For decades selling and contracting projects was quite clear for all parties. One side wanted to have what they asked for inside a specific budget while the other side tried to make sure they were reaching a certain amount of margin.
The project triangle between Scope, Time and Money was pretty clear and most of the negotiation was focused on Time and Money while the scope was non negotiable. You were receiving a RFP (Request For Proposal) and you were simply replying with Time & Money numbers. Sometimes only with one number : money.
With agile projects this triangle is getting horizontally flipped and now the scope is the center of attention. We still have Time and Money because you still need to manage a budget somewhere. But the good news in this new equation is that you can now introduce the concepts of quality and business value in the triangle. Quality by delivering what you can do with a certain level of quality in the time you have. Value by having to choose between features and thus deciding on what is really necessary for your business.
So as you can see by simply changing our approach and point of view on this triangle we introduced a new paradigm. This is called Agility. No more, no less.
Now if we look at Scrum we see how we tick every checkbox of this triangle:
- Time : an iteration of less than a month called a Sprint.
- Money : a product owner who manages the budget by selecting and ordering what is necessary to build the product in the most efficient way with the help of a self organized dev team.
- Scope : by gathering needs from users, stakeholders and taking feedback the product owner have all she needs to take decisions on what to put in the product backlog and how to order it.
Next time we’ll see how the product owner can steer the Product Backlog with specific engineering practices.