Ative at Work

Agile software development

Ative at Work

Agility is...

"Agility is about discovering how wrong you are as quickly as possible"

David Churchville in 3 ways to meet your software project deadline

Published sep 11 2006, 02:12 by Martin Jul
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Jan D. Andersen said:

That is so very true! In the project team I'm current with we are wrong, very wrong indeed, but I'll be damned if we know it, even after 1 year. But small step by small step the team begins to realize the danger, in not embracing the ideas implied in the quote above.

oktober 4, 2006 3:10

Martin Jul said:

This reminds me of a senior project manager who told that he knew the team could not meet its next deadline but he kept it secret in order not to kill their motivation.

Apparently he thought the team would not notice that their velocity was too low or that maybe if he didn't do anything they would work faster...

Unfortunately this kind of behaviour is all too common.

Project management is all about getting the truth out there in the open - making everything transparent and working to solve the problem. Hiding the bad news and painting a sunny picture is not management. It is sabotage.

In a situation like the one above the proper response is to say, OK we are not going to make it and then MANAGE the situation - merely working overtime does not truly solve the problems. It is more like driving on the motorway in the second gear and spending more time on the road rather than switching to a higher gear.

You have to solve the problem at its root cause.  If the velocity in a software project is too low it is probably because the quality of the system is too low. It could be that the architecture needs to be fixed (refactoring) or that the team is putting too much effort into coding bugs into the application. In the latter case it would probably be wise to teach the team how to stop the bugs from sneaking in rather than letting bugs into the code base and spending a lot of effort later to find and remove them later.

oktober 8, 2006 12:43

Jan D. Andersen said:

LOL! That story (PM lying about velocity) is funny... and tragic, because it's probably pretty common.

Working overtime is probably the least effective method, in trying to meet your deadlines. In my experience it leads to hasty (and often bad) decisions made late at night and slacking on principles (such as TDD - DOH!).

Oh yeah ... and feel free to edit my first comment and add the missing words. It was written after a heated debate on whether or not Unittests provide value for money. The ignorance encountered in this discussion, bugged my mind enough to deprive me of my basic writing skills.

oktober 9, 2006 11:02

About Martin Jul

Building better software faster is Martin's mission. He is a partner in Ative, and helps development teams implement lean/agile software development and improve their craftmanship teaching hands-on development practises such as iterative design and test-first. He is known to be a hardliner on quality and likes to get things done-done.
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