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Being Agile with BPC – Trust the Process

Rhys Blyth Thursday, April 26, 2018 Blog

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

Peter F. Drucker

I assume you’re familiar with Agile and Waterfall. Therefore, this article will focus on the key activities I perform to satisfy requirements and expectations of a board. As one of my good friends and IPMA trainer said: “PMBOK is just a set of recommendations, not rules, and any project manager has to be flexible enough to adjust the methodology to respond to the challenges of a project”. The same relates to Agile and any other approach. I have not been blindly using Agile but rather used activities that worked and produced tangible outcomes.

There were activities that worked and did not work. All the activities listed below have allowed me to be in sync with both the business and team, and understand if we were moving in the right direction, delivering what was required and important to the business. Activities were performed by the team on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Daily activities

“Stand up” meeting for personal daily planning

Check the status of tasks’ completion, reporting on any issues. Define the need in meetings and request for information.

Updating and checking the status and priorities of tasks in the project journal or backlog

Performed within an implementation team only. Set the daily priorities for the team after checking the status of tasks. This activity is executed as a part and result of a daily “stand up” meeting. I use MS Excel as a project journal/backlog.

Synchronization of developments and configurations

Encourage the team to communicate on any issues they could have, when synchronizing codes they write (i.e. VBA, ABAP, Script Logic) and configurations they perform. There is no formal process, and if a consultant could have any doubts on impact, make sure there are immediate statements about it. Have the group engage in a discussion on it, after completing a logical part of the assignment.

Weekly activities

Individual demonstrations of developed and configured functionality to business users

The results of weekly work is discussed and presented to business users and business owners of a particular process, on a weekly basis. If some functionality required additional time to be completed, the intermediate results were presented and discussed as well.

Feedback analysis and functionality adjustments

An important part of the process is the analysis of feedback, adjustment of the configured system, and changing of the logic when required. Effectively, the analysis process should occur during the presentation of functionality. So, in most of the cases, no further analysis is required. Estimations include time required for minor and simple adjustments. In case there is a complex requirement, transform it into a new task and add it into the project journal/backlog.

Definition of new requirements and scheduling meetings with process owners

As a part of weekly activities, have consultants work on new requirement analyses. Book time during the week for process owner meetings, when required.

Updating the project journal (backlog) and monthly project plan

Based on feedback analyses as well as priorities and new critical requirements, conducted a meeting with a team to adjust weekly priorities, communicate issues and estimate efforts required to complete weekly assignments. Also, keep a monthly project plan updated to track activity.

Monthly activities

New functionality release

The aim of a project is to complete the most critical modules of the system on a monthly basis, so that users are able to use a new functionality in the next planning cycle. Perform planning and forecasting every month. This dictates the timing for releases. All tested and accepted modules of the system should be included in a monthly release.

Planning the functionality for the next month release and prioritization

Together, with the process owner, review a plan for the month release and revise priorities.

Architecture review

Conduct monthly architecture reviews and for minor improvements and optimisations in design.

Project scope review

Revise the project scope on a monthly basis. With more users using the system and learning about its flexibility and options, the more requirements they generate. Keep on task!

Updating the project journal (backlog) and monthly project plan

As a result of monthly revisions, update the project journal with the relevant assignments.

Project board meeting and project status update

Present the project status and delivered results to the project board. The aim is to understand the strategically important directions, set up priorities, and discuss major constraints and issues.

If you haven’t already, check out parts one, two and three of Being Agile with BPC.

 Andrei Loginovskiy

Andrei is a passionate Certified SAP expert, IPMA project manager and experienced Team Lead with over 10 years of proven service delivery. One of Plaut’s resident SAP BPC specialists, Andrei also hold a degree in Finance and Master’s in Radiophysics and Computer Technologies. 

Click here to get in touch with Andrei.

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