How to Handle Agile Project Requests
Strategies to handle a lot of requests will vary from project to another. It is important to first understand what methodology is being used for the project. An agile project relies on short feedback loops from stakeholders and thrives with a healthy backlog. Waterfall focuses on a timeline, requirements and the effects of a change to the overall project. For this purpose, we will discuss agile.
The initial scope is determined at the beginning of a project and as the team navigates through their work cycles stakeholders find as the project progresses tweaks to requirements will enhance their experience or new features that were not thought of originally are now needed.
Encourage stakeholders to keep a dialogue with the Project Manager. Add new ideas to the backlog while constantly refining the priority of these items. It is not uncommon for the top 10-15 items in the backlog to be in constant flux. Depending on the amount of change that is occurring in the project a meeting every week or every two weeks is recommended where the Project Manager and the stakeholders review the priority and determine any changes in the order of the backlog list.
As items are added to the backlog ensure all requirements are gathered and fully understood prior to adding to a work cycle. Depending on how many items are being added a requirement gathering meeting every week or every other week is key to bringing everyone together to review requirements for an item. As the project matures the frequency of these meetings will diminish. In the requirements meeting it is very easy to become distracted and it is helpful to follow the format as described.
Have an agenda
Allows the meeting organizer to keep the meeting on track. For any items brought up during the meeting that are not on the agenda place them in a side bar list or parking lot to be addressed at the end of the meeting (time permitting). New items identified that are not in the agenda are added to the backlog and prioritized in the next prioritization meeting.
Send a recap to all attendees in the meeting
A recap sent to all attendee’s details everything discussed and provides stakeholders the opportunity to confirm requirements discussed
Keeping the project backlog prioritized and stakeholders engaged in requirements sessions will help ensure when a lot of requests are being submitted they are properly groomed and in the correct order according to the project needs.