Seeing the Big (Scrum) Picture with Portfolio Kanban

All of your teams have captured their backlog and are running their Sprints (Scrum) or continuous-flow (Kanban) process. Great! There is only one problem. How can management see at a glance what is going on in each effort? • How do we know if each effort is “on track,” stuck, or in trouble? • How do we know when we have capacity to take on new initiatives? • If a new high priority/urgent initiative must be undertaken, how can we quickly analyze resources and schedules for what is happening currently, so we can do an impact analysis? • How can we avoid getting bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of user stories, story points, and bugs and quickly identify important blockers, major risks, or emerging trends that could have ripple effects across projects? Through a case study involving a $1B municipal government agency, we will describe the process of configuring a set of tools to feed a one-page dashboard displaying current and proposed initiatives – enabling management decision-making. Although we will mention the specific tools used, the lessons learned may be applied to other similar toolchains. We analyze both the technical work involved, as well as the important process and cultural changes we had to make in order for this to happen. All changes automatically roll up from the team level to the portfolio level, so that progress, blockages, and risks are always visible. Senior management can drill down to get details if needed. Perhaps “Agile PMO” is not an oxymoron, after all.

Track 2: Agile Lean Transformations