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PMP Q #45- Adding New Requirement in Ongoing Iteration

Q45. One business user proposed to add a new item in the ongoing iteration.

What is the best thing to do in this situation?

A. Take an opinion from the project team.
B. Ask the user to wait for the iteration to finish.
C. Replace a planned backlog item with the new one.
D. Submit this as a change request to change the control board.

The idea of working in the iteration is that you are open to change if it makes sense to the business to deliver value. But in general, you should stick to the product backlog items you have picked up for an iteration in the iteration planning meeting and finish that iteration with that particular iteration goal. It is the recommendation. But in the real world, you may have some exceptions, but exceptions are the exception, and the question should show that there is a real need to go for it. Let’s look at options to explore the best option to see the best thing to do in this situation –

Option A – “Take an opinion from the project team. “  The project team is already working on their iteration plan. So what is the need to discuss this with them? You can consult them when you have an emergency to implement this new item. Generally, when a new item comes, it should go into the Product Backlog first, and in the next iteration planning meeting, you can explore implementing it if priority permits. So you don’t need this option.

Option B – “Ask the user to wait for the iteration to finish.” – It is a good option, but you can have a better option: ask the user to add this item to the product backlog and discuss it in a Backlog Refinement Meeting that could have been better if it is available. But this is an OK option. You can say, “Okay, let’s finish iteration,” and then we will see if you want to take this particular item. Provided the other priorities are also matching, we flag this option B. We will return to it if you still need to get something good. 

Option C – “ Replace a planned backlog item with the new one” – You don’t do that. So if you have to handle these things well, you only look for this adjustment in exceptional situations. So instead, you focus on let’s put it into a backlog, let’s discuss in a Backlog Refinement activity. So there are better ideas than option C. 

Option D – “ Submit this as a change request to change the control board.” – In most cases, requirement-related changes will not go into a change control process; instead, they will go into a Backlog Refining process. Exceptionally there could be change management in an agile world as well. You can have some changes requiring change Control Board intervention and define it in your overall project management plan. But for requirements, Backlog refinement is your Change Control Board.

So looking at the remaining options, option B is the one which probably can work. 

You can tell the user to wait for the iteration to finish. The B hints that we can pick it up in the next iteration, but that is not always true because it also depends upon what other items are coming in. But making the stakeholder user wait for the iteration is the best option out of the available ones. So we go with option B- Ask the user to wait for the iteration to finish.

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