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Waterfall and Agile : Summary

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  • thierry_cattel
    Hello Thanks to all for you answers. When I say they , I mean management, developpers are gained to agile. Customer could be... I did not mention that
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 2, 2007
      Hello

      Thanks to all for you answers.

      When I say "they", I mean management, developpers are gained to
      agile. Customer could be...
      I did not mention that developpers are in Europe, project managers
      and customers (marketing) are in California.

      My objective is to switch to an agile development process style
      because :
      1) I followed the stream since 2000 trying to apply as much as I
      could as a developper
      2) I recently accepted the manager position as a mean to enable
      change, because our last two big projects
      did not go so well (250K instructions of .Net code) managed with a
      classical process (Work Break Down, early comitment per
      module, ...) :
      - developpers overwhelmed by workload
      - endless weekly status meeting
      - people not rigorous with automated testing
      - impossible to predict what will be in the weekly builds
      - plenty of bugs (3000) with a lot of regressions
      - significant delay of the project
      - pseudo alpha reached : the product is not feature complete at all
      - beta is a loose alpha in fact
      - product shipped with unremoved bugs for lack of time
      - no automated acceptance tests
      3) Everyone management, developpers and customer is aware of the
      issues listed before.

      I summarize rapidly your answers :
      Plan are all lies, even agile ones. All features should be delivered
      at Alpha, except if we change our mind based on what happens as we go
      along.

      Agile approaches are based around incrementally delivering small bits
      of business value (with no bugs) all of the time. Example of
      computer games delivered daily (blessed, released...).

      Hence Alpha disapears, the system should never have significant bugs
      in it. By the end of each iteration the team is to have tested the
      code of that iteration and fixed the issues they found.

      For going agile from a project management perspective, customer and
      developpers must be agile, QA and developpers must be agile.
      Otherwise one can only follow some of the agile development practices
      (exactly my case up to today).

      Focus on the increasing cost of fixing an error depending on the time
      it is discovered in order to convince to go agile.
      In a discussion, ask people to consider this as an experiment to
      validate / unvalidate. Have people explore this, then convince them.

      A final question : how to effectively report status weekly to a
      management used to WBS plans ?


      Best Regards,

      Thierry Cattel
      SW Functional Manager
      Logitech
      Z.I. Moulin du Choc D
      CH-1122 Romanel-sur-Morges
      Switzerland
      Main Tel: +41 (0)21 863 51 11
      Direct line: +41 (0)21 863 50 05
      Fax. +41 (0)21 863 53 33
      E-mail: thierry_cattel@...
      Internet: http://www.logitech.com
    • Adrian Howard
      On 2 Oct 2007, at 13:15, thierry_cattel wrote: [snip] ... [snip] Show them some variety of burnup/down chart. I ve yet to meet any sort of management who has
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 2, 2007
        On 2 Oct 2007, at 13:15, thierry_cattel wrote:
        [snip]
        > A final question : how to effectively report status weekly to a
        > management used to WBS plans ?
        [snip]

        Show them some variety of burnup/down chart. I've yet to meet any
        sort of management who has not liked this.

        (That is to say - they like the format. They may not like what the
        chart is telling them... but that's a different problem).

        ADrian
      • Ron Jeffries
        Hello, thierry_cattel. On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at 8:15:39 AM, ... As others have mentioned, I think that a report and/or burn chart showing software
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 3, 2007
          Hello, thierry_cattel. On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at 8:15:39 AM,
          you wrote:

          > A final question : how to effectively report status weekly to a
          > management used to WBS plans ?

          As others have mentioned, I think that a report and/or burn chart
          showing software actually working would be understandable, and that
          management would likely come to prefer that kind of information.
          Sincec stories /are/ a work breakdown, it's perfectly reasonable to
          show them.

          You might want to check my running tested features articles for
          ideas on this approach of influencing people in an "agile
          direction":

          A Metric Leading to Agility
          Ron Jeffries
          06/14/2004

          Nearly every metric can be perverted, since up- and down-ticks in
          the metric can come from good or bad causes. Teams driven by
          metrics often game the metrics rather than deliver useful
          software. Ask the team to deliver and measure Running Tested
          Features, week in and week out, over the course of the entire
          project. Keeping this single metric looking good demands that a
          team become both agile and productive.

          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/jatRtsMetric.htm

          Agile, Top Down
          Ron Jeffries
          07/29/2005

          There's a recent thread on the Scrum list about how an executive
          or highly-placed manager could get Agile going. I've been one of
          those guys, and I know a bit about Agile, and here's how I'd
          proceed. First, focus management attention on cyclic delivery of
          running tested software. Second, provide the resources to learn
          how to do that.

          http://www.xprogramming.com/xpmag/agiletopdown.htm

          Running Tested Features

          Alistair Cockburn "rants" on iterations vs deliveries, the
          difference being "running, tested, features". He raises some
          darned good points, on which we mostly agree. Here, lightly
          edited, is my list-posted response.

          http://www.xprogramming.com/blog/Page.aspx?display=RunningTestedFeatures

          Regards,

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          Analysis kills spontaneity.
          The grain once ground into flour germinates no more. -- Henri Amiel
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