Agile Myths and Legends

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Have you heard any of these statements? “As a manager I will have no control or visibility into my team’s activities with Agile!” “Agile practices are unstructured, everyone is a cowboy!” “An agile development team doesn’t work from requirements, and testing goes out the window!” and my personal favorite - “Agile means no documentation!” Ahhhhhhhhh, no wonder Agile is a scary word for managers and testers. If any of the above statements are true in your organization, then someone is doing it wrong. I am here to tell you from personal experience at a number of clients, both large and small, that none of these claims are true if you are truly following the tenets of Agile. Actually, these statements reflect a situation that is really the OPPOSITE of what can happen on a mature, well-functioning agile team. In this presentation, we will discuss what Agile really IS, and debunk some of the popular myths that make organizations hesitate from adopting Agile into their organization.

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Agile Myths and Legends

  1. 1. Agile: Myths and Legends FEATURING: TFS AND VISUAL STUDIO 2012
  2. 2. Angela Dugan Application Lifecycle Management Project Leadership .NET Solutions Mobile Solutions
  3. 3. Obligatory Dilbert
  4. 4. Agile Tenets Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan
  5. 5. Quick review of Agile/Scrum SCRUM = Agile Agile <> Scrum
  6. 6. My Top Agile Myths & Legends 1. Organizations are not succeeding with agile 2. Agile works better than traditional approaches (e.g. Waterfall) 3. Traditional (Waterfall) works better for distributed/offshore teams 4. Agile teams waste a lot of time testing that traditional teams don’t 5. Agile teams don’t produce documentation 6. Daily stand-ups are just glorified status meetings 7. Without detailed records, I don’t know that my people are really working all the time! 8. If we convert to Agile, that means we can “do more with less” right?
  7. 7. Myth #1 Organizations are not succeeding with agile (a.k.a. “Agile is just a fad”)
  8. 8. Regarding that fad nonsense… Agile has been around as a general methodology since as early as the 70s Agile was introduced as an “official” flavor of software development processes in the early 90’s The Agile Manifesto came into being in 2001
  9. 9. Myth #1 Organizations are not succeeding with agile False: At least 86% are trying, and most are succeeding!
  10. 10. Myth #2 Agile generally works better than traditional approaches (e.g. Waterfall)
  11. 11. The Numbers Don’t Lie
  12. 12. But Agile Projects Still Fail! Agile is more than 3 time LESS likely to fail than Waterfall. Agile is 3 times MORE likely to succeed than Waterfall. But… Agile is not a guarantee of Success (“no silver bullet”) Agile will never be perfect so long as imperfect people are executing it
  13. 13. Myth #2 Agile generally works better than traditional approaches (e.g. Waterfall) True: Anybody can fail with Agile, but when done right I’ve yet to see a situation where adopting agile practices didn’t improve things
  14. 14. Myth #3 Traditional (Waterfall) works better for distributed/offshore teams
  15. 15. Challenges of Distributed Teams Communication and coordination can be hampered by timezone differences Self-management and communicating impediments is difficult for some cultures Daily stand-ups may require additional technology to facilitate Peer review and code quality/standards enforcement may require extra effort and diligence
  16. 16. TFS 2012 Team Dashboard
  17. 17. TFS 2012 Backlog Planner
  18. 18. VS 2012 Code Review Tool (requires VS Premium or better)
  19. 19. Distributed Agile Strategies Coordinate schedules to ensure overlap in the work-day Meet face to face to establish trust Install web cameras, Skype, and/or on-line task boards to enable real-time communication Establish continuous integration CI and target high test coverage across all teams Keep iterations short
  20. 20. Myth #3 Traditional (Waterfall) works better for distributed/offshore teams Sometimes: Agile can work for distributed teams, but takes work and it IS succeeding.
  21. 21. Myth #4 Agile teams waste a lot of time up front testing that traditional teams don’t
  22. 22. Why Does Testing Early and Often Matter?
  23. 23. Agile Testing Practices TDD ATDD Automated Unit Testing Automated Regression Testing Continuous Integration Exploratory Testing Again… tools are your friend!
  24. 24. VS 2012 Unit Test Frameworks
  25. 25. MTM 2012 Exploratory Testing
  26. 26. MTM 2012 Web UI
  27. 27. Myth #4 Agile teams waste a lot of time up front testing that traditional teams don’t False: Agile teams do a LOT more *continual* testing than traditional Waterfall teams, but I wouldn’t say the time is wasted. Testing early and often builds in quality, rather than tests in quality.
  28. 28. Myth #5 Agile teams don’t produce documentation
  29. 29. Agile Tenets Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan
  30. 30. VS 2012 Storyboards
  31. 31. Myth #5 Agile teams don’t produce documentation False: Agile teams only produce as much documentation as necessary
  32. 32. Myth #6 Daily stand-ups are just glorified status meetings
  33. 33. Daily Standups Should be 15 minutes or less Limited to what you did, what you plan to do, impediments Goal is coordination and collaboration If it devolves into a status meeting you are DOING IT WRONG!
  34. 34. TFS 2012 Task Board
  35. 35. Myth #6 Daily stand-ups are just glorified status meetings False: Standups are only about the entire software team collaborating on the next 24 hours of work.
  36. 36. Myth #7 Without detailed records, I don’t know that my people are really working all the time!
  37. 37. http://www.slideshare.net/willevans/kanban-forcreatives-slideshare
  38. 38. TFS 2012 Sprint Planning tool
  39. 39. TFS 2012 Remaining Work Report F i n d a n s w e rs t o t h e s e q u e st i o n s :  H o w fa s t i s t h e t e a m b u r n i n g d o w n re m a i n i n g w o r k ?  I s w o r k b e i n g a d d e d d u r i n g t h e i t e ra t i o n ?  H o w m u c h p ro g re s s c a n t h e t e a m m a ke i n t h e ava i l a b l e t i m e ?  A p p rox i m ate l y w h e n c a n t h e t e a m f i n i s h the work?  I s t o o m u c h w o r k i n p ro g re s s ?  I s t h e f l o w o f w o r k b e i n g i m p e d ed o r b l o c ke d ?  W h e n w i l l t h e t e a m f i n i s h t h e c u r re nt i t e rat i o n ?
  40. 40. TFS 2012 Cross-Team Reporting
  41. 41. Be Careful What You Measure Time to rethink what you are measuring! ;)
  42. 42. Myth #7 Without detailed records, I don’t know that my people are really working all the time With agile you are MORE likely to know EXACTLY what people are working on every day. The better question might be, why are you focusing on the number of hours worked?
  43. 43. Myth #8 If we convert to Agile, that means we can “do more with less” right?
  44. 44. The Cost of Multi-Tasking http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/09/the-multi-tasking-myth.html
  45. 45. Do More With Less Humans are TERRIBLE at multi-tasking! Multi-tasking includes meetings, answering email, one-off conversations, they are all distractions You will get 6 – 7 hours of productive time a day out of people AT BEST, but only if you *leave them alone* Agile is not magic, you won’t get more hours in a day, but you will deliver more VALUE in the same amount of time
  46. 46. Myth #8 If we convert to Agile, that means we can “do more with less” right? Sort of: People will be allowed to focus, and you will see more value delivered with less bugs in the same amount of time
  47. 47. Good reads http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805 Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Daniel H. Pink $10 on Amazon
  48. 48. Good reads http://www.amazon.com/Visual-Studio-Team-Foundation-Server/dp/0321864875 Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012: Adopting Agile Software Practices Sam Guckenheimer Neno Loje $30 on Amazon
  49. 49. Questions?
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