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What amount of preparation is enough?

If this sounds like an overly broad question, that's the point. I'm trying to establish a framework of what contingencies and aspects of an agile project, whatever its scope, must be addressed before implementation of the project should begin.

Off the top of my head, I would say feasibility, success criteria, major success factors, general activity flow, and unintended consequences as well as possible consequences of failure.

Is there anything obvious that I'm over looking?

3 Replies

Jon Lawrence
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Jon Lawrence Entrepreneur • Advisor
Tech and media do-er of things.
I would encourage you to make sure you've got a solid scope, and well-thought through opinions from the others before you start; specifically in the following ways:
  1. Is the scope (eg - FUNCTIONS of the project) well-defined (if not, you must do first).
  2. Assuming this is for a startup, have you identified who your potential customers are?
  3. If you've identified potential customers, how do you know if they'll pay for the functions or product you want to build? Go ask them if you don't know.
  4. If you've answered 1-3 above, and feedback indicates you should move forward with your idea/project, find engineers to review your scope and get some idea of time and cost to execute, then weigh that against what you think you can make (hopefully you quantify what your customers might be willing to pay in Step 3).
  5. If at startup phase, success criteria and success factors are really one and the same, and it is "Can this generate sustainable revenues before I run out of personal or investor capital."
  6. Activity "flow" is your milestones - only developed in active conversations with your engineers/developers in context of the resources you have (are they working on this full-time? part-time? only when you can pay them?).
  7. Possible consequences of failure? Personally I wouldn't waste time on this other than to acknowledge the worst that can happen and either get to work don't.

    You could go bankrupt, you could burn up investors dollars. The fortitude to face these failures, potentially very publicly, and still pick yourself up and go on is the most critical question you should answer before you begin.
My two cents anyway. Good luck:)
Doug Winter
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Doug Winter Entrepreneur
Founder and Director of Isotoma
1 have I got enough money
2 have I got the right people
3 do I really want to put myself through this horror?

Everything else you are going to change your mind about 20 times anyway, but those three better be right before you start.
John Bentley, II
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John Bentley, II Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur - Technologist - Software Architect. The Code Wookie is focused on helping people get the most out of tech.
The purpose of Agile is to avoid the pitfalls of the Waterfall method, which tries to analyze the whole project before starting. I recommend establishing a solid set of business objectives for a Minimal Viable Product would be the best starting point. Then, create an initial set of user stories for the desired customer experience and related functions. Finally, determine a cost / time budget for the desired outcome. You will then have a solid foundation for executing.
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