I’m doing this project from the top-down. It’s totally unlike how I normally work. But it’s also my first time leading a team, which is also unlike how I normally work, and has different needs.

This job is my first time as a manager and a (formal) team lead. I finally understand what it means to get everyone moving in the same direction. I have very little idea how to do this. I’m just trying to get everyone to believe that this can get done from the top-down. Meaning, first they agree that the vision is possible, then the roadmap is a good ordering, then the epics are nice and contained, etc.

Top-down agreement may be anti-scrum, but it’s working.

(But I’m suspicious of orthodox Scrum, with the strict iterative development model. We’re writing version two of have a well-trod product. Upfront requirement gathering is pretty easy. … But that’s for another post,)

Top-down agreement saved my ass recently. I had a kerfuffle where the BA and I had a drastically different view of the project, and it came out during a sprint grooming meeting when she saw all the stuff I’d put into Jira. We met privately, and I explained everything I had done from the top-down. I started with the four milestones, and worked down to the three-to-four epics in each one. After we agreed on all that, we learned that we did not have drastically different views of the project. Not at all. The rest of our meeting was just hashing out the details.