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Re: Why utility computing is not agile

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  • James McGovern
    A group of architects at my company were talking about agile methods one day and believe that the rally cry for lightweight methods is similar to a pendulum
    Message 1 of 4 , May 17 2:08 PM
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      A group of architects at my company were talking about agile methods
      one day and believe that the rally cry for lightweight methods is
      similar to a pendulum and that it may swing back towards heavyweight
      processes.

      In looking at the signatories for the agile manifesto it is dominated
      by individuals who work for small consulting firms and software
      companies. Less than 1% of all of the signatories actually work for a
      Fortune 500.

      While we believe agile methods are good, we also believe that unless
      offshore companies also adopt it and their is a form of company level
      certification (similar to CMM) then no C-Level executive will actually
      pay attention to it.

      Another architect questioned the notion of agile databases and if
      anyone has figured out how to make this happen in legacy environments
      such as IMS where users can't just run their own scripts. Would love
      to hear from the list on this. Not every project is green fields.

      Will be distributing a paper I am finishing sometime next week on
      agile outsourcing...

      James McGovern
      Co-author of best selling book: Java Web Services Architecture
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1558609008/
    • Scott W. Ambler
      ... That assumes that agile methods are at one end of the spectrum. I think that s not the case. Instead, heavy-weight is at one end, ad-hoc at another, and
      Message 2 of 4 , May 18 5:01 AM
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        At 09:08 PM 5/17/2003 +0000, you wrote:
        >A group of architects at my company were talking about agile methods
        >one day and believe that the rally cry for lightweight methods is
        >similar to a pendulum and that it may swing back towards heavyweight
        >processes.


        That assumes that agile methods are at one end of the spectrum. I think
        that's not the case. Instead, heavy-weight is at one end, ad-hoc at
        another, and the agile methods somewhere in between. I'm writing a column
        on this topic for Software Development (www.sdmagazine.com) that should
        appear in a couple of months.



        >In looking at the signatories for the agile manifesto it is dominated
        >by individuals who work for small consulting firms and software
        >companies. Less than 1% of all of the signatories actually work for a
        >Fortune 500.

        Yes, this is something I've been pointing out for awhile now. As a
        consultant I know that my perspective can be very different than that of
        the "real employees". However, the agile processes that I prefer to follow
        (Agile Modeling, Agile Data, XP, Scrum, Feature Driven Development) are
        flexible enough that they can be applied very easily within the F500
        orgs. I suspect that the people pushing back haven't looked into agile
        sufficiently. See www.agiledata.org/essays/adopting.html and
        www.agiledata.org/essays/becomingAgile.html for a look at adoption issues
        from the point of view of organizations and from individuals respectively.

        However, many F500 folks are signing up now.




        >While we believe agile methods are good, we also believe that unless
        >offshore companies also adopt it and their is a form of company level
        >certification (similar to CMM) then no C-Level executive will actually
        >pay attention to it.

        I wrote an article about this for SD a few months back. Problem with this
        idea is that:
        1. The certification stuff often proves little in practice, regardless of
        what the marketers claim.
        2. The $ don't work out for agile offshore development. Agile allows you
        to do the same thing with significantly less people, not something the
        outsourcers are interested in. I see agility as an alternative to
        outsourcing for now. Eventually the off shore folks will get up to speed,
        but the reality is that they have their heads so far into the CMM/6Sigma
        space that it will take a long time to get out of it.




        >Another architect questioned the notion of agile databases and if
        >anyone has figured out how to make this happen in legacy environments

        www.agiledata.org/essays/databaseRefactoring.html#RealWorld -- the quick
        answer is that you're going to have to get your act together and that takes
        time and effort. I suspect that the nay-sayers have given up.



        >such as IMS where users can't just run their own scripts. Would love
        >to hear from the list on this. Not every project is green fields.

        Perhaps DB refactoring won't be a simple option for IMS within the near
        future. But it is an option for other environments. My suggestion is to
        find a nice way to tell them to stop feeling sorry for themselves and
        instead to start learning the new techniques. Agility is real, it works,
        and it's hear to stay. www.agiledata.org has significant materials for
        this person to start reading.



        >Will be distributing a paper I am finishing sometime next week on
        >agile outsourcing...

        Cool. Check out my article at SD Magazine. I think it was the April issue.

        - Scott




        >James McGovern
        >Co-author of best selling book: Java Web Services Architecture
        >http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1558609008/
        >
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        ====================================================
        Scott W. Ambler
        Senior Consultant, Ronin International, Inc.
        www.ronin-intl.com/company/scottAmbler.html

        www.agiledata.org
        www.agilemodeling.com
        www.ambysoft.com
        www.enterpriseunifiedprocess.info
        www.modelingstyle.info
        www.ronin-intl.com
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