Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PM/BA World Presentations - 1

Agile Project Management
Managing in the face of ever-changing
Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM

OK, here is the first one I have looked at that has ‘Agile’ in the title. It is basically an Agile overview, by a published author on the topic.

My comments/thoughts:

… why are ‘traditional’ methods always described as forcing the Requirements to be ‘locked down’, ie. no changes allowed during development? A simple Change Management process can be used to address any and all possible changes to a project, not just requirement changes. The aim of such a process is not just to identify a change, but to document its impact on the project. Agile projects seem to live in a fantasy world where the sponsor did not demand to know the cost, effort and target date before agreeing to pay for the project, so I guess Agile sponsors don’t care about changes that could increase cost or delay delivery.

…my favourite Agile principle: ‘Working software over comprehensive documentation’… how many times have you heard a maintenance programmer a few years down the road after implementation complain that the system documentation he/she has to work with is ‘too comprehensive’?

…Agile project characteristic: ‘Early and continuous delivery of usable deliverables’… Agreed, so why can’t you know what you will deliver before you start, if each delivery is small? The presenter describes Feature Driven Development as an Agile methodology, where it says the first thing to do is build a model for the whole domain, then start iterating. Well, what is in that model? Your requirements!: a function model, a data model, a process model, whatever… those are documentation of Requirements.

…about Features (in the SCRUM methodology too); what does a feature look like? How to you document it? How do you know what data is needed for a Feature? Cute names don't an artifact make.

OK, that’s it for now. I have looked at about a dozen other presentations as well, all of them pretty good but nothing has jumped out at me to comment on. I know there are at least a few more on Agile I have yet to look at, but I won’t write about Agile again unless something really interesting comes up.

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About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.