50225RE: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Break from sprinting - a strategy sprint
- Feb 2, 2011Let me know which MacDonalds, Ron.
> To: email@example.com
> From: ronjeffries@...
> Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 19:09:12 -0500
> Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Break from sprinting - a strategy sprint
> Hello, Roy. On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, at 6:34:41 PM, you
> > I have always had the impression that trying to 'update' a legacy
> > system, in the way that I think you are indicating, can turn into
> > a quick sand swamp of frustration and fire fighting (excuse the mixed metaphors).
> > I honestly think that it is usually better to use the legacy
> > system as a 'prototype' for the new system, and, instead of trying
> > to patch the old system, you develop a new system in parallel.
> > At least, this is the theory of the thing, and is probably a
> > difficult game to sell. But I have really had a lot of experience
> > seeing people trying to 'fix it' when, if they scratched the old
> > and developed the new, with the same intention that the old was
> > developed for, it would save a lot of time.
> Have you ever been engaged in a project to rewrite a legacy system?
> I'd like to hear about the results: your blase presentation of this
> idea tells me that if you've done it, you must know some secrets
> that I do not.
> I have been involved in several conversions, and I would prefer
> never to do it again, even with an Agile approach (but more about
> what I'd do if I had to below). What happens is:
> 0. All the following criteria are absolute and highest priority.
> 1. We need all the functionality of the old system.
> 2. It has to be completely compatible with the old system.
> 3. All the bugs have to be fixed.
> 4. There are some bugs which, if fixed, would break compatibility.
> 5. We have many new features that are absolutely critical.
> 6. It has to be much easier to use and better looking, while
> remaining completely compatible.
> 7. Conversion from the old system has to be trivially easy,
> absolutely seamless, and perfect.
> 8. The situation is time critical. We are already late.
> 9. We will be adding a few new important features to the
> old system. We're sure that you won't have any trouble adding
> them to yours. Be sure to watch version reports to find out
> what they are.
> After that, it starts to get really ugly. Every project of this kind
> that I've been involved in turned into a death march where most of
> us would have preferred actual death. Except for one: The Chrysler
> C3 project. It went really well except for being scrapped at the end
> despite that it was working fine.
> Now then. What would I do, faced with this opportunity?
> One possibility: Refactor the old system into a better system. This
> is not easy, as it requires great refactoring skill. However, if you
> do not have great refactoring skill, where do you get off telling us
> you are qualified to rewrite this giant steaming pile to make it
> Another possibility: Strangle the old app. Implement new
> functionality in a clean way, and eviscerate the old system one bit
> of functionality at a time, calling out to the new. This might
> continue forever; it might be that we'd call it good enough and
> stop; it might be that we would use the momentum of the new stuff
> working to continue forward.
> Yet another possibility: Build a new system as if we were one of our
> competitors. The new system is intended to be so good and so full of
> new capability that it wipes out the market for the old one, without
> ever needing to match it feces for feces.
> Absent any of those possibilities, I'd consider finding gainful
> employment in food services.
> Ron Jeffries
> It is a bad plan that admits of no modifications. -- Publius Syrus (ca. 42 BCE)
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