Incremental Development

I think most people’s forays into Agile Development is done via Incremental versus true iterative development. Sadly, I think all of us who do incremental development actually think we are being very agile and doing iterative development.

The project was to create a Campground Reservation service for the Province of Manitoba and was quite successful. We implemented a public website to allow the reservations of campgrounds in 92 days and we made the date. Although we did a lot right, we also did quite a few things wrong. We developed incrementally, we had a separate test phase, our iterations were a month long, we had people owning parts of the application, etc…

The why did the project work? Well I believe we did four things extremely well from Agile/Lean

  1. We had the client decision maker on site 100%
  2. We had an all star team and implemented visual project management and daily stand ups
  3. We allocated a person for the entire project to design the testing and then test continuously
  4. The style of leadership on the project was very collaborative and respectful. The team together created as the estimates and lived by them. (Although we did not use relative estimating or planning poker)

Which goes to show you that rarely does the first Agile project ever do agile correctly and that even doing it incorrectly still provides benefits if you get a couple of the key principles right. I was the Project Manager for that project and have learned since about all the aspects of Agile and Lean and how I would execute the project again.

Next Post: Why I think a testing phase is a concept that is so hard to let go of…

What does Born Again Agilist mean and what is the purpose of this Blog?

Good Afternoon, my name is Terry Bunio and I have a confession to make I love Agile Project Management but I still have doubts. I have a long history of managing both agile and traditional projects, and I’m hoping this BLOG can fill a void out there in the Blogosphere. I haven’t drank the juice that has convinced me that everything agile is always the way to do things and works 100% for all clients and all projects. I want to use this BLOG as a forum to discuss those issues and share with people my thoughts on what works and what doesn’t work. I also want to share concise, concrete stories instead of just talking about the high level principles and concepts that are easy to agree with. I want to provide more value so that people who read the BLOG will have real world stories that they can benefit from and apply immediately.

Some of the questions I struggle with and will discuss are:

  • How to estimate an Agile Fixed Price Project?
  • When functional specifications are required?
  • How can you do AMS and Package Implementation in a Lean way?
  • When is incremental development better than iterative?
  • When is Planning Poker appropriate and when isn’t it?
  • When are visual boards not enough?

And more…

Tomorrow I’ll discuss my journey away from agile into incremental, which I thought was iterative at this time. 🙂