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The Pitfalls of Being Agile
 

The Pitfalls of Being Agile

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This presentation examines the points of friction where Agile methodology breaks down on large enterprise web projects.

This presentation examines the points of friction where Agile methodology breaks down on large enterprise web projects.

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    The Pitfalls of Being Agile The Pitfalls of Being Agile Presentation Transcript

    • Agile PitfallsSeth Brown: Director of Professional Services, LullabotDrew Harteveld: AVP Digital Operations, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls MSLO Digital Replatforming Project  18 month duration  50+ resources, internal and external  40+ individual sub-projects, ranging from 4 weeks to 6 months  Average of 8 sub-projects simultaneously underway  Content totals:  500,000 images  18,425 recipes  14,686 articles  7,000 videosAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 3
    • Agile Pitfalls Flame Wars  Theory vs. Practice  Does it Scale?  Purists Be WarnedAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 4
    • Agile Pitfalls Theory & PracticeAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 5
    • Agile Pitfalls Resource Management Theory:  Fully dedicated  Not shared across projects  Co-located  Strong Product Owner  Represents business, creative, and technical stakeholdersAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 6
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Resource Management Practice:  Every resource engaged on 3+ simultaneous projects  Remote/ virtual resources  Poor integration of Product Owners into Agile teams until late in the game.Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 8
    • Agile Pitfalls Product Backlog Theory:  Complete list of User Stories representing end-state application  Active participation of Product Owners  Fluid prioritization by Product Owners  Awareness, via Velocity or other means, of implications of shuffling priority orderAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 9
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Product Backlog Practice:  Established backlog  Composed of tasks, features, epics, user stories  Resource capacity aware [Gantt chart]  Highly-structured, semi-formal process for prioritizing backlog  Transparent, widely socialized to stakeholders  Allows the project to meanderAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 11
    • Agile Pitfalls User Stories Theory:  Each story represents a single testable feature  User-oriented  Test conditions written on back  Non-technical language  INVEST  Independent  Negotiable  Valuable to users and/or Product Owners  Estimable  Small  TestableAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 12
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls User Stories Practice:  Tried to stick to official language  Often veered form “As a [user type]…” structure for fully back-end tasks  Never enough time to build robust backlog  Good involvement of Product Owners for prioritization  Poor engagement of Tech resources  Abandoned…Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 14
    • Agile Pitfalls Iteration Planning Theory:  Four-hour planning meetings  Add new stories  Prioritize backlog  Assign Story Points  Pack SprintAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 15
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Iteration Planning Practice:  2-hour meetings, including Review, Retro, plus Planning  Prioritize backlog  Pack new sprint  Always rushed  Grew to handle time estimating in separate meeting, only Tech resources involvedAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 17
    • Agile Pitfalls Estimating Theory:  Story Points associated with each User Story  Not necessarily predicated on hours  Utilize Story Points to determine and track Velocity  Paper clips to represent Story Points  Triangulate estimates  Don’t pretend precision is possible (Fibonacci)  User Story-based Burndown chartsAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 18
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Estimating Practice:  Good with Story Points  We are terrible at estimating  Strong implementation of paper clips as time and team member  Clips on cards to socializeAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 20
    • Agile Pitfalls Taskboard Theory:  Public space  Cards to be moved through representation of process [Kanban]  Resource engagement with board  Location for Standups  Transparent for all stakeholders  Tactile tools: index cards, sharpies, yarn, paper clips, thumbtacks, planning poker, etc.Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 21
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Taskboard Practice:  Big, beautiful, centrally located Taskboards  Classic implementation  Low developer engagement  Overlap and duplication with ticketing system  Product stakeholders never really utilized for status, thus produced separate weekly reportsAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 23
    • Agile Pitfalls Ticketing Tools Theory:  Agile doesn’t want the info. buried in systems  Information should be accessible, tactile, visceral  Formats should be comfortable to all team membersAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 24
