In the February newsletter we covered the LPM concepts of roles, artifacts and processes. Since then, we have discussed in detail the roles that play in this methodology. Now it is time to penetrate the artifacts.
Artifacts are the tools used in order to support and facilitate how a Project is managed.
The Product Backlog is the list of the foreseeable tasks to perform until the Project is finished. This list is generated in the project Kick-off meeting based on the client requirements. If we talk about innovation projects, a logical sequence will start with some general objectives that will be fined-tuned as we learn. Hence we will say that the Product Backlog includes at each point in time the list of known tasks. It is obviously an alive document that is updated throughout the project life.
The Product Owner leads the creation of this list, as well as the continuous updates that will happen in the Sprint Reviews or the Release Retrospectives.
The Sprint Backlog groups the pending tasks of the Product Backlog in different Sprints. In the Sprint Planning meeting (each of the respective sprint kick-offs) the tasks to be performed during the next weeks are selected, detailed into actionable steps, and assigned to a team member who adds it to her calendar.
The preparation of the Sprint Backlog should consider the following criteria:
- The time to complete the tasks included in each Sprint should be around 2-3 weeks.
- The end of each Sprint should represent a meaningful progress in the project.
- When we are managing innovation projects, the end of the sprint should highlight the learning and the alternatives on which to decide the next steps.
It can already be seen that with LPM we cannot make an exhaustive project planning from beginning to end. We will be progressing from the initial objectives and plan through some intermediate milestones or sprints. This will allow us to manage the unknown beforehand. This is innovation.