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Agile Project Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated: Dec 7, 2022


Agile Project Management FAQs

FAQ

Explanation

Additional References

What is DoR and DoD?

The Definition of Done (DoD) applies to all user stories being developed by the team. In contrast, Acceptance Criteria are specified per User Story in accordance with the Definition of Ready (DoR). DoR, Acceptance Criteria and DoD together ensure that quality is built-in.


Please refer the detailed blog on DoR and DoD.

Why is prioritization important?

Prioritization in Agile is the act of deciding in what order the agile team will work on the requirements of a project. Prioritization is the most important part of Scrum, and without it, the team would fail to deliver value to the customer as they would not pick the high-value PBIs in sprints. Priorities are decided by the PO taking into account various factors like the organization’s north star metrics, user needs, engineering feasibility, business sense etc., and the team is expected to deliver as per set priorities.

Why is it beneficial to work on a single card at a time rather than moving the cards in batches?

It reduces the wait times in between the teams, t helps to focus on one work item at a time. It helps to minimize context switching. It helps to deliver may be few done features by end of sprint but better than many partially completed features. In our context, at a program level its means moving one high level feature from To Do to Done as a whole team, and at a team level implies moving one Jira card at a time from To Do to done rather than moving cards in groups from dev to QA or QA to sign off.

How to handle mid sprint changes?

At the start of sprint, we need to freeze the sprint backlog (sprint scope) with the highest priority items from the product backlog. However, there can be instances where requirements come mid sprint, which fist need to be discussed for scope, estimation, priority and moved to the backlog as the default step. In case its of high priority, team can take up the work in the ongoing sprint and descope a similar amount of story points out of the sprint. This is a standard practice and holds good in most situations.

What is the ideal capacity to start a sprint?

Before starting a sprint, the primary benchmark is the teams past velocity (velocity based planning) augmented by available capacity (team members availability, non development activities, team member changes etc.)

Why Story Points instead of hours?

Story points estimation is simpler and takes less effort than estimating in hours. They are part for relative estimation techniques which gives more realistic numbers than absolute estimation techniques, especially in agile projects, where requirements continuously change. Story points are based on relativity and the relativity is same for a new engineer and also most experienced engineer. Hours do not deliver value while even a 1 SP delivers some value as the story point estimation ideally includes complete dev, test and sign off.

Why the story points between teams should not be compared?

SPs are derived from the base estimate for a team. As an example a 1 SP for a dev team may be ~ 3 hours to delivery the smallest feature while a 1 SP for an enabler team can be 8 hours to deliver the smallest infra setup. Each team will have these base stories for 1, 5, 8, etc for future estimations and its their own agreed reference for that particular team. Hence we do not compare velocities and story points across teams.

Note: In some occasions the base reference is mandated to be common in scaled agile frameworks, that's a totally different setting.

What are the benefits of using Agile?

There are many benefits of using Agile methodology, including improved communication, increased collaboration, and faster delivery times. Additionally, because Agile is flexible and adaptable, it can help organizations more effectively manage risk and change.

How do I get started with Agile?

If you're interested in learning more about how to implement Agile methods in your own organization, there are a few resources that we recommend checking out. The Scrum Guide is a great place to start, as it provides a detailed overview of the most commonly used Agile methodology. Alternatively, if you're looking for something more visual, you could check out the PMI's agile practice guide, which provides a step-by-step framework for implementing Scrum. Finally, if you want to learn from the experts, we recommend attending an agile certification course offered by a reputable provider such as PMI or Scrum Alliance.

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​Why is Agile so popular?

There are many reasons why Agile has become so popular in recent years. One reason is that it helps teams to better handle unexpected changes or scope creep (when the scope of a project begins to expand beyond its original boundaries). Additionally, because Agile encourages frequent check-ins and feedback loops between team members, it helps to prevent projects from going off the rails. And finally, because Agile places an emphasis on delivering working software early and often, it helps to ensure that stakeholders remain happy with the direction of the project.

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What is a spike in Agile?

​In Extreme Programming (XP), spikes are originally defined. They include study, design, investigation, exploration, and prototype development. Their objective is to acquire the knowledge essential to lower the risk of a technological approach, better comprehend a demand, or improve the accuracy of a story estimate.


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