7 truths about Agile and Scrum that people don't want to hear. Part 0 of 7 Introduction
Sw development is a creative Process where there are seemingly infinite numbers of ways to achieve a defined Functionality. But even when a set of Functionality is equal in two products, the various Qualities of the Functionality vary widely. With Qualities I mean Attributes like performance, usability, stability, availability, portability, security, etc.
Project management methods typically do not take this creative nature of sw development into account, they assume a straightforward model using known Solutions. The methods assume it's like building a house, the same way as building another house, just built. While building such a replica house, a management method of tasks and timeframes might be suitable. For sw, these methods could be applied for duplication of already written sw, but they would have little, if anything, to do with sw development. It would be convenient for management if sw development could be managed as a set of tasks with known costs and pre-determined Quality Attributes, but that is simply not the Case.
In addition to sw development being a creative Process, there is the fact that what customers and other Stakeholders want and need, they don't normally know up front; nor do they know how to express them. Even if they did know, their needs and wants change quickly.
So sw developers were historically “managed” with methods that ignore this dynamic Quality environment. With rigid, top-down, frozen Requirements, they planned everything in detail first, and then went and coded it afterwards from the specifications. Failure projects were the norm (as they still are with agile) and frustration was high among developers. Out of this frustration among developers, Agile methods became popular. Agile methods were developed by developers, not by management, marketing, nor finance experts.
Most developers I come across, that are working in an Agile development environment are fairly happy with the Process; but there are many serious challenges with Agile. Not all parties are happy with Agile, the popular Agile methods are not necessarily suitable to all situations, many faults with sw development are not fixed with Agile.
In this blog series that will be written in 7 parts, or blogposts, I will highlight 7 major challenges and hint as to what needs to be done to rectify them. Most writings on Agile, talk about its glory, here I will write about the faults: faults that are so serious, that if not rectified will ensure that your favorite Agile method will become last year's fad.
- Image drawn from a Value Requirements Workshop
- Gus Power - Competitive Engineering: Data Driven Design (Lean Day London 2014)
- Quantify the un-quantifiable: Tom Gilb at TEDxTrondheim
- Project Engineering Concept Glossary going online for your convenience
- Tiny update
- 2012 Gilb Fest - PRINCIPLES: Principles, Proverbs, Practices, Paradigms and Patterns: Heuristics for Pleasing People
- Tom Gilb awarded Honorary Fellow at the British Computer Society
- Value Project Management - Lean QA Classes and awards.
- New Value Management and Lean Inspection Certificate Holders
- Review of Lean Startup book by Eric Ries