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[good] [XP] Re: Oracle & Ford in need of XP

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  • Dominic Williams
    ... I think you suggested that the customer needs to gather more requirements than what would be necessary just to get the developers started, in order to
    Message 1 of 145 , Sep 1, 2004
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      Ken Boucher asked:

      >> I would just like to add that I consider the idea
      >> that gathering requirements (and deciding whether to
      >> pursue) is not addressed by XP's practices to be one
      >> of the most common misconceptions.
      >>
      >> XP says: don't just think about requirements -
      >> release running software early and frequently to end
      >> users and use the feedback to define further
      >> requirements.
      >>
      >> XP says: keep doing that as long as what you gained
      >> from the last release allows you to pay for the next
      >> one.
      >
      > How do either of these statements apply to the
      > "deciding whether to pursue" phase? To the best of my
      > knowledge, a group can't release running software
      > early (never mind keep releasing software) until they
      > have already decided to pay for developers.

      I think you suggested that the customer needs to gather
      more requirements than what would be necessary just to
      get the developers started, in order to obtain funding
      for the complete project.

      This additional requirements gathering has a cost. What
      if the money were spent on paying for the first
      iteration instead? That may be enough to get funding
      for the second iteration, and so on. It may never be
      necessary to obtain funding for the complete project.

      > At some point, a developement team has to decide if
      > they're going to "bid on doing the project" and the
      > gold owners has to decide if they're going to pay the
      > team to do the project. Before those decisions
      > occurr, requirements will be gathered. They may be
      > gathered at a high level. They may be gathered down
      > to the last detail. But how they are gathered before
      > the bid point is usually not something that can be
      > determined by the team that will get the
      > bid. Usually, the most that team can decide is if
      > they want to bid on it at all.

      I have taken part in many bids, mostly as a supplier,
      but also as a customer, and sometimes on government
      contracts. What I have invariable observed is the
      following:

      - the gold owner spends more or less money gathering
      requirements and issuing a call for tenders;
      - the potential suppliers spend relatively little time
      actually reading these; instead, the sales
      rep. estimates (or sometimes obtains by devious
      means) the customer's budget, and the developers
      issue a tender that is close to that budget, and does
      some of what the customer asked for but mostly what
      the supplier did for his previous similar project;
      - the customer awards the contract to a supplier, and
      they both spend a lot of time and energy arguing over
      precisely what will actually get done, regardless of
      what the customer asked for and what the supplier
      promised.

      As a customer, I therefore feel my money would be
      better spent on paying for two or three iterations
      rather than on gathering requirements before issuing a
      bid.

      As a supplier, I would not risk bidding fixed-price
      fixed-scope, because I have never seen this work to
      either parties best interests. I would offer an
      incrementally funded, scope-controlled approach.

      Some customers would not be interested, because it
      matters more to them to know how much money will be
      spent than to know whether it will be well
      spent. That's too bad.

      Regards,

      Dominic Williams
      http://www.dominicwilliams.net

      ----
    • Randy MacDonald
      Previous experience worked for me. ... From: John D. Mitchell To: Sent: Friday, September 10,
      Message 145 of 145 , Sep 9, 2004
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        Previous experience worked for me.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "John D. Mitchell" <johnm-extreme@...>
        To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 12:57 AM
        Subject: [XP] Re: The Value of XP when Requirements are Stable


        > Of course, sustainable very-high-speed typing and previous experience in
        > the various problem domains go a long way, too. :-( :-)
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