Levent Gurses has an article, 10 Mistakes in Transitioning to Agile, in the Dec 2006 Dr. Dobbs Journal. He writes about the most common mistakes that companies make when transitioning from “legacy development methodologies” to agile ones. In this series of short articles for the winter holidays, we’re looking at each of the ten mistakes he identified. Enjoy the light reading, and don’t think too much about work.
Mistake 6: Do Not Create a Project Plan Before the First Two Iterations
After doing the ‘prep work’ for the project, you are ready to begin. When “the boss” asks for a project plan, tell him to wait 6 weeks.
One of the biggest weaknesses of agile approaches is that it is difficult to plan and communicate the “ultimate results” or when they will be achieved. Agile approaches rely on their ability to react to change, and save time by not asking questions until the answers are immediately useful. Don’t exacerbate the challenge of setting external expectations by waiting as late as possible. Remember, this is a big change for the current organization – a little upfront forecasting and planning will pave the way for organizational change.