artifacts lend themselves to spreadsheets. Simple. Organized. Sortable.


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