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Lifecycle   »   DELIVER Release   »   Shipment planning


Short shipment stages are more accurate to measure and to demonstrate progress allowing you to show regularly that your project is on target to deliver. An important metric is the provision of working solutions and we demonstrate working solutions in each shipment.

Also we derive agreement by satisfying user requirements and, by concentrating on priority user requirements, we derive that agreement during each shipment. We remember that, if the shipment is to be presented to an external group or party, we will have distinct and separate activity prior to the shipment to coordinate the handover. Training is minimised as we involve end users as team members throughout the project they become mentors to the rest of the team, once the final shipment is handed over.

As your projects develop and as your experience in agile delivery expands, you will seek to reduce the length of time taken to deliver shipments. They will become less bureaucratic and less wasteful. It is good practice to gradually challenge the estimate for each shipment from each project as they are presented, gradually turning the efficiencies screw.

Get your teams to ignore what day it is and, where a shipment has two weeks duration, tell the team to say start this on a Wednesday and deliver the shipment on a Tuesday. It gets away from the Friday syndrome whereby productivity is slow from Monday to Thursday and increases to fever pitch by Friday afternoon reaching a crescendo by home time.

For each shipment, deliver something useful and of value that can be tested or validated. Pick a date for your shipment and stick firmly to that date, do not waiver. Plan to have small tight timeboxes from the start date to the end date to concentrate delivery focus.

Also, consider adding a short timebox of 1 or 2 days just before the shipment date for the purposes of stabilising the development prior to shipment. SCRUM calls these stabilising sprints and they are used to perform final component and integration testing prior to release. You will find that as your development team improve their development practices you will need less and less stabilising time boxes. Gradually, the development team will incorporate shipment stabilising best practices automatically whenever performing developments and code adjustments. Gradually you are creating a high performance team.

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