I’ve always wanted to write a spy novel: a handsome spy hero, a gorgeous girl, a foreign location in the heart of an evil empire, enemies outwitted and defeated. But most of all — an attention grabbing, instantly captivating title. Unfortunately, this is not one of those posts. Maybe, when I cross into the myth-filled middle age, suffering a mid-life crisis, I’ll throw all caution to the wind, retreat to a secluded location and pen my critically acclaimed literary debut. Until then, back to the real world of project management and Agile.
The MoSCoW principle is a clever acronym that can help manage project scope and customer’s expectations. It stands for features that you
Could have and
Will not have (would be nice, but don’t count on it).
The MoSCow principle is the difference between a project focused on fulfilling a contract and a project focused on delivering business value.
In a contract-based project every requirement is a Must-have. There is no prioritization, no compromise. You might as well figure out the order in which you will tackle the contract’s objectives, build out your WBS and your Gantt chart, and get to it.
A business value oriented project is driven by the MoSCoW principle. (Or at least it should be.) Out of al the features and requirements of the project, generally 50 – 60% will fall into the Must-have category. Maybe another 20 – 25% will become the Should-have features. And the rest — you have to work with the client to figure out what they could get and what will either become phase 2 of the project, or will not be done at all.
Figuring it all out and setting these priorities is not a simple task. In fact, figuring out the last 15 – 20% of the could-haves and will-not-haves could be very painful and even politically charged, but… absolutely essential.
What could help in the process is to assign business value to each feature. By itself, every feature is important and carries a high business value. The true value of a particular feature can only be understood in comparison. When you look at what is essential for your project to generate revenue, deciding between the must-haves and the could-haves becomes a little bit easier.
Danze – Great customer service
Mon, Feb 11th 2013 8:10a Alex Kassabov One of the things I always like to write about is great customer service, those unexpected moments of absolute excellence that surprise you and tend to make you a customer for life. This time, the award for amazing customer service goes to Danze, a popular faucet maker.
Several years ago we remodeled the kitchen and bought a new Danze faucet, D455158. (A quick disclaimer: I did not pay the MSRP. You can get one for a lot less elsewhere.) It was new then and now, 5 years later, one little [read] Keywords:
What do you call a blog that’s updated once a year?
Thu, Feb 7th 2013 7:08a Alex Kassabov Answer…… AlexKassabov.com
A few days ago I was talking blogging with a coworker and a friend. We both lamented the difficulties of blogging, how hard it is to write good content, and how hard it is to make time to keep one’s blog regularly updated. And we both have let our blogs to stagnate lately. So then and there I vowed to resurrect my blog, to dust off my old friend, to start blogging again.
A few days went by. Then a whole weekend. And I still didn’t fin [read] Keywords: blogging
The MoSCoW principle
Thu, May 3rd 2012 9:12a Alex Kassabov I’ve always wanted to write a spy novel: a handsome spy hero, a gorgeous girl, a foreign location in the heart of an evil empire, enemies outwitted and defeated. But most of all — an attention grabbing, instantly captivating title. Unfortunately, this is not one of those posts. Maybe, when I cross into the myth-filled middle age, suffering a mid-life crisis, I’ll throw all caution to the wind, retreat to a secluded location and pen my critically acclaimed literary debut. [read] Keywords: facebook
Working on features with no value – frustrating
Fri, Apr 27th 2012 9:12a Alex Kassabov Few things on a project are as frustrating as being forced to work on a feature that adds no value to the immediate goal of releasing a product. When project managers who are new to product development confuse product ship date with the project deadline, you end up being forced to deliver features that will not be used for weeks or even months to come. Perhaps, not ever. That’s when you sit staring, with a twitch in your eye, at the most basic story. Those “I’d rather be ” [read] Keywords: development
Mr. Potato Head of Agile or How to fill a box
Wed, Apr 25th 2012 9:12a Alex Kassabov In the Downtown Disney Marketplace there’s a store called Once Upon a Toy. One of the areas inside of the store sells various loose Mr. Potato Head parts: Disney themed parts, Star War themed parts, Halloween parts — almost anything you can imagine. Some parts, like the eyeballs, are small. Other parts, like the arms, are larger. And yet others, like the hats and the shoes, are large. They sell parts by a box: pick up an empty cardboard box, fill it with whatever parts strike your fa [read] Keywords: facebook
eBooks are our faceless friends
Fri, Apr 20th 2012 9:12a Alex Kassabov I love my Kindle. I’ve read probably a hundred books on it and will definitely read many hundreds more. I love everything about it: the convenience factor, the screen, the storage space, the form factor — everything.
I’ve read about a hundred books, but, if it wasn’t for Shelfari, I probably wouldn’t remember reading half of them. Not what the book is about, but the very fact that I’ve read this book. If I were browsing library shelves and happened to pick up [read] Keywords: notes
Agile does not mean fast
Mon, Apr 16th 2012 9:11a Alex Kassabov When people think of Agile, what drives customers’ interest in Agile is thinking that Agile will enable them to get projects don’t faster and cheaper than the classic project management. But that is not always the case.
Agile is not synonymous with fast. The dictionary defines “agile” as “able to move quickly and easily”. An Agile team is one that can quickly and easily react to changes in project’s requirements and new ideas as the project takes shap [read] Keywords: facebook
I’m baaaack! On the road again
Mon, Mar 12th 2012 9:13a Alex Kassabov I’m baaack! On the road again.
I know it’s the wrong song, but it my head I sound like Aerosmith singing “Back in the Saddle”.
60 degrees in early March in Chicago, weekend — I’m riding! Get that bike out of the basement; dust off my helmet and the riding glasses; and let’s see whether all this riding on rollers is going to pay off.
First of all, no amount of indoor training can truly prepare you for the road. No matter how fit and strong you think you [read] Keywords: facebook
The cost of Agile
Wed, Mar 7th 2012 8:12a Alex Kassabov A lot of customers want to run their projects Agile. Agile is hot, sexy and all the cool kids are doing it.
But when your customer asks you to run their project Agile, do they really know what they are getting into?
Everybody likes the advantages of Agile: the daily stand-ups, the working product at the end of every iteration, the team working on features that add value. But there is a cost and a time commitment that is not always expected or understood.
An Agile project runs on user stories. [read] Keywords: admin
Agile or waterfall
Thu, Mar 1st 2012 8:13a Alex Kassabov Coke or Pepsi? Miller or Bud? Mac or PC? Agile or Waterfall?
When a consulting company embarks on a project, what is a better methodology to use: Agile or the traditional Waterfall? What projects lend themselves better to one or the other?
Waterfall methodology seems to work better when a project presents a known problem with a known solution. Upgrading a server, creating a time-off system, or building a submarine — all are projects that are better executed by the waterfall approach. You k [read] Keywords: policies