Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Can this be called agile?

Background: corporate I.T. talks about wanting to become agile. It has already stopped using the traditional waterfall methodology (requirements, design, development, test, implementation...). High-level requirements are documented. Some development groups document use cases, others document screen shots, data flows...; often the developers simply meet with and email back and forth with customers to understand what's wanted. Most development groups next include the customer when they have questions, or when they are ready to show functionality to the customer. Note, though, the following:
  • I.T. follows a standard, hierarchical organizational structure. There is no use of self-organizing teams.
  • None of the development groups use pair programming.
  • Some groups have developers on the other side of the world. Of these groups, some may have daily scrums or stand-ups via teleconference - though it should be noted that customer representatives do not attend these daily meetings. It should also be noted that there is little overlap in working hours with the remote development staff.
  • None of the groups have their customers sitting near them during development.
  • No one has the title of "project manager" or "scrum master". Customer representatives act as project managers for some projects, and senior developers take on that role for other projects.
  • Some groups support single applications. Others support many applications. Of the ones that support single applications, some release enhancements on regular schedules (1 - 2 months).
  • There is talk about standardizing on using use cases or feature cards and working with customers to prioritize these.
  • Large projects (over 100 hours of work) have to go through an approval process, requiring specification of effort, risks, ROI, ...
  • Continuous integration, automated testing, and test driven development are NOT being used.
While I.T. has definitely moved far from old-line development methodologies, it seems to me there is a lot lacking with respect to abiding by the agile philosophy.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Tesla said...
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