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Moving existing product to Scrum

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  • Gopalakrishna K
    We recently had a good success with a pilot project using Scrum for one of our customers. The customer now wants us to take over a project (internal software
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 20, 2005
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      We recently had a good success with a pilot project using Scrum for one of our customers. The customer now wants us to take over a project (internal software product developed by another vendor) that is currently being moved to production. This has been developed for over a year with about 20-25 developers using "iterative waterfall" (?!) methodology he says.
       
      The customer says that we will be provided all access to source code, documentation, design, database schema, DML and DDL etc. I am fairly apprehensive of the quality of the code and other deliverables mentioned.
       
      1. Is this a good idea at all?
      2. Has this been done before by any person in this group?
      3. What are the pitfalls / potential issues in this?
      4. Any suggestions on how we can approach this?
       
      TIA,
       
      -
      Gopal
    • Jim Cloughley
      I m in the process of doing the same thing. I have a product that is mature with about 2 million lines of code. None of this code has unit tests. In my case,
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 20, 2005
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        I’m in the process of doing the same thing.  I have a product that is mature with about 2 million lines of code.  None of this code has unit tests. 

         

        In my case, quality is not so bad although our ability to change behaviour either through bug fixes or adding enhancements is more difficult because we lack the confidence we aren’t introducing bugs while we work.  We have been using the book “Working Effectively with Legacy Code” by Michael Feathers to add the necessary scaffolding around our code in order to minimize our changes and have unit tests added for the code we introduce.  The progress we’re making is slow going and I don’t expect a huge improvement over night.  Rather, it requires discipline to keep with it.

         

        That being said, I would ask to inspect the code and their issue tracking system and judge for yourself whether they have code that you think you could manage.  Despite using waterfall and the complexity of the software, it could have good quality, well designed code and documentation and tests that support it.  I realize this may be unlikely but who knows until you check.

         

        If you feel this code will be difficult to maintain you have a couple of choices:

         

        1. Politely decline and move on.
        2. Position whatever contract you sign to define success based on things you think you can actually achieve.

         

        There is an opportunity cost here you should consider here as well.  Do the benefits that you get from working on this project outweigh other projects that may have less risk, better code, more rewards?  Sometimes dollars signs in people’s eyes blind the right decision.  I’m not sure if I would sign up for a DeathMarch as I’ve been on them before and they weren’t much fun.  However, if you don’t think this project is a DeathMarch OR you revel in the belief that you can turn this project around and the rewards are sufficiently high, go for it.

         

        Good luck…

         

        Jim

         


        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gopalakrishna K
        Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:04 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Moving existing product to Scrum

         

        We recently had a good success with a pilot project using Scrum for one of our customers. The customer now wants us to take over a project (internal software product developed by another vendor) that is currently being moved to production. This has been developed for over a year with about 20-25 developers using "iterative waterfall" (?!) methodology he says.

         

        The customer says that we will be provided all access to source code, documentation, design, database schema, DML and DDL etc. I am fairly apprehensive of the quality of the code and other deliverables mentioned.

         

        1. Is this a good idea at all?

        2. Has this been done before by any person in this group?

        3. What are the pitfalls / potential issues in this?

        4. Any suggestions on how we can approach this?

         

        TIA,

         

        -

        Gopal


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