Another agile manifesto statement is "responding to change over following a plan." What is critically important here is to understand that any credible plan is subject to change. It has to change. If the plan doesn't change in the presence of new information, new requirements, unacceptable performance, or the myriad of other challenges to the project – it is a poor plan.
I suspect that the manifesto really means "respond to change" over a "poor plan."
The role of the schedule change control board is to do just what the manifesto says to do – respond to change. But this change needs to have some clear and concise attributes:
- The change needs to improve the value, lower cost, or shorten the schedule – or some combination
- Changes need to have an "impact analysis" to assure no negative results appear from this change, or whatever negative results are produced, they are acceptable
So what does a good plan (or schedule in this case) look like?
- All the deliverables are shown
- The accomplishments needed to produce these deliverables are defined and connected to the deliverables
- The criteria by which the accomplishments are measured are defined
- The work needed to produce the criteria are defined, resources assigned, and materials purchased
- Risks are retired or mitigated and the funding assigned for each of these activities
- All the work is arranged in a sequence that maximizes value delivery, minimizes risk, and uses cost as planned
The Other Two Manifesto Items are valid for ALL projects
- Working software over compressive documentation – a program manager once told me "the documentation doesn't fly, the spacecraft does"
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation – this is the case for ALL project types