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Ticketing Tools Practice:  Tickets are the preferred currency of developers  Less technical resources never felt comfortable organizing project as tickets  Prioritization cumbersome and invisible  Power dynamic shifts away from Product Owner to developers  We utilized Unfuddle  NetFlix queue?Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 26
    • Agile Pitfalls Burndown Theory:  Daily reconciliation of time or points remaining vs. work remaining  Sensitive diagnostic of Sprint health  Allows visualization of project trends  Provides historical foundation for future estimationAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 27
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Burndown Practice:  When we did them, they rocked  Regime for hour estimation was strong, thus good data in reporting  Time consuming for PMs  Hassle for developers  Tough sell for team members  Product stakeholders never fully engaged with reporting  Burndown as hours or Story Points?Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 29
    • Agile Pitfalls Standups Theory:  Daily SCRUMs  15 minutes max  No rabbit holes or “solutioneering”  Detailed issues deferred for optional aftertalks  3 questions:  What did you do yesterday?  What are you doing today?  What roadblocks?Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 30
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Standups Practice:  Only afforded 2x per week due to shared resourcing  In front of Taskboard  Held to 15 minutes, 80% of the time  Fantastic participation across cross-functional groups  Prone to solutioneeringAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 32
    • Agile Pitfalls Release Planning Theory:  End of every Sprint results in shippable code  Iterate  Enterprise deployment best-practices  Version control  Code promotion strategy  Start with:  Pared-down interfaces  Fewer features  Fewer roles  Simpler permissions  Fewer modules  Key workflowsAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 33
    • EXPERIENCE PLANNING OVERVIEW
    • Agile Pitfalls Release Planning Practice:  Major issues with gap between Agile Sprint work and aggregating all on one platform for Production  Iterative releases had to be feature-complete  Like-for-Like Replatforming  Goldilocks scope – “Not too big, not to small, just right”Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 35
    • Agile Pitfalls [Intermission]Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 36
    • Agile Pitfalls PitfallsAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 37
    • Agile Pitfalls Design in a vacuum vs. what we get “outta the box”Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 38
    • Agile Pitfalls Design in a vacuum vs. what we get “outta the box”  Diagramming the “rainbows and unicorns”, greenfield design  Offensive to the Tech team  More work to build an experience around the provided functionality, than just to build from scratch  Ignoring one of the major strengths of the Drupal platform, its modularity. You get some functionality just by installing!  Steve Jobs: design-driven engineeringAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 39
    • Agile Pitfalls Lack of fully-allocated team resourcesAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 40
    • Agile Pitfalls Lack of fully-allocated team resources  Highly likely we were hobbled right out of the gate by this, just weren’t smart enough to realize it  Never got that deep, selfless integration across the team  Resources more concerned about their own deliverables [across projects] than the project’s own deliverables. How can you blame them?  Does it scale?Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 41
    • Agile Pitfalls Selling Agile to stakeholders and clientsAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 42
    • Agile Pitfalls Selling Agile to stakeholders and clients  Fixed timeline  Negotiable scope, willingness to meander  Complex process for stakeholders to understand  Diametrically opposed to “fixed-price bid” contracts  If all three constraints of the “Iron Triangle” [scope, cost, and time] are fixed, Agile isn’t a good fit for your projectAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 43
    • Agile Pitfalls No MapAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 44
    • Agile Pitfalls No Map  No functional specification to document scope  Difficult to onboard new team members  Nearly impossible to facilitate formalized stakeholder approvals  Doesn’t provide the “Big Picture” of a classic waterfall Gantt chartAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 45
    • Agile Pitfalls Infrastructure projects not suitable for AgileAgile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 46
    • Agile Pitfalls Infrastructure projects not suitable for Agile  Scope not negotiable due to “Like-for-Like” expectations  Hard project deadlines  Foundational code doesn’t lend itself to stakeholder-prioritized iteration  Stakeholders don’t value it [“where is the sizzle?”]  Can’t ship with just the foundation  Can’t build a nuclear submarine in an agile fashion – the bulkheads won’t be water tight.Agile Pitfalls; Do It With Drupal, 10/14/2011 47