Breaking patterns 2 enable change: Wall Estimating Planning

chuzzeteAgile, Agile Coaching, Change, Inspiring1 Comment

Breaking patterns 2 enable change: Wall Estimating Planning

In my previous article Breaking patterns 2 enable change: Give everyone a voice, I exposed my views about breaking patterns by helping participants to voice their concerns and to propose potential solutions to them, as an alternative way to enable change.

In today’s article, I’ll focus on what was done to get everyone aligned with the departments goals and be ready to start building

I’ll keep using the same case of study to show what we have put into practice, to make things happen.

From Product Vision to Ready to go (Continuation)

Wall Estimation Planning 

When looking for common understanding between all parties about the “What is it” of an specific initiative, here the steps that we have followed to help us estimate the relative size of each Epic and the participants level of certainty to get it done by the end of the Quarter (Q1) in this case:

  • Using the given priority, previously set by the leadership team, each Project Charter was exposed by the Product Manager to all presents, one at a time.
  • After that a 25 minutes period of Question and Answer, was open to all presents to ensure clarity about the purpose of each initiative.
  • Then a “Let’s vote (Decision Making Process)” was in place to allow participants to vote anonymously to answer the following two questions:
    • Is this item Smaller or Bigger than those seen before?
    • If the priority order remains unchanged, can this item be also done inside of Q1?
  • We have repeated the previous steps (time box between 12 to 25 minutes) with the next project charter, following the priority order set by stakeholders.

Expected Outcome:

  • The purpose of each project has been validated and commonly understood by all parties.
  • A high level effort has been set to each project.
  • A high level estimate about what could be accomplished within Q1 in terms of amount of Projects has been exposed.

Breaking patterns and fighting fears (Results)

  • Up to this stage of the process, we were able to get everyone in the same page, the purpose of the nine initiatives was discussed, commonly understood and shared by the whole department.
  • We have tried a collaborative way to help stakeholders understand the size of each initiative and how probable the team felt about completing each one within the closer timeframe (the end of the quarter), and it worked.
  • We have set the table to help the leadership team with deciding what to do in which order.
  • We got people’s buy in about what we wanted to achieve and potentially by when, all together.
  • People was still complaining about being able to deliver in time but at least they weren’t blocking the way out.

Has it worked?

So far, the exercise served to set the stage for the leadership team to decide what to do first, and to get everyone on the same page by collaborating. Was that enough?

Well, it’s been 1 month and a half since we did it and since then, it seems that we are in the right track. People are still talking, the leadership team is still using the outcome of the exercise to support part of its decisions, so there is hope. But don’t worry, I promise I’ll let you know in the upcoming articles, where I’ll be sharing the three  steps that we have done, to get us ready for building great solutions:

  • How do we get organized to do it? R3aligning Forces
  • How do we face fear to change?
  • Let’s start building

In the mean time, have fun, be good with yourself, try to help others and contribute with the cause by buying a copy of my workbook “Forming Agile Teams” in English or in Spanish.

Happy to hear your thoughts.

All the best,



One Comment on “Breaking patterns 2 enable change: Wall Estimating Planning”

  1. Pingback: Breaking patterns 2 enable change: R3aligning forces | Jesus Mendez

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