In the Service Industry, a Technical Lead or Technical Architect or Delivery Manager, one is always looking at the work, either as a Project or a Product, but I say, one should look at it as both, because work would be a Project for us but work would be a Product for the clients.
While working on Agile basis, being at the leading positions one will be seeing the scope of work, then prepare the backlog and then present the work to the team as a sprint, so that the team would start without any hassle.
Lets see what characteristics does a Project have (so that we are same page)
- Based on Time and the available Resources a Project life will be planned and delivered.
- Even the funding of the Project will be the same as above.
- We expect work to be completed on a fixed date (if not completed, stop the work on a fixed date).
- Leading people are needed to focus on plans and will be tracked based on time and left out work.
- Importantly changes in between are avoided (Work has to go with planned scope, no additions or deletions to the scope).
Lets see what characteristics does a Product have (so that we are same page)
- Based on Business needs a Product life will be planned and delivered.
- Even the funding of the Product might differ based on the business needs (can increase or decrease).
- Both Clients and Service providers tend to finish on the fixed date with more or less features (planned MVP)
- Leading people are needed to focus on business needs and will be tracked based on business value.
- Importantly changes in between are allowed (additions or deletions to the scope based on business needs).
There are few things which I have learnt while working:
- We as Service Providers should consider the scope of work as a Product, at the same time we should have it tracked as a Project. It helps leading people on service providers end, to have control on the Plan and Delivery of work on time.
- During the initial stages of work, Leading people will need to decide the Time and MVP to be delivered. At this stage business needs might be X and after a few months business needs might be Y (some tech is older or some new tech came up). This might not work with the ideology of Project but this will work with the ideology of Product (in one word Agile).
- Delivery of the MVP to the Client is on stage of success of the work planned. Again to achieve this, we need to consider as a Product (additionally track it as project)
Other important thing, It is not really needed to show the details of how we track work as a project with the Clients, but If we are providing the details at end of every sprint, It helps both Service providers and Clients the confidence of how the work is going on and it is expected to finish as planned.
I have articulated some kind of tips while working with the Agile process, Hope this will help or get some thoughts around the process, while you read the article. To summarize, in layman terms, While service providers following Agile, treat the work as Product. At the same time track it down as a project (at least internally). Thanks for reading the article, for more such related articles read our people blog articles.