Where Agile shines

on Mar 23, 10 • by Alen Zukich • with 4 Comments

In my previous post I discussed where I thought Agile really falls flat.  The problem I have is working remotely.  Several times now I’ve misinterpreted what exactly we covered in remote meetings.  These have been mostly minor things but they do add up. But here is where there is just a massive difference...

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In my previous post I discussed where I thought Agile really falls flat.  The problem I have is working remotely.  Several times now I’ve misinterpreted what exactly we covered in remote meetings.  These have been mostly minor things but they do add up.

But here is where there is just a massive difference between Waterfall versus Agile.  By far the biggest lesson for me and why I love Agile is all based on visibility.  Having a working product in one simple iteration means the world.  So even though I was ranting in my previous post, imagine if we were doing waterfall.  Chaos could have ensued once the product was integrated (maybe months after).  As many point out, iterative development shows us up front (in two weeks or less) that we have a major problem.  I’ll stick to Agile, thank you.

So Agile is great, I’m all aboard but I still have to do something about working remotely.  Once I get this addressed I should be sailing.

I’ve come across a few things that people are doing .  Mostly with some interesting video conferencing techniques (here and here).  Do these really work?  There are some studies which are interesting but they are not really applied in an Agile context.  I did come across one article that might be helpful…although I need to shell out a few bucks.  I did find one reference on martinfowler.com that I thought was useful as it goes through the key points you need to consider with offshore development.

Overall, I still don’t have a good plan to deal with this.  So let me ask everyone out there, please let me know if you know of any good references.  I could certainly use some help.

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4 Responses to Where Agile shines

  1. Dave Rooney says:

    Alen,

    “Several times now I’ve misinterpreted what exactly we covered in remote meetings. These have been mostly minor things but they do add up.”

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by “minor things”?

    Are there ways to make the decisions in these meetings more concrete so that there are fewer misinterpretations? For example, if the misinterpretation was about how a Story should be implemented, perhaps the result of the meeting could be mutually agreed upon acceptance criteria.

    Are you the only person who can answer the questions in these meetings? Are you the only person who must travel? A single product manager doesn’t scale very well. :)

    I’m taking shots in the dark here, but your problem is one I’ve encountered before.

    Dave Rooney
    Westboro Systems

  2. Great post. We have an open source Agile solution that may be worth looking in to: http://mike2.openmethodology.org/wiki/Agile_Information_Development_Solution_Offering

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