Agile Truths and Misconceptions


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  • Story of Agile Manifesto:
  • Small steps
    Technical debt
    Self organize
    Track stories/feature completion not tasks
  • Microsoft Word contains over 1000 documented features, however most users use less then 5% of these features.

    Apple iPhone
    No MMS
    No video recording
    No cut and paste
    No integration with MS Exchange
    Couldn’t invite attendees to meetings

    In general, the top priority features are developed first during software development projects. If business customers realize new features will come out in future iterations, they like the idea of implementing key features sooner rather than waiting for all functionality to be built.

    Most products can ship with a limited number of features
  • Waterfall
    Delivered on time and working as expected
    “Delivered” on time … with issues
    Cannot deliver on time, need to extend
    Delivered on time and working as expected
    The highest valued stories are available by the requested date and working as expected
  • Download paper from wikipedia. Easy ready

    Iterate through it and get your feedback from customer
  • Identify where the effort was spent
  • displays the Project Burn Up and Project Burn Down chart for the same project. The Burn Up line displays the story points completed. The Burn Down line displays story points remaining. For organizations that are familiar with EVM type tracking, these Burn Up and Burn Down values can often be translated to EVM measures.

    Warning on burn down charts, does not give you whole picture
  • The Iteration Burn Up and Iteration Burn Down chart is similar to the Project Burn Up and Project Burn Down charts, but the iteration chart tracks the work at an iteration level. We are tracking the iteration based on hours completed and hours remaining. We can see that at the end of the iteration, there was 94 hours work of work that was not completed.
  • Good for on-going teams without start and end
  • Good for on-going teams without start and end
  • Agile Truths and Misconceptions

