28 September - 30 September 2016

Churchill College, Cambridge, UK

Project liftoff with agile chartering

Lynne Johnson Zuhlke Engineering Ltd
Davide Aldrovandi Zuhlke Engineering LTD

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 90 minutes

About this Tutorial

Lifting off a project with agile chartering provides everyone with a common understanding and co-ownership of a project from the outset. If a team doesn’t have a common understanding about the purpose of what you are about to build, how you will be working together or the context of where the product fits in the bigger scheme of things, then you are going to spend a lot of time building stuff that won’t be right.

Project chartering is as old as project management. It’s a pattern that has been used successfully for projects whether they are agile or not. Some project leads talk at you with a boring slide deck and then, thank you very much, off you go and write some code. Afterwards, you find that everyone has a different interpretation of what has been presented during the meeting. Moreover, many agile projects often don’t have a charter at all. Too many teams are using retrospectives to repair misunderstandings. Effective team chartering can avert misunderstandings from the start and set the right ground for your team to succeed.

This session begins with an overview of the 3 dimensions of agile chartering that were introduced in the book 'Liftoff' by Diana Larson and Ainsey Neis: purpose for inspiration, alignment for team collaboration and context for the project dynamics. Then participants will take part in a hands-on workshop which follows the structure of a day-long agile chartering liftoff meeting, helping them to put into practice what they just learned.

The workshop is designed to follow the normal flow of an agile chartering meeting, but a much shorter version in order to fit into the canvas of a conference.

Participants will be split into random groups and each group member will be assigned team roles. Groups are given a toolbox containing an envelope for each dimension and all the tools required to complete each task.

Participation will give a greater understanding of how valuable everyone is to drafting a project charter and building a common understanding for the project. Results of the workshop will be displayed around the room so everyone can actually see and discuss each exercise.

Liftoff with agile chartering is for everyone, bringing together business and technical people to create an initial project charter. And overall, the important thing to remember is that it is not about the charter, it’s about the chartering process. It’s about living it. By the end of the workshop you will understand how important agile chartering is to the successful outcome of your project.

About the Speakers

Lynne Johnson

Lynne is Head of the Consultancy and Web Technologies Competence Unit at Zuhlke Engineering UK, and an agile coach. She was born in Seattle, was an 80s model in Europe, a fashion label owner, hotelier and had an education in software engineering in the 90s in London. She is an agile evangelist and eco warrior.


Davide Aldrovandi

Davide is Agile Project Manager at Zuhlke Engineering UK. He was born in Italy and has been working as Scrum Master and Agile Coach, Project Manager and Software Engineer in Sport and Finance industries.

He is a huge supporter of agile methodologies and gamification.


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