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  • Writer's picturePaul Gravina

Agile/Scrum Project Management-Change Control

When using agile/scrum frameworks for application development, change is a constant factor in your project and is welcomed. In these frameworks, you don’t want to prevent it or you will have a complete shutdown of the project. How well you control your product backlog and the prioritizing of items for your next sprint will dictate the success you'll have at the finish. Even though the business/stakeholders will be responsible for prioritizing the most urgent requirements your ability as a PM/ScrumMaster to be a success will start with a well-thought-out change control plan. What changes? Who controls them? How do you control them? Every sprint will have both minor and major changes and it is almost impossible to prepare for everything, but you can plan for the most likely ones that might arise. Below are a few “things to look out for” that might assist you in preparation before and while the project is underway. Change Control (things to look out for) 1. Scope. Product owners will always be revising requirements, what are the priority requirements for this sprint? Make sure the product owner is involved in all the stand-ups so if anyone changes the project's scope it is the product owner. 2. Cost. Keep an eye on your budget, by controlling your velocity you can control your cost. Convey this to the entire team, you sink or swim together. 3. Schedule. Before any change is made to the sprint the business/stakeholder must approve it to mitigate any deviations to the timeline. Time=Money 4. Quality. Quality affects the scope, risk, cost, schedule length. Use co-located/cross-functional teams, pair programming, and test-driven development (TDD) Quality of the end product are paramount. 5. Risk. Agile/Scrum is not averse to risk, it is ever-present and the framework thrives on rapid changes throughout the life-cycle. 6. Communication. Face-to-face communication throughout the team, especially the business/stakeholder/product owner, timely up to date and accuracy are hallmarks of the agile/scrum framework. 7. Team. Know your team's skillsets, peer program, assign QA to development teams, team members might come and go, so share the knowledge don’t make one member the end all be all. You might need to develop one or more of these processes in the form of templates, procedures, etc. As an agile/scrum team, the decision making is a combined effort, you all have a vested interest in a successful project and as the Agile Project Manager or ScrumMaster, you will need to facilitate and elevate any impediments that your team might encounter in the change control process during your development of the application.

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