Most people advocate a “crash” start when implementing Scrum. Don’t think, just go!
It’s very difficult to explain the advantages of Scrum when the customer is not used to “agile” thinking. Because Scrum delivers tangible results in short increments one could think it’s possibly better to let the results do the talking.
Here in the Netherlands the Prince2 project management method is widely used. Prince2 has a “controlled start” phase in which an elaborate project plan is created. Only after approval of this plan the project is started. Interestingly, this startup phase is considered to be a major success factor within the Prince2 method.
Is there any use for a controlled start when implementing Scrum?
May be it is a cultural thing (or maybe it’s me) but I find it very difficult to sell the Scrum approach without a project plan. On the other hand, I find it quite easy to create a project plan when implementing Scrum. Because the customer is used to Prince2 I create a Prince2 project plan (a so called “Project Initiation Document”).
When possible I use Prince2 terminology (like “Stage” in stead of ” Sprint”). I also propose a Project Board which isn’t a Scrum thing but complements Scrum very well.
The Scrum specifics like a “Product Backlog” or “User Stories” are also part of the plan.
This way the customer has a more “traditional” feeling to the Scrum process and it becomes much more easy to get things going.