Adaptive delivery is based on feedback loops, which in turn is dependent on the quality of communications. With poor communication, adaptation would be limited, and you can’t be Agile enough, even if you follow a right framework.
Communication Areas of Focus
To improve communication, two main areas should be covered:
- The content of communication: you shouldn’t be focused on communicating unproductive messages; e.g., lines of code or actual man-hours spent on the project instead of the useful information, which is the completed features.
- The presentation of the message: the way you transfer or present your message impacts the result. Simple ways of presenting that follow information visualization best practices are usually more effective. The use of pull communication (e.g., Information Radiators) and keeping them informal are common practices in Agile systems.
Improving the Communications
You should frequently asses the effectiveness of communications and plan for their improvement. This is usually done in Retrospective Meetings in Agile delivery systems, and should be done in PRINCE2’s end stage activities as well.
The planned improvements are usually reflected in the Communication Management Approach.
One of the Agile Principles is that face-to-face communications are the most effective ones. You should consider it in PRINCE2 Agile.
PRINCE2 Agile mentions some of the effective techniques that can be used to improve communications:
- Facilitated Workshops: they can replace many of the unproductive meetings. They should have a facilitator, be timeboxed, and have preparation and follow-ups. A good resource on this concept is the related chapter in the DSDM Atern Handbook.
- Daily Standups: short daily meetings, common in Agile methods, used to synchronize team members.
- Information Radiators: large physical boards used to show information.
- Review Meetings: meetings between the customer and supplier at the end of each iteration or release, to inspect the completed features and adapt.
- Retrospective Meetings: meetings at the end of each iteration or release for inspecting the work process and planning for improvements.
Written by Nader K. Rad
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