May 4th, 2015 by Mogens Villadsen

Kickstart your new agile project using these 4 simple steps.

It will ensure alignment between stakeholders and project team at kickoff and help establish a foundation for an agile team working in an environment with open and honest communication.

Step 1: Preparation

Help stakeholders state their expectations for the project and team

Expectations from the stakeholders should be:

  • Positive
  • Aligned amongst stakeholders
  • Complete
  • Empowering

Strive for simple and positive statements that address expectations to deliveries, mandate for the team, the team attitude and collaboration with other parties.

Iterate until all stakeholders are aligned and committed to the expectations stated.

Step 2: Kick off meeting

Share stakeholder expectations with the project team

One of the stakeholders presents the expectations to the team. Allow ample room for questions and comments.

If this leads to confusion about the expectations, stop and revisit step 1.

The team coach or one of the team members makes sure expectations are noted for future reference.

When all team members have understood and acknowledged the expectations, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Team building

Let the team meet and share

Do team building exercises.
Struggling to light fires in the rain and building bridges in your underwear: no. Figuring out how to work together in the workplace on workthings: yes.

It is important to share knowledge about competences and skills within the team in this step. Align expectations to relations, roles and working agreements within the team.

Use activities like Market of skills, Ability Spotting and other team coaching techniques based on systemic practice and appreciative inquiry.

Step 4: Team to action

Find team values and working agreements on how to meet the expectations

At this stage the team knows what is expected of them. The team members know each other and understand how they can support each other. Now it is time for the team to state how they envision to meet the expectations from the stakeholders.

Refer to the expectations stated in step 2. Explore past positive experiences in the team and help the team state a vision for their shared future, as they would like it to be when they meet the expectations. Let them use that vision to decide on actions, rules of engagement, working processes and so on.

  • Explore past positive experiences
  • State a shared vision
  • Decide on actions
  • Agree on ROE (Rules of engagement)
  • Define process

Aim for the simple and operational. Build in reflection and feedback loops.

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