How to move a slow project to Agile?


You are running a project that is not going well, progress is not as planned, confidence on meeting a deadline is low, what you are currently doing is not working and you need to get something out of the door fast.

You have read about agile and understand the benefits of this way of delivering, but you are already in the middle of the project and do not know how to transition your slow motion project into an agile one.

Project Management

How to transition a slow motion project into agile?

1) You need to make sure everyone is on the same page

  • Why you are there
  • What you are trying to accomplish
  • Who’s the customer
  • What big rocks you need to move
  • Who’s calling the shots

If there is any doubt about these, ask the tough questions and get some alignment.

2) You need to start delivering

If you have to ship something fast, throw out the current plan, and create a new one you can believe in. Just as if you are creating a new agile plan from scratch, create a to-do list, size things up, set some priorities and deliver the minimal amount of functionality to get something out the door.

If you need to show progress but have to work within the confines of your original plan, start delivering something of value every week.

Take one or two valuable features each week and just do them completely. Once you have shown you can deliver (and regained an element of trust), slowly rework the plan and define a release based on your now measured team velocity and how much work there is remaining.

Then simply keep delivering until you have something you can ship. Update the plan as you go, execute fiercely, and use the sense of urgency you have been giving to blow through anything standing in your way.

2 thoughts on “How to move a slow project to Agile?

  1. PM Hut (@pmhut) November 5, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    Hi Carlose,

    One of the main reasons of having a slow moving project is the lack of executive support/interest. I don’t think you can get this resolved by moving to Agile. The move to Agile might resolve some technical issues by introducing some best practices, but that’s about it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Carlose Lopez November 5, 2014 / 9:01 pm

    PM Hut (@pmhut), I totally agree with you, executive sponsorship is essential for the success of any project.

    Agile methodology do help to get the ball rolling, but if there is no support, we need to understand the reasons for it, e.g. lack of engagement, no strategic alignment, not perceived value, etc. and act accordingly to solve the issue or close down the project, free up resources and move on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s