Agile projects my experience

imageIn my previous project we had a very tight deadline which forced us into an (kind off)agile way of working. The project was in a tight deadline because the business didn’t know what they want at a high level, so the first step in our project we took was defining the high level scope. We did this by looking at the business functions and determine the processes needed to support the functions. Based on these processes we know what to support, not the how.

After this session we signed off the scope based on these processes. and we started. The first step was a workshop with stakeholders from the business, developers and testers. In that session we took 1 step of the process and talked it trough. So the developers knew what they need to build, the testers could make some test scripts and the analyst could write the use-case.

imageAfter 2 or 3 days we came back in a session to check if everything was going the right way, we did this by letting the developer tell what is was building and when possible showing something. A few days later we did a similar session but then the tester told the story of the functionality. In every session we could ask questions and discuss the solution in more detail. At the end of the week the part was build en delivered and presented to the testers and the next step in the process was taken into development according to the same way of working. After a whole process was finished we delivered to the acceptance testers.

 

Advantages

  • Fast design, development and test live cycles – by using this process the developers and testers didn’t need to wait till the use-case was finished they could start right away
  • Clear scope – the business knew what they we getting very early in the process
  • Adapt to changing requirements – since the business knew what they were getting they could adjust their whishes early on in the process
  • Fun – lot of interaction in the team so the team spirit was getting better along the way
  • We delivered within time

Disadvantages

  • traceability – there where no real hard requirements so the traceability of them was not possible
  • workflow support – we used TFS and in our implementation we had difficulty with the artifacts, since every one is working on the same artifact at the same time. We solved this by using tasks which will be linked to the artifact when the task was finished
  • Deployment – An deployment took us a day and we had only one test environment, so with every deploy the testers could not test for a day

This sounds ideal but the whole team needs some knowledge of the problem domain so everyone could understand what to solve. Also the high level architecture needs to be set and stakeholders need to be available (this could be a serious issue in big companies).

The process described is not completely agile or scrum but we took the basic principles and make it work that way.

Agile principles

 

In the movie below is a nice example on what a project leader comes across when he wants do do agile projects.

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