Friday, November 18, 2016

Topic Title: Managing Sales & Portfolio with Agile Delivery
Initiator: Anitra Pavka (@apavka)
Notetaker: Kim Solomon (@ksolomon)
Participants: Shannon Hausey, Ken Nordquist, Stephanie Allen, Timothy Brockman, Dan Gowley

Discussion / Key Concepts / Quotes / Revelations / Highlights:
  • Important to have foresight to look ahead and see what's coming up
  • What did sales promise vs. capacity vs. client flexibility in order to determine priority on Kanban board
    • Weigh these 3 components and look at all holistically
    • If you look at each individual thing, you won't maximize throughput i.e. if you increase capacity by simply hiring more people, what will end up happening is sales will just increase the projects
    • Assess team to determine what can be done to increase throughput
  • Not only must the delivery be agile but also the sales process. Each "aspect" owns their own Kanban board
Recommendations / Next Steps / Actions:
  • Tools Recommended: JIRA Portfolio, Trello, VSTS
  • Incorporate an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) to keep things from staying in hold status
    • This also helps set expectation about when the product can be delivered and forces client to prioritize features
    • Make a delivery commitment on the MVP first but not a specific date, only x amount of months post signature
    • Announce to other clients once someone has signed to set expectations that their delivery date may have been impacted
  • Read Mythical Man Month
  • Incorporate a WIP limit on certain columns i.e. In Progress, On Hold.
    • Consider limiting not just the quantity of items but also the size
  • Use Kanban board to identify and analyze key metrics for business decisions
  • Helpful Kanban Columns: Proposals, Decision Pending, Sold!, Ready, In Progress (broken down into more columns at the team level), Hold (do root cause analysis here if project comes to standstill), Done, Removed (root cause analysis)
  • Incorporate a "Deal Desk" or "Council" during the pre-sales phase where a lead developer must accompany sales agents and the project stakeholders to discuss project, determine key features for the MVP and future iterations, as well as provide estimations and build out the Epics

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