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How is agile different from a more traditional 'waterfall' approach?

Agile differs from a more traditional 'waterfall' approach in a number of important ways. Agile ways of working:

  • value people and interactions over prescriptive processes and tools
  • focus on delivering a working output (project deliverables) over comprehensive documentation
  • stress end-user collaboration and feedback over contract negotiation
  • respond to change over strictly adhering to a plan.

That doesn't mean that an agile approach doesn't value processes and tools and so on, it means that it values the other aspects more.

What are the key features of an agile project?

Agile projects have:

  • a clear flatter structure
  • hands-on governance processes
  • a cross-functional, accountable team
  • robust collaboration and engagement
  • an open physical and virtual environment.

What are the benefits of an agile project?

Everyone sees the project benefits earlier. The phased delivery approach that sits at the heart of this way of working means that stakeholders are using the new products earlier than when a traditional project management approach is used.
In the case of the Victorian Water Register Transform Project, we'll deliver changes, as part of a fully functioning register, at the end of each of our five project milestones.

Agile puts the customer at the centre. Input from stakeholders during service development in the foundation stage, and regular showcases during technical development, helps the development team deliver products that reflect ongoing stakeholder feedback.

Agile adapts well to changing priorities. Development in sprints and regular showcases (demonstrations of progress) help the project team to identify and adapt to changes in stakeholder needs, technological developments and other aspects of the project environment quickly.

There is greater transparency with agile. The high levels of collaboration and focus on stakeholder participation during development and delivery means that stakeholders have a line of sight of project development. The focus on regular communication and commitment to the day's tasks that are central to the daily stand up meeting ensures operational transparency and fosters accountability in project team members.

There is the potential for fewer defects at each delivery stage. The iterative development approach and the regular and smaller test instalments ensure that issues and glitches are picked up and rectified along the way.

Risk is spread across the project. Because business and technical developments are constantly under review and being tested, errors, bugs and glitches are detected and corrected early. A more traditional approach delays much of this work until just before go-live. This means that the size of the testing and remediation is largely unknown at a project's most critical time. Later testing also has the potential to embed any bugs more deeply in the final product, that then take more effort to fix.

Finally, as agile working regularly involves stakeholders in demonstrations and feedback sessions (known as showcases), the project can identify and action user feedback early.

Agile feels unplanned and disorganised – is that true?

This is a common question. Because agile projects don't have a detailed plan spanning the lifetime of the project, stakeholders can worry that this means there is no planning at all. Agile ways of working focus on planning and organising as much as needed, when needed.

For the Victorian Water Register Project this includes:

  • iterative project delivery approach
  • detailed planning every three months against each iteration
  • once we start developing the new Victorian Water Register (or enter delivery stages) more granular planning will focus on dividing those three month periods into shorter development and delivery periods, or sprints

During the delivery stages we will also have:

  • clearly articulated deliverables for each milestone
  • defined requirements that will be translated into a list of development tasks (backlog)
  • active backlog management to ensure we:
    • have a clear estimate of the amount of work (size) in each task
    • prioritise each task based on the benefits it will deliver and the capacity of the team to take it in each sprint.

How can I be sure that an agile project delivers a good product?

This is another common question. Because agile projects don't define all the detailed project requirements up front, stakeholders worry that a poor quality product will be delivered.

In addition to the work to identify and articulate requirements set out in the response to the previous FAQ, the Victorian Water Register Transform

Project will also develop a clear 'definition of done' for each iterative development task. Done being defined as - when has the project achieved the key value to the customer of that task. This will underpin the development of the piece of technology defined in the relevant task.

How can I be sure that the outcomes of an agile project meet my needs?

This is a question that stems from agile projects not defining all the detailed project requirements up front, and so stakeholders worry that the product that is delivered won't work for them.

Because agile ways of working put the customer at the centre of the project it offers a number of opportunities in which customers are encouraged to get involved:

  • the work to develop requirements and the 'definition of done' will include internal and external stakeholder groups
  • stakeholders will be actively encouraged to join regular demonstrations of progress, or showcases. These sessions give everyone an opportunity to feedback directly to the project team on the development of the technical products in real time
  • we will also involve stakeholders in testing as widely as possible. And because testing happens during the whole project timeline, issues and bugs are picked up early. This gives the project team maximum opportunity to correct errors and address user issues.

