Steps: Initiate Agile Programs


  1. Create the Project Charter
  2. Make Initial Hires
  3. Conduct Team-Led Hirings
  4. Allow Existing Teams to Choose Projects
  5. Conduct Project Kickoff Meeting

Create the Project Charter


  1. Meet with the Project Sponsor to draft a project charter with the sections shown under “Project Charter Format.”
    Note: Modify the sections as needed to meet your organization’s project-approval process, but keep the charter as short as possible.
  2. Facilitate a meeting with the Sponsor and “Key Individuals” (from the charter) to revise the draft.
  3. (Optional) If existing teams will be used, distribute the draft to all members and other potential stakeholders for input.
  4. Update the draft based on the input.
  5. If your organization’s project approval process requires other documentation:
    1. Seek waivers for anything not applicable to Full Scale agile.
    2. Draft remaining documents, keeping them as short and agile as possible.
    3. Facilitate consensus with the Customer(s) and Sponsor on all documentation.
    4. If relevant, submit the project documentation for approval.
      Details: “Justify the Expense.”
  6. Once the project is approved, if you are:

Make Initial Hires

Project Sponsor or designee:

  1. Create job descriptions (JDs) that emphasize teamwork skills and Agile agreements as much as technical skills.
    Note: It is okay to hire subject-matter experts (SMEs), but do not indicate these are leadership positions.
  2. Have Human Resources (HR) vet the JDs and create job advertisements based on them.
  3. Create open-ended questions that will elicit examples and evidence that the candidates meet each requirement.
  4. Have HR and internal SMEs or functional managers conduct initial vetting of candidates.
  5. Complete your normal hiring process for two or three individuals per team.
  6. Continue to the next set as Step 5 is completed for each team.

Details: “Hire Initial Members.”

Conduct Team-Led Hirings

Project Sponsor or designee:

  1. Arrange for HR to provide training to team members on legal hiring practices.
  2. Allow members to revise the JDs and questions, maintaining the balance of technical and teamwork/Agile skills.
  3. Have HR and internal SMEs or functional managers conduct initial vetting of candidates.
  4. Complete the normal hiring process with the entire team conducting interviews together and performing duties usually done by a team leader.
    Details: “Let the Team do the Hiring.”
  5. Skip to “Conduct Project Kickoff Meeting.”

Allow Existing Teams to Choose Projects

Project Sponsor(s), if more than one team with most of the needed skill sets is available to take the project:

  1. Schedule a meeting with all team members and the Customers of each project.
    Note: To maximize self-organization, no other managers should attend.
  2. During the meeting:
    1. Present your project charter(s).
    2. Allow the teams to ask questions.
    3. Tell the teams to use the rest of the meeting to choose which project to work on.
    4. Leave the room, along with the Customer(s).
      Details: “Connect Existing Teams to New Work.”
  3. Continue to the next set.

Conduct Project Kickoff Meeting

Project Sponsor or designee:

  1. If you have a relevant template program, load it into your tracker.
    Details: “Create a Template Program.”
  2. Drive completion of the “Prerequisites.”
  3. When done, schedule and facilitate a project kickoff meeting, including the Customer(s) and Project Sponsor, using the agenda shown in “Kick it Off.”

Details: “Kick Off the Project.”

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