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Project Charter and its usefulness in Agile

     -     May 27th, 2016   -     Articles, Project Management   -     0 Comments

So how many of us know Project Charter?

Most Project managers will say they do.  Most developers will say that they don’t.  I didn’t till one has to look deeper into this in one of Agile project.

Lets us discuss the technical aspect and then discuss how I used it in my daily life.

Definition of Project Charter from PMBOK®

“ A formal document that authorizes the project into existence and allows the project manager to use organization resource to project activities”

What is Project Charter?

This is most important document that will allow us to  help identify the scope, budget , resources, technology, and most importantly the objective of the project.  It provides authorization from sponsor for the project to commence. 

Agile Charters

Agile project charter maybe very lightweight, like a single sheet as, Agile wants to minimize the documentation.  Agile Charter usually just define the goal of the project at high level, the 5 “Why” & H of the project (Who, What Where, When, Why and How) and the authorization for the project.

It is flexible document that will allow the team to respond to changes as well as delivery high quality product quickly for the organization

 

Developing a Agile Charter

All you need to do for this is answer the below 6 question and write an elevator statement and back it up with a Business Case.

Let’s see an example from tourism industry about a company manager who wants a BI solution :

  1. Who will be engaged? My team, IT development team and senior management( project participants and stakeholders)
  2. What is project about? It a portal with specific access to authorized people to see how they are doing and what can be done to further the business(high level description of the project vision, mission, goals and objectives)
  3. Where will it occur? At head office ( place it will be implemented, may have deployment details for IT project)
  4. When will start and end? 2 months so from 1June to 1 August 2016.
  5. Why is it undertaken? Business is not always moving in right direction and we have failed to read the market trend correctly in last 6 months (Business case gist/ Business rational of the project)
  6. How will it be undertaken? Using Lean and Kanban ( could be any approach that organization takes in development aspect)

 

Elevator statement : For the Sale team and higher management who want to capitalize on market growth the “Sale portal” is a portal to go to , that would help identify the market trends and give detail analysis of the market situation, unlike the current “ gut “ feeling we use to run the business currently.

Agile Charters in real life !

In real life in my BI industry I was finding it difficult to find a space to for this document apart for authorization for a project and general business objective.

Then I re-looked at it from a different perspective.   Can I look at the charter and define the final solution I need? Yes came the answer.  I can use Charter for the following things in Agile: 

  1. Define my final product
  2. Define the final objective of product/project
  3. Limit my requirements to expand beyond scope
  4. Help build only something that will be useful to business and
  5. Avoid unnecessary development
  6. Good way to understand user mentality and how he is going to use what I develop

 

So I have concluded that Agile Charter are important part of my Agile development and should be used more often and not just ignored.


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