    1. 1. TRUTH OR MISCONCEPTION Agile Software Development
    2. 2. Richard Cheng - @RichardKCheng ◊ Agile trainer & coach ◊ Member of PMI, Scrum Alliance, Agile Alliance, Agile Leadership Network ◊ CST, PMP, CSM, CSPO, CSP, PMI-ACP ◊ Founder & executive committee member of Agile Delivery for Agencies, Programs, and Teams (ADAPT) ◊ Experience in Federal and commercial Agile transformations
    3. 3. TRUTH OR MISCONCEPTION Agile Software Development
    4. 4. Truth or Misconception Agile is just a high level concept. TRUTH!
    5. 5. “Traditional” IT Project Management ◊ Process and tools ◊ Comprehensive documentation ◊ Contract negotiations ◊ Following a plan This is how we control projects….
    6. 6. Agile Manifesto Individuals and interactions over Process and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
    7. 7. 1. "Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” 2. "Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.” 3. "Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.” 4. "Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.” 5. "Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.” 6. "The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.” 7. "Working software is the primary measure of progress.” 8. "Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.” 9. "Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.” 10. "Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential.” 11. "The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” 12. "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly." Principles Behind The Agile Manifesto:
    8. 8. Identifying and delivering value…… ◊ Identify value and eliminate waste ◊ Prioritize features ◊ Deliver early and often ◊ Inspect and adapt ◊ Empower team
    9. 9. Truth or Misconception Agile and Scrum are the same thing. Misconception!
    10. 10. Agile Methodologies Agile Scrum XP Kanban Lean
    11. 11. Scrum Framework * Diagram from Scrum Primer Product Backlog
    12. 12. Scrum Overview 1. Project development is performed in 2 to 4 week iterations. 2. Product Owner creates a prioritized backlog of features 3. Highest priority features delivered first 4. At the end of the iteration, the deliverables are reviewed by the business customers 5. The team reflects on the process 6. This is repeated until the project is completed
    13. 13. Scrum Framework * Diagram from Scrum Primer From the Scrum Primer
    14. 14. Iterative / Incremental Deployment At any given point, the product is “deployable” Deployed
    15. 15. Truth or Misconception Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the base level Agile/Scrum certification. TRUTH!
    16. 16. Scrum Alliance Certifications* * from
    17. 17. CSM Requirements 1. Complete CSM course 2. Pass CSM test 1. Correctly answer 24 out of 35 questions 2. 60 minutes to complete 3. Combination of true/false and multiple choice questions 4. Two free attempts within 90 days of course completion 5. $25 for each additional attempt after the free period 3. Accept the license agreement
    18. 18. • After the class, Scrum Alliance will email instructions for taking the assessment / exam on your computer. • 35 questions • Passing score is 24 correct answers from 35 questions. How do I take the CSM exam? • 2 Years. Towards the end of your term, Scrum Alliance will send you instructions for how to renew. How long does certification last? • This class 14 PMI PDUs / contact hours towards both PMP and PMI- ACP. Details for claiming them will be sent after the class. What about PMI PDUs? • Test Outline FAQ
    19. 19. Scrum Alliance Certifications* * from
    20. 20. CSP Certification Be a current holder of an active CSM, CSPO, or CSD credential Have a minimum of 36 months of successful Agile/Scrum work experience gained within the past five years Gather and submit 70 Scrum Education Units (SEUs) from the past three years
    21. 21. Truth or Misconception Scrum does not believe in planning, estimating, forecasting. Misconception!
    22. 22. Scrum Overview Product Vision Roadmap Day Sprint… … … Plan Day Day Daily Scrum Review Retro Sprint Plan Review Retro Idea Initiation Release Plan Release Release Plan Plan Time
    23. 23. Estimating and Forecasting • Team members provide Estimates • Completed work represent Actuals (Velocity) • Velocity used for Forecasting
    24. 24. Velocity and Forecasting Sprint Work Remaining Velocity 1 625 75 2 560 65 3 490 70 4 421 69 5 350 71 6 7 8 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Project Burndown
    25. 25. Release Burndown Originally forecasted release date Extrapolation of actual release date
    26. 26. Truth or Misconception Scrum is not good for fixed price and/or fixed date work. Misconception!
    27. 27. Fixed Date / Fixed Scope ◊ Outcomes of Fixed Date / Fixed Scope projects: – Waterfall 1. Delivered _____ and working ________ 2. “Delivered” _____ … with ______ 3. Cannot deliver on time, ______ – Scrum 1. Delivered _____ and working ________ 2. The _____ items are _______ by the requested date and working _______
    28. 28. Fixed Date / Fixed Scope Outcomes of Fixed Date / Fixed Scope projects: Waterfall 1. Delivered on time and working as expected 2. “Delivered” on time … with issues 3. Cannot deliver on time, need to extend Scrum 1. Delivered on time and working as expected 2. The highest valued stories are delivered by the requested date and working as expected Be cautious of sacrificing quality and best practices to meet dates
    29. 29. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Work Completed Work Remaining Scrum Delivery Project Due Date
    30. 30. Truth or Misconception Agile ignores risk. Misconception!
    31. 31. Problems with Waterfall Requirements Design Develop Test Deploy “I believe in this concept, but the implementation described above is risky and invites failure” – Dr. Winston Royce What happens if something goes wrong? Managing the Development of Large Software Systems, Winston Royce (1970)
    32. 32. Advantages of Scrum ◊ Manages risk by delivering high value, high risk items early – Identify and resolve problems faster – Showing tangible results throughout the project – High assurance of product vision due to continual inspection by business representatives ◊ Daily standup exposes risk ◊ Adaptability (Scrum) versus Predictability (Waterfall) – Waterfall makes it expensive to make changes to the project – Scrum development minimizes the cost of change ◊ Quality is built in ◊ Continuous improvement
    33. 33. Truth or Misconception Agile development requires a lot of rework. TRUTH!
    34. 34. “Refactoring is a disciplined technique for restructuring an existing body of code, altering its internal structure without changing its external behavior.” – Martin Fowler, ◊ Simplify ◊ Fix ◊ Optimize ◊ Improve Real time payment of technical debt. Refactoring
    35. 35. Truth or Misconception Scrum does not believe in metrics or documentation. FALSE!
    36. 36. Agile Metrics
    37. 37. Metrics for Business Initiatives Effort Area Story Points Percentage Foundational 78 22% Maintenance 9 3% Optimization 168 48% New Product 98 28% First Quarter Initiatives
    38. 38. Metrics for Business Value Features Story Points Business Points Comment Feature 1 40 8 High effort, mid value Feature 2 20 13 High effort, good value Feature 3 4 8 Low effort, mid value Feature 4 13 40 Mid effort, high value Feature 5 5 20 Low effort, high value
    39. 39. Metrics for the Project Project Burn Down / Burn Up Chart
    40. 40. Metrics for the Sprint
    41. 41. Metrics for Team Performance
    42. 42. Metrics for Team Performance
    43. 43. Metrics for Team Performance For a Scrum team, key goals include: 1. Achieving a high completion percentage (actual velocity / projected velocity) 2. Stabilizing velocity 3. Increasing velocity (after 1 and 2)
    44. 44. Team Radar Delivering Business Value Asking & Receiving Feedback Responding to Change Understanding Vision & Goal Planning Applying Technical Practices Working as a Team Continuously Improving Sprint 1 Team Self Assessment
    45. 45. Team Radar Delivering Business Value Asking & Receiving Feedback Responding to Change Understanding Vision & Goal Planning Applying Technical Practices Working as a Team Continuously Improving Sprint 5 Team Self Assessment
    46. 46. Cumulative Flow Diagram
    47. 47. Cost Metrics 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Story Pts Remaining 1200 1300 1123 987 978 876 725 655 524 411 290 110 0 Cost (in thousands) $1,000 $900 $800 $700 $600 $500 $400 $300 $200 $100 $0 -$100 -$200 -400 -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 Cost Feature Burn Down
    48. 48. Documentation Identifying and delivering value…… 1. Identify value and eliminate waste 2. Prioritize features 3. Deliver early and often 4. Constant inspection 5. Empower team Generally, documents are consumables, not deliverables
    49. 49. Book Resources Agile Project Management with Scrum Ken Schwaber ISBN #073561993X Agile Estimating and Planning Mike Cohn ISBN #0131479415 The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick ISBN #0321502752 Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products Jim Highsmith ISBN #0321658396 The Art of Agile Development James Shore ISBN #0596527675
    50. 50. Excella Consulting Experience and Expertise in Agile Solutions – Coaching – Training – Assessments – Agile Adoption – Agile Development Teams – Agile PMO Training Courses – Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) – Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO): The Agile Business Analyst – Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) – Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) – Agile Testing – Agile Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing – Automated Acceptance Testing – Great for Analysts and Testers!! See for more information
    51. 51. Contact Information Richard K Cheng 703-967-8620 Twitter: @RichardKCheng