Is your Agile software project communicating?


Over the years I’ve seen loads of good and bad examples of project communication. If you find your project struggling, and you think communication (or the lack thereof) may be one of the major contributing factors, you may want to glance over this checklist. My aim is to create a list of communication tools/techniques/process/plans so that you can easily see how many your programme have implemented. Note: this is all within the context of an Agile Software delivery programme. 

Communication channels/forums

Retrospectives that are facilitated by experienced scrum masters, attended by the whole team and which result in actionable output

Demos that are led by the team, well planned and have the appropriate stakeholders in the audience

Work management tool that is the single version of the truth, is updated by the teams and is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is configured/customised in a way that promotes agile practice

Scrum board that is owned by the team and is only updated by persons in the team

Programme & work stream updates that introduce new starters, initiatives, milestones, successes and hardships

Lunch & learn sessions that address specific learning needs, promote continuous improvement, openness and knowledge sharing

Emails Urgh, rather stay away from them

Standups that are relevant to the day’s activities and that do not result in segways

Communication tools

Wiki that is updated and managed by all team members, not just a few

Chat client that is signed into by all team members each day

Conference rooms virtual/physical that are easy to book and are the preferred communication channel over email communication

Email/distribution lists that are updated and managed by all

Lo-fi stationery like post-its, sharpies and plenty of A3 paper for flipboards

Communication artifacts

Induction pack that refers to all of these channels/tools/artifacts as well the processes that all employees should be aware of

Product vision must be plastered all over the walls and be repeated at every possible meeting so that it is like a mantra for everyone working on the programme

Product roadmap that all team members understand from a business perspective and that are committed to delivering

Org chart that truly reflects what people do rather than their titles

Release schedule that is always up to date, realistic and that caters to its audience (i.e. the granularity required will depend on the audience - developers need more detail than Product Owners)

Market conditions and events circular that keeps people engaged with the innovation that is taking place outside their office!

With regards to the ‘communication artefacts’, these need to be accessible to all people - preferrably very large, placed on a wall that all can see and updated as often as possible.

Please make suggestions if you think I’ve missed something.