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Lessons Learned in Agile Development. Jim Smith PDX, Inc. Disclaimer:. I am not a consultant! (not that there’s anything wrong with that) I am: Developer, by trade. Been in management for the past eleven years. Oversee development of four complex product lines.

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disclaimer
Disclaimer:
  • I am not a consultant! (not that there’s anything wrong with that)
  • I am:
    • Developer, by trade.
    • Been in management for the past eleven years.
    • Oversee development of four complex product lines.
    • Approximately 250 programmers, QA testers, Software architects and DBA’s.
context
Context
  • PDX. . .
  • The original PDX Agile project. . .
lesson 1
Lesson #1
  • Everybody thinks they’re already Agile.
lesson 2
Lesson #2
  • Enabling developers to commit has spectacularly good effects:
    • They own it!
    • They manage their own overtime!
    • They drive teammates!
    • They escalate!
lesson 3
Lesson #3
  • Managers get to do good things:
    • Coach/mentor
    • Strategic organizational and infrastructure enhancement and fixes (e.g. – switch from proprietary bug tracking system to Jira)
    • Audit
    • Get and stay plugged into business
    • Keep foot soldiers educated
    • Give morale maintenance the care and feeding it deserves
    • Talk to each other
lesson 4
Lesson #4
  • Write good user stories.
    • Good user stories are beautiful.
    • Apply the “no system” litmus test.
lesson 5
Lesson #5
  • The industry feels that pre-planning is necessary.
lesson 6
Lesson #6
  • TDD: a way of life
lesson 7
Lesson #7
  • At all levels, currents push us back toward waterfall:
    • More docs
    • More time up front
    • More time for regression testing
    • Email, IM and bug record correspondence
lesson 8
Lesson #8
  • Even the best and brightest have trouble with collaboration.
    • It’s a required skill in today’s software development shop.
lesson 9
Lesson #9
  • The team will gladly turn in slackers.
lesson 10
Lesson #10
  • [Lean] documentation is still good.
lesson 11
Lesson #11
  • “Nothing is over! Nothing!” –John Rambo
lesson 12
Lesson #12
  • The team must understand: You can’t do everything that falls out of retrospectives.
lesson 13
Lesson #13
  • Although not ideal, team members can be scrum masters.
lesson 14
Lesson #14
  • You can get executive, managerial and customer buy-in with your first demo and through training on user stories
lesson 15
Lesson #15
  • Customers and other stakeholders at demos = bueno!
lesson 16
Lesson #16
  • Let the scrum team stay focused; retain a production support team.
lesson 17
Lesson #17
  • Get your DBA team to agree to an SLA.
lesson 18
Lesson #18
  • Break down those user stories!
lesson 19
Lesson #19
  • Keep noisy managers and executives out of kick offs.
lesson 20
Lesson #20
  • The stand up is for all.
lesson 21
Lesson #21
  • The PO must appreciate the value of paying technical debt.
    • 20%
lesson 22
Lesson #22
  • The PO is not the team owner.
lesson 23
Lesson #23
  • People won’t talk? Slamming doors? Putting up walls? = dysfunctional Agile team.
lesson 24
Lesson #24
  • Parties and other rewards after demos == bueno!
lesson 25
Lesson #25
  • Don’t let a sprint go longer than five weeks.
lesson 26
Lesson #26
  • Train your developers to sign off on user stories early.
lesson 27
Lesson #27
  • The PO position is a fulltime job, for a member of the business, who can appreciate technical debt.
lesson 28
Lesson #28
  • Co-location of sprint team members is good!
  • At a minimum, members of a given sprint team should live on the same continent (except business analysts and architects)
lesson 29
Lesson #29
  • Your development and test environments are production environments.
    • Enormous waste when they’re down.
    • Many grumpy people when they’re down; they’re missing deadlines to which they committed!
lesson 30
Lesson #30
  • Don’t treat your India folks like warm bodies. . .or they’ll act like warm bodies.
lesson 31
Lesson #31
  • Sashimi is a great idea, but not always 100% possible.
lesson 32
Lesson #32
  • Velocity steadily increases when your team rosters are constant, and working on the same product(s).
    • If you frequently change team rosters, then abandon hope that velocity will increase.
lesson 33
Lesson #33
  • The product ought to be ready for production after every sprint.
    • Although not always practical, strive for it with every sprint!
lesson 34
Lesson #34
  • The Scrum Master is a strong servant leader.
lesson 35
Lesson #35
  • Plaster that product backlog EVERYWHERE!
    • The whole team needs to know it!
    • The company brass needs to know it!
    • Customers need to know it!
lesson 36
Lesson #36
  • Developers are professionals – not privates in the army. Treat them as such.
lesson 37
Lesson #37
  • “Scrum” is not an acronym.
slide42

www.synerzip.com

Hemant Elhence

[email protected]

469.322.0349

84

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[email protected]

469.322.0349

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