Agile or Irrelevant

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Web development is hard, very hard – and it’s getting harder. But there is hope, a radically different approach called agile.If you build websites for a living, you know the pressure. Drupal sites can be complex beasts with thousands of moving parts. Clients have high demands – changing demands. Budgets have never been tighter. If you are going to keep the sites you manage ahead of the competition, you have to innovate – continually. And everything has to be done at the breakneck speed of web time.The results: the average software project is 45% over budget, delayed by 63% and missing 1/3 of the promised functionality. Failure has become the norm – but there is a better way.Agile is a radically different processes for improving development efficiency, minimizing risk and enhancing innovation. In the ten short years since the Agile Manifesto was penned it has taken over traditional software and game development. The world’s web leaders such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Twitter and Saleforce.com have embraced agile methodologies. Many top Drupal shops have also made the leap.Come learn what all the buzz is about.

Transcript of Agile or Irrelevant

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[MM.DD..YY][PRESENTER]

Aug 24, 2010Agile or Irrelevant

Agile or Irrelevant1How websites are built

requirements gatheringplanning?design & developmenttestinglaunchmaintenancePhoto: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schoolstreet/163727710How are websites built2Why do we plan?

CertaintyOn timeOn budgetOn scopeBetter user experienceEnd userStakeholderImproved returnsWasteWhat are the outcomes of planning?Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/3707230247Why do we plan3How are we doing?

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dannawi/archive/2009/05/15/2009-standish-chaos-report-we-are-successful-in-the-failure.aspxConclusion: not much certainty, a lot of waste4Creating value

How do we know what creates value for end users and stakeholders?Predict | TestPredict or ask & observe (empirical)5

Best way to gather opinions

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/429194752http://www.flickr.com/photos/ricardofrancone/4358780638

http://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/2270628017

http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/54261427Food: writeup in the menu, picture, see real life version, try it6Innovation phases

timeinnovationhigh levelspecsdetailedspecsmockupsvalidationliveFreedom to innovateInsight to innovate? User Experience Design typical does not include Users Experiencing anything?7

The fallacy

Web development can be planned to precisionSoftware development is accidently complex and essential complexEssential complexity cannot be solved with predictive planninghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kraetzsche/3820338564It is tempting to believe that we can write down all the requirements for a system and then think our way to a solution in a top-down manor. David Parnas and Paul Clements (1986) Fred Brooks No Silver Bullet (1986) We know that planning fails at creating certainty. We know it is sub optimal for creating better user experiences and returns because stakeholders are forced to make the most important decisions when they have the least knowledge to do it. So why do we do it.8

The fallacy

Web development can be planned to precisionhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kraetzsche/3820338564Parnas and Clements

User and customers do not know exactly what they wantEven if the developers know the requirements, the details become clear only as they develop the systemEven if all the details could be know up front, humans are incapable of comprehending that many detailsEven if we could understand all the details, product and project changes occurPeople make mistakesIt is tempting to believe that we can write down all the requirements for a system and then think our way to a solution in a top-down manor. David Parnas and Paul Clements (1986) Fred Brooks No Silver Bullet (1986) We know that planning fails at creating certainty. We know it is sub optimal for creating better user experiences and returns because stakeholders are forced to make the most important decisions when they have the least knowledge to do it. So why do we do it.9Empirical processes

http://www.flickr.com/photos/msabbath/2326998337Individuals and interactions over processes and toolsWorking software over comprehensive documentationCustomer collaboration over contract negotiationResponding to change over following a plan10Empirical processes

Empirical Process

move from predictive to adaptive

useful for processes with lots of noise and unpredictability

three cornerstones transparency inspection adaption

http://www.flickr.com/photos/picture_taking__fool/9956092511

What is Scrum

Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile framework for completing complex projectNamed from an analogy in a 1986 study by Takeuchi and Nonaka, published in the Harvard Business Review comparing high-performing, cross-functional teams to the scrum formation used by Rugby teamshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sk8geek/462493528012Example Waterfall Process:

Waterfall vs. ScrumWebsite (6 months)Feature(2 weeks)Example Scrum Process:13Value driven process Sprinting

Artifacts: Product backlog, sprint backlog, sprint burndown, release burndownTimeboxes: Sprint planning, sprint, daily standup/scrum, sprint review, sprint retro, release planning14

Three Scrum Roles:

ScrumMasterFacilitator; enforces Scrum process

Product OwnerOwner of the product backlogWorks with client to prioritize featuresFocused on ROI

TeamResponsible for developing functionalitySelf-managing, self-organizing, cross-functional

Scrum roles15

What happened to

Project managerResponsibilities distributed to all rolesUX architectWorks one sprint ahead of the teamOpportunity to move from heuristics to observationBusiness analystWorks both with product owners & directly with teamhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/2743756315??? Pick of tombstone, cemetary16Just in time strategy

Make decisions when you have the most dataMake decisions based on working software (not paper prototypes)Minimize the amount of work not doneAdequate planning and frequent conversations Just-in-Time Strategyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rpmarks/4503154179Picture of brains

17Innovation

Uncertainty is the only thing to be certain of.- Anthony Muh, Citigroup, Asia

If you dont like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less. - General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Armyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/xtyler/4296489988Build to last is hooyee. The only companies that truly succeed continually innovate.18Five Disciplines of a Learning Organizations

Personal mastery commitment by an individual to the process of learning (driven by creative tension)

Mental models assumptions (best practices) held by individuals and organizations. Models must be challenged.

Shared vision creates a common identity that provides focus and energy for learning. Built on the individual visions of staff at all levels.

Team learning ability of the team to learn and think as a whole where the sum is greater than the parts. Driven by open dialogue, discussion, shared meaning and shared understanding.

Systems thinking A conceptual framework that allows people to study businesses as a bounded objects (close systems). Created by making all characteristics apparent at once, in particular connections between cause and effect (feedback).http://www.flickr.com/photos/rytc/28267390919How Scrum drives innovation

Personal masteryLearning accountability: held accountable to the team on a daily and sprintly basisCannot do things half way; must meet the definition of done Mental models Challenged and adapted on a regular basis in sprint retrosAllows and encourages frequent observationShared visionDevelops from sprint planning and backlog groomingTuned in daily standupsTeam learningPaired development; work is highly collaborative.Dialoging is encouraged in sprint planning, daily standups and sprint retrosSystems thinkingSprint reviews enable continuous inspection and adaption on the productSprint retro enables continuous inspection and adaption on the process20Thank you

Tom McCrackenLevelTen InteractiveDirector

Phone: 214.887.8586Email: tom@leveltendesign.comTwitter: @levelten_tomBlog: leveltendesign.com/blog/tomLinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tommccracken

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