Managing Projects with Agile: What Your Customer Needs to Know
Today Agile is undoubtedly the most popular methodology for managing and delivering projects. In simple terms, Agile is an approach to software delivery with the ability to build software incrementally along with visualising the progress. However, as we get deeper, the concept of Agile gets more complex and can be really hard to understand, especially for the customer.
It’s important to remember that the customer is not just the person who pays for the work. It’s the end user of the project deliverable who establishes requirements and project planning, evaluates the deliverable, introduces changes and approves the quality of the final product.
Good customer relationships are the key to success. The customer and developers should work as a team, and the more active and collaborative your client is, the better the final result will be.
Make sure your customer is prepared and familiar with the following project roles:
- Product Owner: the key stakeholder with the vision of what he/she wants to build. This vision is then conveyed to the development team.
- Technology Owner: the key person who owns the technology platform and ensures that all technological choices and decisions meet business needs.
- Program Owner: the key person who manages priorities and conflicts within the team.
- Infrastructure Owner: the key person who ensures the availability and scalability of the infrastructure.
1. The Product Owner is the most critical role as this person provides the product vision, manages release priority and finalises MVP.
- Provides requirements for the product
- Decides on release timelines and prioritises release requirements
- Tests and provides feedback for the product
2. The Technology owner is responsible for the key architectural decisions, technical implementation and future scalability of the product.
3. The Program Owner is responsible for timelines and managing risks and other project issues.
The roles of Technology owner and Program owner can be outsourced or played by the team member who has a solid understanding of the project and is able to focus on timelines and make decisions to avoid project delays.
4. The Infrastructure Owner plays the critical role when moving from development to production as the IO manages the infrastructure needs for the product. This role can either be merged with the technology owner or can be outsourced.
Make sure that your project team is staffed correctly and includes the Product, Technology, Program and Infrastructure owners with the Product Owner being the most important piece. Always remember that every project needs the commitment from all stakeholders, and their understanding of project roles and responsibilities is critical to success.