How do I find out more about how the Victorian Water Register Transform Project is implementing agile?

We will update this section regularly, so feel free to return to this page regularly.
In the meantime, check out the videos of our May 2021 information session which goes into more detail on how we're implementing agile ways of working.

Have a burning question that won't wait?

Please send us an email at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au - we will do our very best to answer.

 

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The Victorian Water Register Transform Project will be delivered with an iterative approach that takes on board many of the aspects of agile ways of working. Find out more about how we're going about that on the Project implementation page.

Agile is an approach to project delivery and development that helps teams prioritise the delivery of business benefits. Agile is not a methodology, but a series of values and principles that form the umbrella for delivery frameworks and development methods.

This video provides a good overview of the four agile values and 12 agile principles. 

Cartoon image - what is agile. Click the image to open the video in you tube.


Why are we using agile ways of working in the Victorian Water Register Transform Project?

  • Everyone sees the project benefits earlier because the project delivers in iterations rather than at the end.
  • Agile puts the customer at the centre of the development and design of what's being delivered.
  • Agile projects, because they plan and delivery iteratively, can adapt more quickly when priorities change.
  • High levels of engagement mean there's greater transparency with an Agile project.
  • There is the potential for fewer defects at each delivery stage because feedback is gathered as tools are being developed and testing is done as each component is delivered.
  • Risk is spread across the project because Agile focuses on delivering a working system at the end of each development stage.

We go into more detail on working agile in our FAQs section.

We will introduce Agile ways of working gradually.

Right now

  • The project team is working in quarterly planning and delivery cycles.
  • We are using retrospectives, constructive and honest feedback and evaluation workshops, at the end of each cycle. These are key to planning for the quarter ahead.
  • Our stakeholders are briefed at the beginning of every quarter with a project update and a forward look, especially regarding engagements.
  • The project team runs weekly showcases (demonstration of progress) for the Water Information Systems Team to ensure high levels of collaboration and input into project development.

Soon

  • We will begin to run regular monthly showcases for internal and later external, stakeholders.
  • Our Agile coach, Epic Agile, will begin working with the team and then with our stakeholders to develop our Agile tools and processes.

2022

  • Once our implementation partner joins, we will be working with them to merge and align our agile processes, tools and resources.
  • Internal and external stakeholders will, depending on their role, also increase their agile ways of working with the team.

We'll support our stakeholders along the way

Coaching

Epic Agile, our agile coach, will work with project team members and stakeholders for the duration of the project. One of their key roles will be to support the development of an Agile operating environment that takes into consideration the complex nature of our Victorian Water Register partnership and the wider Victorian water trading community.

Learning

We'll provide formal training opportunities as needed and facilitate experiential and peer learning across all our stakeholder groups.

Need more information?

Find out more about agile ways of working in our FAQ section.

Check out the presentations from our May 2021 agile ways of working information session.

Visit the project page for more detail about how we’re going about things in general.

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page
Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au

 

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On Thursday 27 May 2021 the Victorian Water Register Project Team hosted an agile information session for Victorian Water Register Partners and internal project stakeholders. 

The session explored some of the key aspects of agile ways of working and what it's like to work with them in a project, as well as some of the challenges and benefits of this approach.

Join our speakers in the session videos below. They are:

  • Luc Houselander, one of DELWP's resident agile experts whose projects include the GovMap project for Land Use Victoria.
  • Eugene Hawkins, Senior Analyst Agile Ways of Working in DELWP's Strategy and Performance Team, involved in our Organisational Agility Program 
  • Will Thompson, who is working with the project as our agile coach.

Agile information session part one - presentation

Agile information session part two - discussion

Need more information?

Find out more about agile on our agile ways of working page and in our agile FAQ section.

Check out the Victorian Water Register Transform Project page for more detail about how we're going about things.

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page

Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au


 

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Governance structure

The governance of the Victorian Water Register Transform Project sits within the larger governance structure for the Victorian Water Register.

