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Topics: Agile, Scrum, Using PMI Standards
Retainer Development Methodologies
Hi

I work with a web development team where the majority of our workload comes from retainer-based contracts.

To that end, our projects do not have a start or end point. While we have an idea of the roadmap for each, the issues tend to be raised by the client on an ad hoc basis and will have a duration somewhere between 10 minutes to 1 month. An average day will see our developers working on a number of issues, in a number of projects, for a number of clients.

To date, this model has proven successful for both the agency and our clients. We are a close-knit team and our clients enjoy a personal, highly responsive service. However, with the agency now starting to expand it’s clear we need to introduce a greater level of management … but! … I don’t see our workflow typically fitting into a sprint-based methodology.

I’m currently researching our options but progress is slow, would be grateful for recommendations of methodologies that might work well for our type of retainer-based development
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Hello
One place to look is the Disciplined Agile delivery lifecyles. There are a variety to choose from including continuous delivery, lean, program, etc. They depend on things like team size, type of funding, risk, frequency of delivery, etc.

As you are expanding, DA is also intended to be scaleable.

https://www.pmi.org/disciplined-agile/wow/chooselifecycle
Giles -

I'd echo Keith's recommendation to investigate DA, but based on what you've heard, it feels like a Kanban approach might be a better fit as the focus will be on maximizing the flow of value through your team. You could look at prokanban.org to get some online resources...

Kiron
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1 reply by Keith Novak
Aug 05, 2022 5:02 PM
Keith Novak
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In the DA toolkit, the Lean lifecycle is based on Kanban. They've sort of combined a lot of concepts from across industry into their one-stop-shopping methodology, along with their own terminology that uses familiar terminology but not always the familiar definitions for the terms.
I'm guessing that you're dealing with varying lifecycles and ways of working at your clients that impact when updates/fixes can be released. To add to what's already been stated, you might also look into Theory of Constraints for insight into dealing with bottlenecks and conflicting release windows.
Aug 05, 2022 4:37 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Giles -

I'd echo Keith's recommendation to investigate DA, but based on what you've heard, it feels like a Kanban approach might be a better fit as the focus will be on maximizing the flow of value through your team. You could look at prokanban.org to get some online resources...

Kiron
In the DA toolkit, the Lean lifecycle is based on Kanban. They've sort of combined a lot of concepts from across industry into their one-stop-shopping methodology, along with their own terminology that uses familiar terminology but not always the familiar definitions for the terms.
It seems your work is more flow oriented then, just in case the use of a method adds value, is more Kanban oriented just to name here something that is a new "buzzword" in the market. But pay attention: Kanban is a whole method not a beautiful board with colorful papers into it. If you like to use your own way of doing this things then what you talked about above is more "maintenance oriented" then you will find a lot of good literature incluiding a method itself if you search inside the IEEE standards or SEI CMU papers.

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