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RE: [XP-NewYorkCity] Agile Techniques and Methods, 'Risk Management' and Metrics

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  • Damon Carr
    Ken, Thank you so much. This is excellent feedback. I really respect the work you have done very much with SCRUM. You raise very valid points that are at the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 14, 2004
      Thank you so much. This is excellent feedback. I really respect the work you have done very much with SCRUM.
      You raise very valid points that are at the heart of what I am struggling with. How can these be adapted (or not) to fit the agile world.The study results (Appendix B) of the 'Five Core Metrics' book is interesting, but these are mostly non-agile projects I would assume as they are from 1983-2000 (6,300 projects are involved).
      Mr. Cockburn has added to this discussion as has Mr. Jeffries (both who I admire greatly).
      Yeah the 'Waltzing with Bears' book got a few heated reviews, especially from a certain person from Cleveland. Ouch. I'd like to talk to him. He is obviously a risk management expert of some sort, probably with a strong academic background.
      Kind Regards,
      Damon Carr, CTO
      212.431.1122 x423
      212.965.0732 FAX



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      From: Ken Schwaber [mailto:ken.schwaber@...]
      Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 3:52 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com; Damon Carr
      Subject: RE: [XP-NewYorkCity] Agile Techniquies and Methods, 'Risk Mangagement' and Metrics

      I've forwarded this message to the best group of people I know who can give you feedback.
      The problem I have with statistical prediction of Agile processes is that, as a prerequisite to Agile, I've pretty much accepted that day to day attention is needed because the development projects in question are so complex as to not be amenable to statistical analysis. That is, the subject not only changes unpredictably, but the unpredictable changes have no pattern and are unpredictable. The "Waltzing with Bears" got a really pointed review on Amazon about its inappropriate use of statistical techniques. I also remember a discussion in an article on quantum mechanics that referred to stastics as the reading glasses for someone imbued in deterministic, Newtonian physics.
      I hope the group gives you valuable feedback.
      Ken Schwaber
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Damon Carr [mailto:dcarr@...]
      Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 3:36 PM
      To: XP-NewYorkCity@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [XP-NewYorkCity] Agile Techniquies and Methods, 'Risk Mangagement' and Metrics


      There are 2 books that were recently released that have influenced my
      thinking around risk and metrics:

      'Waltzing with Bears' - DeMarco and Lister and 'Five Core Metrics' -
      Putnam and Myers, both up for a Jolt award this year.

      I am an Agile advocate and user, having used XP with success both
      professionally and academically.

      I'm interested in this group's opinion on how these often
      quantitative statistical techniques and metrics can be optimally
      incorporated into an Agile process. Alternatively, should they be
      included at all? For example, the DeMarco book has a probability
      Distribution curve for confidence in a release date (which for us is
      an iteration date of course) that looks 'lognormal' (not a
      normal `bell curve') with a high steep peak to the left and a
      tail to the right. For non-statistic types it is the area under the
      curve (x-axis is date) that determines the confidence you have in the
      date. You find the date on the X-Axis you are targeting and draw a
      vertical line up to intersect the curve. The area under the curve to
      the left of the line is your 'confidence' (see 'Quantifying
      Uncertainty' CH8 in the DeMarco book). The sum of the entire curve is
      always 1 – 100%.

      You might think 'just use the date on the far right'. It is true that
      would theoretically provide a 100% confidence but the date is always
      so far off from where a customer wants to be. Often by 100-200% (if
      not more). We are almost always forced to accept a date that is of a
      far lower confidence (using this technique, which is only one of
      many). For example, the customer may say a 70% confidence is the
      standard. If we are forced into more aggressive dates we always make
      sure the customer knows 'OK but that has a confidence of 17% - Are
      you OK with that?).

      My company is working on an 'Agile' process document that is unique
      from any other 'line in the sand' methods I have seen (XP, Scrum,
      etc.). We are interjecting Metrics and Risk Management as core
      competencies and critical success factors in the process.

      So does that make this a 'non-Agile process'? Or just a modified
      Agile process? Have others done anything similar to what I am
      describing and I am just not educated on it? We are almost done and I
      am happy to post the results (in Word format) for this group if there
      is interest. It is called 'Masdev' (at least for now).

      Kind Regards,
      Damon W. Carr, CTO
      Master's Candidate in Computer Science
      Columbia University


      If you care about .NET you can watch a shameless self-promotional
      video of me lecturing on .NET at Columbia to Master's Students in
      Computer Science here:


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