The Victorian Water Register Coordinating Committee (the Coordinating Committee) is accountable for the:

The Victorian Water Register Steering Group (the Steering Group) is an internal Department of Environment. Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) group that has responsibility for the everyday running of the current Victorian Water Register.

The Victorian Water Register Services Implementation Working Group (SIWG) provides advice, to the Coordinating Committee on operational items relating to the Victorian Water Register.

The Victorian Water Register Policy Linking Group (Linkers) provides advice, to the Coordinating Committee on policy issues relating to the Victorian Water Register.

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Project Control Board

The Victorian Water Register Transform Project Control Board (Project Control Board) is responsible for the delivery of the Project and reports into the Victorian Water Register Coordinating Committee.

The Project Control Board has approved the development of two Project Reference Groups:

  • Technical Project Reference Group
  • Business / Customer Project Reference Group.

You will find more information about these groups in the Project Reference Group section below.

Chair

Director, Water Resource Reform and Insights, DELWP

Membership

Representatives from Victorian Water Register partner organisations:
Victorian Water Registrar's Office
Coliban Water
Goulburn Murray Water
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water
Lower Murray Water
Melbourne Water
Southern Rural Water
DELWP representatives
Information Services
Financial Services

PCB Terms of Reference

Project Reference Groups

The Project Reference Groups (PRGs) will be convened in the second half of 2021 and will:

  • undertake work at the request of the Project Control Board
  • provide advice and/or recommendations to the Project Control Board.

The groups are also a forum for Victorian Water Register partners to:

  • raise whole-of-partnership challenges, issues and risks associated with the Victorian Water Register Transform project
  • develop agreed solutions
  • escalate challenges, issues and risks to the Project Control Board.

Chairs

Chair Technical PRG – Lead Architect, Victorian Water Register Transform Project Team, DELWP
Chair Business / Customer PRG – Product Owner, Victorian Water Register Transform Project Team, DELWP

Membership

Representatives from Victorian Water Register partner organisations
Victorian Water Registrar's Office
Coliban Water
Goulburn Murray Water
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water
Lower Murray Water
Melbourne Water
Southern Rural Water
DELWP representatives
Information Services (Technical PRG)
Financial Services (Business/Customer PRG)

The DELWP Team

Project Sponsor

Director, Water Resource Reform and Insights, DELWP

Business Owner

Brett Miller
Senior Manager Water Information Systems, DELWP

Victorian Water Register Transform Project team

Jasjit Chaggar, Project Manager
Sangeetha Bashyam, Senior Business Analyst
Rebecca Moore, Change Lead

Need more information?

Visit the project page for more detail about how we’re going about things

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page
Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are the Victorian Water Register partners?

The Victorian Water Register Partners are those organisations involved in operating and maintaining the Water Register.

This partnership is built on a combination of regulatory requirements, as found in the Water Act 2007, and historical relationships. They are all signatories to a formal agreement that outlines their responsibilities in the ongoing provision of the Victorian Water Register

The Victorian Water Register Partners are:

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

The Victorian Water Registrar

Goulburn Murray Water Corporation

Southern Rural Water Corporation

Lower Murray Water Corporation

Grampians, Mallee, Wimmera Water Corporation

Melbourne Water Corporation

Coliban Water Corporation

Who are the Victorian Water Register beneficiaries?

Beneficiaries are individuals or organisations who interact with the Victorian Water Register but are not specifically partners to it.

Beneficiaries are a diverse group and can include holders of all types of water entitlements and allocations, water market participants and intermediaries, analysts and water resource practitioners.

The nature of these beneficiaries and their interactions with the Water Register have evolved over time and can be expected to continue evolving in the future.

