Browsing Category : Practical Matters

Rail yard in action.

The Date-Driven Project: Cracking the Agile Paradox – Part 3 of 4

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In the previous installment of this series, we talked about scaling application designs and breaking those designs into tasks and estimates in preparation for scheduling. Now let’s take a look at how to go about building that schedule. The Scrum metric for capacity or work completed over time is Velocity. Over several Sprints, Scrum teams calibrate themselves by assigning complexity…

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The Date-Driven Project: Cracking the Agile Paradox – Part 2 of 4

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In Part 1, I discussed some of the realities of schedule-driven software development. We looked at the both the practical business need for deadlines, along with the pitfalls that have tended to polarize engineering teams and their stakeholders. We also explored the two project management extremes: The waterfall method, in which we set a deadline and then identify, analyze, and…

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Triangle Illusion

The Date-Driven Project: Cracking the Agile Paradox – Part 1 of 4

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In this article, we’ll take a closer look at schedule-driven projects, which I touched on in an earlier post, entitled “Feature Driven or Date Driven?” All date-driven IT projects have competing goals, derived from the vertices of the so-called “Iron Triangle:” budget, scope, and schedule, where quality is an orphan (more on that some other time). Anyone confronted with this…

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Point Deception

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Dead Reckoning Story Points originated deep in the annals of early Agile methodologies, before Scrum. Points were meant to address a specific problem: A feature’s complexity is distinct from the amount of time it takes to implement it, due to the widely variable skills and productivity of individual software engineers. Scrum teams use Story Points to calculate their Velocity, a…

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Acceptance Criteria

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Acceptance criteria (AC or ACs for short) seem to be among the most feared and neglected concepts in Scrum, and I’m not sure why. The best way to understand them is by comparing Acceptance Criteria to a Story statement. A properly formed Story statement looks like this: As a {someone} I want to {do something} in order to {accomplish some…

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