I want to run an agile project

This is all too funny!  Whilst the video is intended to be humorous, the pain of the “Agile Guy” maybe all too familiar for some.  Agile changes many things we have become use to over many years – agile questions the status quo and challenges our muscle memory……..

For Fun – PMI Agile Response

An article called the ‘Sweet Spot’ appeared in the August 2010 edition of the PMI.ORG PM Network Journal.

In response to this article, a video was produced which is quite amusing.  Watch the video.

Managing Defects on Agile Projects

This recent Dilbert comic strip reminded me of a situation when a client was raising cosmetic defect as severity 2.

It is often not clear what a defect is and at what level to raise it at (despite agreed severity descriptions) as my example above shows.  And some defects are raised without being related to a requirement. Or defects raised because of a feature being “not user friendly”.

Regardless of the reason and how you label the ‘defect’, I treat all defects the same – it is a piece of work required by the client that needs to be prioritized with other work. So the approach is to put all work (defect, enhancement, new feature etc) into the product backlog. As part of the planning process, the Product Owner will prioritize the items on the backlog for the next iteration and/or release. So if a cosmetic defect is more important (has greater business value) than a new feature, then it should be placed higher so it gets completed first.

Keeping all work in the product backlog, makes planning simpler and helps manage the flow of work. It also ensures the client is in control and be the judge of what is important to their business.

Waterfall Alliance

[Humor] Details of the Waterfall Alliance was released on 1 April 2010, which is driven by the values and principles of the Waterfall Manifesto for Realistic Software Development.

Some great resources can be found on the Waterfall Alliance website.  Further news of the Waterfall 2010 conference has been delayed (yet again).

Santa Adopts Agile

Thanks to a colleague for passing on the below article – a nice bent on Santa adopting Agile….and a nice marketing plug by Bright Green Projects.

Santa Claus CSM – Adopts Agile for the new decade

Santa Claus and his team of  hard working elves are the latest high profile team to adopt an Agile Approach.  They are believed to be the first large scale team to do so, within the Arctic Circle.

In a recent interview, Mr. Claus said “I’ve been working with this structured, heavily documented, big-bang approach for hundreds of years now – I didn’t know any better.  As of 2010 – the North Pole will be Agile.  Our first iteration will be delivered 25th JANUARY.”

Santa wants to not only give to children, but also to the Agile Community.  He has shared the following for us all to learn from;

  1. The workshop builds toys based on a long list of children “who have been naughty or nice”.  This list is in the order that Santa receives requests – his first task will be to prioritize this list.  The most important children, such as those of celebrities, politicians or wealthy bankers will be at the top of the list.
  2. Santa will get out of the workshop, stop telling the elves what to do and encourage them to self manage.
  3. Rather than spending the entire year working alone in the North Pole, with a single delivery on 25TH DECEMBER, Santa will adopt an iterative approach with a deliverable on the 25th OF EACH MONTH.
  4. The most important children will be presented with their gifts on 25th JANUARY.  If they are unhappy with what they receive, Santa will bring the gifts back to the workshop for rework.  The rework will be prioritized against the backlog of other gifts.
  5. Not everyone is going to win. Given the high amount of rework expected from the “important” children, it is likely that those children towards the bottom of Santa’s List will not receive gifts every year.  Santa sees this sacrifice as worthwhile, given the most important children will always be happy.
  6. Even though Santa will prioritize and ultimately own the “list”, the Elves will identify how much they can build each month and allocate tasks to each other independently of Santa.
  7. Gifts will only be considered “done” when they are built, tested, wrapped and the delivery method clearly defined.
  8. Children need to move away from heavily documenting their wish lists and make the time for a face-to-face conversation with Santa.  Santa will now accept visitors to the North Pole all year and will also make himself available using video conferencing facilities.
  9. Bright Green Projects will be used by Santa, Mrs Claus, The Elves and Reindeer as their Agile Project Management Tool – this simple, web based tool will allow Santa and the team to collaborate and work together.  As it is web based, it will allow him to more easily achieve his ultimate goal of moving to a warmer climate with Mrs. Claus and outsourcing the development process to an offshore team.
  10. Rudolph will be the Scrum Master, so long the other Reindeer promise to no longer “laugh and call him names”.
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