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Our project guidelines

The project takes its overall guidelines from the Victorian Water Register 10-Year Strategy

  • Adaptive management: focussing on continuous improvement through regular monitoring and periodic evaluation, and adjusting our strategic direction or work plan as required
  • Collaboration: building on the strength of existing partnerships, continue working together to deliver our shared outcomes for the Victorian Water Register
  • Customer and community focus: ensuring the Victorian Water Register meets the needs and expectations of those who use and rely on it
  • Communication: keeping our partners and beneficiaries informed about the outcomes we are seeking for the Victorian Water Register, the changes we are making to get there and progress towards achieving our outcomes
  • Capability-building and support: ensuring our partners and beneficiaries feel confident interacting with the Victorian Water Register, and providing consistent, complete and accurate data and information where required
  • Adapting to future change: maintaining flexibility to adapt to changes in the external environment, including new technology, the water entitlement framework, water markets, and Victorian and Commonwealth legislation
  • Flexibility: recognising and accommodating the different needs of different Victorian Water Register partners
  • Trust: giving confidence in the security and privacy of the Victorian Water Register, particularly as services move online

Iterative delivery approach

The Victorian Water Register Transform project is a complex initiative that needs to be delivered across a variety stakeholder groups.

We plan to use an iterative approach that is adapted from classic agile ways of working and will help us deliver business benefits earlier, while meeting stakeholder needs for certainty and structure. 

The details of this approach will be developed when our implementation partner joins the project. In the meantime, check out the agile ways of working page for more information on how we’re introducing agile elements across project planning and development.

Next: Project governance

Need more information?

Visit the project page for more detail about how we’re going about things

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page
Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au

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The Victorian Water Register Transform project publishes a montly newsletter. You'll find the most recent edition here and an archive of previous newsletters at the bottom of the page.

Dear Colleague

Welcome to the October Newsletter. I hope you are all travelling well and looking forward to the gradual lifting of restrictions across the state – I know I am! 

Before I hand over to Brett for the project update, I want to let you know that I’ve taken up the role of Executive Director Water Resources Strategy Division here in DELWP. While I will not be as closely involved in this important piece of work as I have been, I will still have oversight in my new role
😊 

I will be handing over my role of Project Sponsor to the new Director Water Resources Reform and Insights, whom we will recruit a permanent replacement over the coming months.  In the meantime, I feel fortunate to be leaving you in the safe hands of two fabulous women who have kindly agreed to act in the role. 

Rozi Juniper, currently Principal Advisor in the Office of the DELWP Secretary, will step into the role from 27 September until 15 October.

The baton is then passed onto Jane Carter, from the DELWP Partnerships and Sector Performance Division, another part of the Water and Catchments Group, who will be acting in the role from 18 October to end of January 2022. 

They will do a great job and I’m sure, introduce themselves as they take up the position.

In the meantime, I want to thank you all for your participation in the project to date. It’s great to see us all working together to deliver an exciting new Victorian Water Register – something I know will only continue to strengthen our relationships and improve the quality and customer focus of our work.

I look forward to hearing the news as the Victorian Water Register Transform Project develops. 

Warm regards and again, many thanks

Alieta Donald

Executive Director - Water Resources Strategy
DELWP

What's been happening?

Australian riverbank - blue skies, gum trees and reflections in the water

Thanks Alieta.
 
We’re delighted for your promotion but sad that you’re leaving your hands on project role.

We are also sad to be saying good bye to Monique Van Wierst, our Change Lead, after having been with the project for over 12 months.

Monique has made a significant and valuable contribution to foundational work within the project and in particular as lead in the area of change management. Major contributions include the Change Management Strategy and the Stakeholder Management Framework. Monique has also lead establishment of key stakeholder communication channels and working reference groups. Equally as important as bringing her professional skills and expertise Monique has been active in building and nurturing a positive and encouraging culture to the project team and the broader stakeholder community.
 
Thanks Monique, you’ve done a great job, you’ll be missed and good luck with you future adventures.  Catch her words of farewell below.

Well after those two announcements it feels almost mundane to move on to the activity update, nevertheless ...

September has been a quieter month for stakeholder engagements but that doesn’t mean that we’ve been resting! 

We held a series of procurement briefings with potential vendors as part of the procurement process and work continued on:

  • strengthening the governance of the project through PCB re-alignment and project assurance
  • the process mapping of allocation services and began mapping processes aligned with trading rules functions
  • the development of our Project Stakeholder Management Plan
  • developing the how we will map and measure project benefits.
 

What's next?

The deadline for Requests for Tender responses falls in mid-October so we expect to begin the formal review process soon after.

