agile > chapter 2 launch and planning > 20 change management

Change management

Every time we pivot the direction of the project, we have to ensure that the new requirement adds more business value than the work that we have completed to fulfill a conflicting requirement. Remember we determine the value of a requirement based on the client's opinion not on the opinions of the work team.

If the client decides that accepting online payments would be better than cash on delivery then the team must work to fulfill that request. Work might have been wasted on a cash on delivery feature but the customer ultimately gains value from the online payments so that aspect is non-negotiable.

The cost of making changes

In the traditional approach to project management, it takes a lot of resources and time in order to pivot the project because the requirements are not expected to change. In agile management, we use systems and tools that helps us embrace change instead of avoiding it or controlling the amount of loss that change in requirements might incur.

In agile, we quickly decide on the priority level of a change and add it to the requirements stack. This information is then integrated into the project roadmap. If we have to exclude another requirement because it now falls lower down the requirements stack then we do so and prioritize finishing the other requirements. The time and cost for the project are not affected because we simply replace one less important requirement with one which delivers more business value.

Cycle time

This refers to the duration of a task, incident or requirement. The agile approach focuses on minimizing the cycle times for tasks, incidents and requirements. This means that we focuses on getting new information about the project (what makes the product/system valuable) and make changes based on this new information as often as possible. Too many projects suffer because the work team works and works without caring about the changes in the amount of business value that the customer gains.