Friday, November 29, 2013

Try this Agile Move in Your Waterfall Strategy

Even if your organization isn’t quite ready to go “all in” with Agile, you can take a page out of the Agile playbook to leverage a Product Owner (PO) and capitalize on the strength this position brings. A PO develops and communicates the Product Vision throughout the project, acting as a sponsor and champion for the product itself, to ensure consistency and visibility across the project team during development. Whether your organization is Agile or Waterfall, you can use this vital role to provide leadership to the development team, and extend the return on investment (ROI) of your software development projects. Organizations that leave a PO role unfulfilled are missing an enormous opportunity to reduce time to delivery and optimize efficiencies in the software development life-cycle (SDLC).

Take a leap with Agile Product Owners.

At Cohesion, we like to tackle issues like this by first, shoring up the gap. Cohesion Business Analysts, with their unique knowledge and experience functioning as a liaison within an organization, are good candidates to leverage as Product Owners in the short-term. Our team is rooted in the experience and deep-level technical understanding that Product Ownership requires. We then provide the necessary support to clients who wish to coach and mentor candidates from within the business to groom them into the role. Optimally, this role is filled immediately by the business, but it is very common for organizations to be ill equipped to successfully find the right person. Skill gaps, resource availability, and lack of funding can all contribute to a challenge securing an effective Product Owner who can demonstrate the right level of confidence when driving a software project to completion.

Here's a quick diagnostic that can help you identify if your current project could benefit from a Product Owner. If you answer yes to these questions, you can bet on a positive impact to your project with the addition of a Product Owner who will be managing your Product Vision.

  • Are system users being asked for input on enhancements to the systems they use?
  • Are planned features and enhancements being changed or appearing and then disappearing from development plans?
  • Is the development team running into contingency issues, where a requested feature cannot be implemented due to a dependency on another feature?
  • Is there a development roadmap for all live applications in your environment?
  • Is there a product backlog or enhancement wish list for all applications in your environment?

Cohesion supports companies who want to make this transition happen, and we can provide the leadership needed to cultivate the talent for long-term success. Let us know if we can help you. We are wired to focus on the result you want to accomplish and it's our passion to help you get there.

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