Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Developers Like Agile. Users Hate It.

Read at SlashDot: "What developers see as iterative and flexible, users see as disorganized and never-ending. '... She's been frustrated by her Agile experiences — and so have her clients. "There is no process. Things fly all directions, and despite SVN [version control] developers overwrite each other and then have to have meetings to discuss why things were changed.

Too many people are involved, and, again, I repeat, there is no process.' The premise here is not that Agile sucks — quite to the contrary — but that developers have to understand how Agile processes can make users anxious, and learn to respond to those fears.

The more traditional approach is not fool-proof: 'Detailed designs and planning done prior to a project seems to provide a "safety net" to business sponsors, says Semeniuk. "By providing a Big Design Up Front you are pacifying this request by giving them a best guess based on what you know at that time — which is at best partial or incorrect in the first place."

The danger, he cautions, is when Big Design becomes Big Commitment — as sometimes business sponsors see this plan as something that needs to be tracked against. "The big concern with doing a Big Design up front is when it sets a rigid expectation that must be met, regardless of the changes and knowledge discovered along the way," says Semeniuk.

Most important take-away:

Most non-computer businesspeople are already intimidated by spending money on something they don't understand. They have to report to someone who wants an answer to, "When will this be ready, and what budget do we need to allocate? And incidentally, if it's late, it's your job on the line."
Read Esther Schindler's article at ITWorld.

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