Sprint 0 (or iteration 0) checklist … simple but not always easy

I am currently trapped in the real world … working on a real project rather than running a training course on how to run projects.

Interestingly it turns out the real world is harder and more ambiguous than the projects in my training slides 😦

Having said that though, the fundamentals don’t seem to change. We have stopped a project and are about to restart. It is really urgent and we have inherited a project whose budget (in time and money) has already been spent. So we really need to get going.

But are we better off starting or are we better off getting our act together before we start so we are not “mistaking activity for progress” by rushing off in the wrong direction?

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Why so long between articles baby?

Its been a while since I have published anything so this blog is starting to look more like an archive of my old ideas rather than a regular window into my musings and ideas.

But there is an explanation – My most recent project has been consuming more of my attention than expected.

Project New Baby (Or since we normally use acronyms in IT – “PNB”) involved the development and delivery of the next generation of peopleware for the King household (ie a baby).

Since the project was run by my wife, who is an exceptional project manager, the project delivered earlier than promised, which sounds good.

But there is a thing called project Karma that came into play on the delivery date. I have delivered a lot of IT projects in my time and have sometimes been guilty of saying “We can do that in warranty support” when I encounter things that could delay delivery of my project. I have even managed to deliver a project early by shifting some of the work into the forthcoming production releases.

The down side of deferring things to warranty support meant that the issues left behind were dealt with by a shocked looking and under-prepared production support team.

Beyond the short term impact though, the theory of project karma states that the luck you have on your future projects will be impacted by the good and not so good things you have inflicted on others in your previous projects.

So it should come as no surprise that although my wife delivered PNB earlier than expected, the warranty support team of two (my wife and I) found themselves under-resourced and poorly trained to support the new baby in production.

Consequently, I have been in a state of perpetual chaos for the last month or so, dragged away from other endeavours to support the new release.

On the plus side though, PNB has exceeded stakeholder expectations in customer satisfaction and other key indicators.