PRINCE2 Agile 2016
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4.2 Subsequent delivery stages

The project board delegates day-to-day control to the project manager on a stage-by-stage basis. The project manager needs to assign work to be done, ensure that the outputs of such work (products) meet relevant specifications, and gain suitable approval where appropriate. The project manager also needs to ensure that progress is in line with the approved plan and that the forecasts for the project’s performance targets are within agreed tolerances. The project manager ensures that a set of project records (daily log, lessons log, issue register, risk register, quality register and configuration item records) are maintained to assist with progress control. The project manager informs the project board of progress through regular highlight reports. The activities to control each stage are covered by the Controlling a Stage process.

In the Managing Product Delivery process, the team manager(s) or team members execute assigned work packages (that will deliver one or more products) and keep the project manager appraised of progress via checkpoint reports.

4.2.1 How subsequent delivery stages would typically look when using agile

4.2.1.1 Plan, monitor and control

  • Work assignment throughout the stage is carried out collaboratively and in conjunction with the customer in order to address the customer’s needs. This is likely to take the form of the delivery teams collectively selecting their own work (and collaboratively creating customer-focused work packages) as part of the agile concept of self-organization. The focus would be to work iteratively and deliver incrementally.
  • High levels of trust and transparency mean that work packages are defined informally even though they represent a vital component when using PRINCE2 with agile.
  • Self-organizing teams are responding rapidly to change, although this will be within well-understood boundaries in order to ensure the accuracy of the products being delivered.
  • Progress is being measured by work completed and is visualized on a burn chart.
  • Progress is supported by the use of reviews and demonstrations (‘demos’) by the project management team and the delivery teams in association with the customer.
  • Tracking of time and cost still takes place but it is less prominent than the tracking of features and/or work completed. This is because time and cost are more predictable due to working with fixed timescales and stable teams.
  • Scope and quality criteria are the primary focus of any tolerances used.

Definition: Burn chart

A technique for showing progress (e.g. such as with a timebox) where work that is completed and work still to be done are shown with one or more lines: this is updated regularly/daily.

4.2.1.2 Behaviour

During Managing a Stage Boundary the key baseline information that needs to be updated focuses on what has been delivered, the benefits realized and the level of change taking place.

4.2.1.3 Process

If an exception arises it is most likely to have occurred due to the amount being delivered being forecast to go outside the agreed tolerance level, as opposed to other aspects being forecast to exceed tolerance, such as time and cost.

4.2.1.4 Products

  • Quality tolerances in product descriptions are written in such a way as to allow for change without compromising the product’s purpose (e.g. there are levels of tolerance that can be prioritized).
  • There is less formality for logs at both the project management and delivery levels (particularly the latter) – a risk log may exist on a whiteboard, or an issue could be shown as a sticky note on a Kanban board.

Definition: Kanban board

A tool used in Kanban to visually display the work in the system (or timebox). It is usually made up of a series of columns and possibly rows where work items move from left to right as they move through various states in order to be completed.

  • Highlight reporting is low-tech and primarily focuses on how much is being delivered – this could take the form of an information radiator where information is pulled by the project board without the need for the project manager to report at an agreed frequency.
  • Checkpoint reports are likely to be informal and appear on an information radiator where information is pulled – or they could be replaced altogether by stand-up meetings if the delivery teams were happy for the project manager to be in attendance.

Definition: Stand-up meeting

A short meeting to assess progress. Typically lasting 15 minutes or less, they involve describing work that has been done, work still to be done and any problems being encountered.

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