Alongside that we:

  • hope to recruit and appoint a new Product Owner
  • re-align the work of the Project Control Board
  • continue the business process mapping work
  • continue the development of a Support Model for the Victorian Water Register
  • hold consultation sessions with our partners to finalise the Project Stakeholder Management Plan.

And that’s it for another month! 

Until next time – but of course if you have any queries or thoughts in the meantime please get in touch.

Brett Miller
Senior Manager, Water Information Systems
DELWP

We're refreshing the Victorian Water Register

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We will host the refreshed Victorian Water Register in a cloud-based environment...

and finally ....

Goodbye
Thanks Brett. I'm sad that my role has caught up in the VPS push to convert contract roles into fixed term one - But, I also know that Rebecca Moore, who's taking over from Monday the 11th, brings fabulous skills and will provide great continuity for the project and for our stakeholders. 

Work is often just that - but the culture of the team, and community, you work in can make or break a role.  In this case it's been a true privilege to share the last year or so with you. Thank you. 

I've enjoyed working with you all tremendously - and will very much miss being part of the project and the VWR community.
Monique  

 
 

If you would like to know more about the Victorian Water Register Transform Project please
visit the project page on the Victorian Water Register Website
or contact us at 
vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au

 

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Need more information?

Check out the Victorian Water Register Transform Project page.

 

 
 

Did you know that the Victorian Water Register has facilitated nearly 1 million trades?

Watch this video to find out more about the Victorian Water Register's achievements and why we're changing it.

Need more information?

Visit the project implementation page for more detail about how we’re going about things

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page
Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au

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The Victorian Water Register is changing.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is working with other Victorian Water Register partners to deliver the Victorian Water Register Transform Project. This project is a key priority of the Victorian Water Register 10-year strategy and aims to create a Victorian Water Register for the future.

While the core and integrity of the current Victorian Water Register will be carried forward, we are working with our partners to create a register that delivers a fresh experience for the Victorian water community and rethinks how we meet our regulatory and organisational objectives.

In providing a more intuitive customer experience, increased transparency and easier access to water entitlement information including licensing, compliance and water market data, the new Victorian Water Register will support:  

  • increased online services
  • use of integration technologies to enable Victorian Water Register support for the commercial development, by third parties, of electronic products and services such as electronic broking services, trading platforms, portfolio investment services and farm automation systems
  • increased security using cyber security base technologies to secure sensitive data.

These, in turn, contribute to more efficient and productive allocation and use of Victoria's precious water resources.

Why are we doing this?

When it was introduced in 2007, the Victorian Water Register was recognised as the leading and most comprehensive water register in Australia and one of the most developed in the world.

Since then the Victorian Water Register has evolved to meet the various needs and expectations of the Victorian community and today it provides multiple services for a large and varied cohort of users.

Investing in a new Victorian Water Register will benefit the Victorian community by delivering accessible, responsive and user-friendly services and supporting further development of efficient and effective water markets for Victoria.

Within this context, it's time to consider what Victoria's next Water Register looks like.

What's happening?

The project kicked off in 2020 and we're now building the foundations that will support development and delivery work for the life of the Transform Project, which will run through to mid 2024.

We will engage widely and well

Our customers' experience is central to our work and in this spirit, we kicked off engagement during the project's initiation phase - and will continue to work closely with Victorian Water Register partner organisations and other key stakeholders during the length of the project.

Currently, the project team, which sits within DELWP, is undertaking a series of targeted engagements with Victorian Water Register partner organisations and DELWP stakeholders. These engagements are central to progressing our work on technical and business service development. We are also looking at our support model and communication and engagement activities.

We have kicked off an engagement to reach out to key groups that use and benefit from the Victorian Water Register.

Development and implementation

The Victorian Water Register Transform Project is complex and impacts numerous stakeholders across the Victorian Community.

We're taking an iterative approach to development and delivery and we will communicate often and clearly about what to expect and when to expect it.  

Need more information?

Visit the project implementation page for more detail about how we’re going about things

Sign up for the Victorian Water Register Transform Project Newsletter. You can find back issues on our news page
Contact the project team at vwr.transform@delwp.vic.gov.au