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Does anyone use Plans and Initiatives to manage Agile Products and their backlogs?

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Level 2

I am looking for a way to manage an Agile Product backlog without releasing all of the projects in the backlog to the team. Wondering if I could make the backlog a Plan and the initiatives the projects. This would let me prioritize the Projects/Initiatives sequentially and convert them to an actual Project when they are ready for the team to pull into their sprints...

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9 Replies

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Administrator

Hey Terri! This is an interesting question.

We have a group dedicated to this type of @Agile Conversation‚ too, if you want to join it. Tagging @Melissa Pickering‚ and @Michelle Smith‚ and @Jane Bradshaw‚ who are all Agile enthusiasts!

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Level 2

Sign me up - I am trying to work through how to move us from DevOps to Workfront. Anything the group can help me with would be great! f @Agile Conversation‚ too, if you want to join it. Tagging @Melissa Pickering (Workfront, Inc.)‚ and @Michelle Smith (Customer)‚ and @Jane Bradshaw (Bakkavor)‚

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Administrator

I just added you to the group. For anyone else seeing this, anyone can join the group as it's an open, public group and the more the merrier. 🙂

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Level 6

Hi Terri

Here are a couple of scenario that I’d be more than happy to discuss further with you:

Scenario 1 - We have plans to which we have allocated a Project Status of Backlog where our Domain Leads add tasks, prioritise them and add their Agile Scrum Team to them when they are ready to include the tasks in an Iteration/Sprint. The tasks are subsequently pulled through to the Agile Team Backlog where they are reviewed, broken down into subtasks where appropriate and added to the appropriate Iteration.

Scenario 2 - We have project plans with assigned Project Owners. The plans may be allocated a template with Analysis and Delivery Stages. When the Project reaches the Delivery stage, the Project Owner assigns an Agile Team to the tasks. As above, these tasks are pulled through to the Agile Team Backlog where they can be broken down further as appropriate and added to Iterations. Collaboration is key here between the Project Owner and the Agile Team, especially when breaking down tasks as they are linked to the original project plan.

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Level 2

Jane - we currently use DevOps - ideally we'd like to move our agile teams to WF, but there is resistance from our Agile center of excellence. I am part of a small team that is trying to outline a means of moving from one to the other. One of the highest pain points is prioritization of epics, features and user stories (projects, tasks and subtasks). DevOps allows the product owner to drag and drop items to reprioritize. I haven't been able to find a way to do that in a traditional backlog - but it looks like I could do that in a Plan. So my thought was if I have stakeholders looking at the plan and the agile team looking at the backlog maybe that would help me overcome the obstacle. Do you think this is worth pursuing?

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Level 6

Yes it sounds worth pursuing perhaps with a pilot team. That's how we started. To be fair they weren't using any other tool but also they hadn't initially viewed Workfront as being able to provide them with the Agile functionality required. Some had previously used Jira and they commented that they preferred Workfront once they had actually tried it. For us, it keeps all our work management in one place. It helps with timesheets and also reporting for example.

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Level 2

That is precisely where we are - WF is our enterprise management tool. DevOps doesn't really give us any visibility there. We are embarking on a full blown demand and resource planning initiative. One of the questions emanating from that initiative is can we use WF instead of DevOps without giving up critical agile functionality. I am the WF champions and as luck would have it I am also the product owner for a new agile product that we will be standing up in the near future. I am game for piloting a WF solution. If you don't mind I will be in touch as we move a bit further down the road on this journey.

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Level 3

I love this conversation, @Jane Bradshaw‚ and @Terri Williams‚! I'm so glad you're in communication, and please let us know if there are any follow up questions or things you want to chat about. It's a big topic...