Agile…for non-software development

on Jun 4, 09 • by Todd Landry • with 2 Comments

Ever had to work on a “special” project and really didn’t know where to start? A team I worked with was faced with this not too long ago…we had to put together a complete business plan for our products. This complete business plan included understanding everything about your business, and I mean...

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Ever had to work on a “special” project and really didn’t know where to start? A team I worked with was faced with this not too long ago…we had to put together a complete business plan for our products. This complete business plan included understanding everything about your business, and I mean everything…average deal size, average discount per deal, regional breakdown of deals, deals with multiple products included, SWOT, positioning, and so on. There was a ton of information we needed to pull together in a relatively short time, and we really didn’t know the best approach to take to address this. Having been working on a scrum team for about 8 months, I suggested we try to tackle this using some of the principles of scrum. So we proceeded to break down the effort into a series of tasks, and then prioritized these tasks, thus creating our backlog. Tasks would be assigned, and daily meetings were then used to report our progress on them. If a new task popped up, which usually happened, we added that to our prioritized backlog, and continued on. Everyone on the team knew exactly what had been completed, what was being worked on, and what was still outstanding.

There are probably a number of other approaches you could take to deal with this type of project, but I thought applying some Agile principles worked out very well. Anyone have any other applications of Agile, not related to software development they can share?

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2 Responses to Agile…for non-software development

  1. You can definitely see your expertise in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  2. I think that an Agile/Scrum approach works well for preparation of these kinds of documents. I’ve certainly used a similar approach in the production of research grant application documents where there is a great deal of importance needs to be attached to getting all of the supporting documentation included, as well as the central documents that express the research idea.

    I’ve also discussed the possible use of Agile approaches with civil service trainers. A key concept here would be the Scrum concept of “How do you know when you’re done.” It’s apparently very common for policy documents to never get finished, when what is really needed is *something* perhaps as a result of one or two iterations.

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