Prepare brings the entire project team together and aligns them around the project scope, governance and plan. It further sets the Build phase up for success through the elaboration of the first user stories.
Prepare includes holding a Vision Alignment meeting (incorporating the project kick-off) to get everyone started. From here, the MLP journeys are mapped and reviewed in detail so that the stages and steps are understood. Areas that need more user experience clarity, are ear-marked for design sprints. Enough stories for the first two sprints are refined to the Definition of Ready. Furthermore, project governance is established along with the development standards.
The prepare phase will align the project team around the scope/outcomes, prepare stories ready for the build phase and establishes the project governance.
Outcomes are maximized when the project team understands what you are building, why you are building it, and how you will govern the project delivery process. Ultimately, your goal is to follow a set of repeatable processes, Sprint after Sprint, to minimize time and effort wasted in re-creating different processes as the project progresses. While you expect a certain level of adaptation, as per Scrum principles, baseline project governance, development standards, and other repeatable processes should be standardized and consistently followed. This Phase lays the foundation for those project management methods.
Furthermore, this phase sets the Build stage up for success, through the elaboration of enough user stories to fill at least two sprints. Elaboration of the remainder of the backlog will continue in parallel to the Build phase.
Prepare starts with the Vision Alignment meeting, which brings the whole project together and orients them around the objectives, plan, and ways of working.
Part of the Vision Alignment workshop is to start understanding and then mapping the ‘to be’ MLP journeys. This activity ensures a thorough understanding of the release solution is established within the team, the journey is visually represented (potentially even prototyped) to help ‘usability’ testing and the logical stages and steps for elaboration into user stories are identified. This activity also feeds into the high-level solution design, encompasses the outputs from the service blueprint and journey mapping.
During the prepare phase, project governance and project standards are established. These range from the formal governance meetings, change control procedures, sprint ceremonies, and the detailed reporting that will support the project.
The project team starts to elaborate through DCO, the initial group of user stories (enough for two sprints). This is also where the backlog is moved from the CTB into the agile development tool and an opportunity for the project sizing to be validated considering the improved understanding of the solution obtained throughout the prepare phase