Connecting Projects with Sprints

Cantilever works in two week “Sprints”. Project managers are responsible for reconciling the requirements of their projects with the sprint calendar.

For ongoing projects, clients will have specific requests for work by specific times. For a large project, there may be an intensive schedule with very specific dates. The PM is responsible for organizing the work in such a way that different project work maps into Sprints in a way that allows us to maintain the sanctity of the sprint methodology, but also accomplish the project schedule.

In this way, PMs can work in both an “Agile” and “Waterfall” methodology at the same time.

Example

Let‘s say we have a project with a defined, waterfall-style schedule according to a Work Breakdown Structure:

  • Jan 1-5: Create homepage mockup
  • Jan 6-8: Develop new module to support new homepage
  • Jan 9-30: Build new homepage

And the sprints that will cover this time period are for:

  • Sprint 10: Jan 1-13
  • Sprint 11: Jan 14-27
  • Sprint 12: Jan 28-30

As new sprints come along, the PM is responsible for manipulating the waterfall plan and consolidating/splitting work so that it can occur within the sprint cadence. A good solution (established sometime during Sprint 10) might be:

  • Sprint 10 (Jan 1-13):
    • Create Homepage mockup (Due Jan 5)
    • Develop new module (Due Jan 8)
    • Build new homepage backend (Due Jan 13)
  • Sprint 11 (Jan 14-27)
    • Build new homepage frontend (Due Jan 20)
    • Integrate new homepage frontend and backend (Due Jan 27)

This leaves three days of waterfall schedule within Sprint 12. This could mean that we simply try to complete the project sooner than expected, which is usually not a problem for any given client. As Sprint 12 approaches, the PM can assess if work might need to occur in Sprint 12 and plan it accordingly.