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"Deadlines" are killing agile


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This talk will address the flawed way in which we marry the Agile and traditional ways of doing things when trying to deliver in a timely fashion, particularly to deadlines. It will suggest an alternative approach which puts a greater emphasis on Agile and Lean principles. Ironically, by using genuine time constraints as a factor in the prioritisation of work rather than as a focus for its execution, the odds of meeting those "deadlines" are actually improved. This talk will show you how to do that. And then truly glean the benefits of Agile.

Executives of software product and service companies always want stuff delivered faster, cheaper and better. Agile principles and methods are believed to be a way to achieve this. Unfortunately, the typical approach taken by software organisations is to use Agile as a local optimisation for development teams, creating a paradox where things actually take way longer than they need to, and are of a quality way lower than they should be. The "deadlines" emerging from the customer-facing parts of the business are consistently not met, causing conflict and confusion in why things never get done "on time", and why the quality of the software isn't better.

In short, the continued paradigm of deadline-driven development is killing the benefits that Agile Software Development can bring.

Published in: Technology
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"Deadlines" are killing agile

  1. 1. “Deadlines” are Killing Agile Neil Killick @neil_killick
  2. 2. Deadlines vs “Deadlines” Prioritisation vs Execution
  3. 3. Bliss, I’ve got 6 months til the deadline!
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  5. 5. Execs: We need to be more efficient! Get it all done! “Deadlines” derived from schedule so that all “important” work will get done Managers push all scheduled work (and “Deadlines”) on their “agile” teams Too much work in flight, leading to slow delivery and poor quality Managers lock schedule to “increase efficiency” of teams with asynchronous dependencies “Deadlines” missed, stakeholders pissed off, “Agile is chaos!” Cycle of doom
  6. 6. Replace schedule tension with value tension
  7. 7. “Why didn’t we deliver what we planned?” “How could we have delivered more value?”
  8. 8. Use date as a prioritisation parameter Not an execution one uk/wp- content/uploads/2012/01/scotland _karl_11.png
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  10. 10. projects-31-638.jpg?cb=1447694403
  11. 11. ❏ Avoid big batch, “DEADLINES”-driven Cycle of doom! ❏ Short iterations (value tension) > “DEADLINES” ❏ Invest in infrastructure and culture to allow small, frequent releases - PROPER AGILE! ❏ Prioritise by value - If you have Deadlines, consider time criticality Don’t let “DEADLINES” kill your Agile