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Much of what one reads about Agile is focused on teams working on a single project that is relatively short-lived. The team works iteration by iteration to add functionality until it is time to release. At that point, the team either begins the next version, or it moves on to another project. Agile literature often does not discuss how the company handles maintenance after the release of the initial project, nor does it address ways to work on several projects in parallel. While Scrum does have the notion of a Scrum of Scrums, it assumes that there are several individual and distinct teams working independently.
At EnvisionWare, we have amassed a repertoire of approximately 20 products over our 10 year history. We continue to maintain all of them while working to develop new ones. We work from a single common code base, and we have a relatively small development and QA team. We are constantly struggling to balance the competing demands of supporting our existing customers while continuing to expand our product offering to take advantage of new opportunities.
This session will provide a case study of our experiences. It will identify our main challenges and some of the strategies we’ve employed to address them. Further, it will discuss some of the issues we’ve yet to resolve. Participants will come away with a better understanding of and some ideas for how to tackle the problems that may be encountered when trying to be Agile with many simultaneous projects and when faced with the need to continue to maintain several released products across a fairly large customer base.