What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 2, Iterative Lifecycles

Back in Part 1, I wrote about how stage-gate approaches were as agile as we could use at the time. We had one delivery, so our agility was about canceling the project if we couldn’t finish it. However, some smart people also realized that we had another lever, aside from estimation, to replan the project. …

What Lifecycle or Agile Approach Fits Your Context? Part 1, Serial Lifecycles

Are you trying to make an agile framework or approach work? Maybe you have technical or schedule risk. Maybe you’ve received a mandate to “go agile.” Maybe you’d like to experiment with better ways of working. Or, maybe you’re trying to fit an agile framework into your current processes—and you’ve got a mess. You’re not …

Effects of Separating “New” Work vs “Maintenance” Work

Back when I was a manager, my senior management wanted to separate the “new” work from the “maintenance” work. I suggested that every new line after the first line of code was maintenance. The managers poo-poohed me. My concern: How would the “new” developers learn from their mistakes? I lost that discussion and I managed …

Agile Approaches Can’t Save Impossible Projects: Fixed Cost, Scope, Date

You’ve got an impossible project. You have no flexibility. The project is a fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed-date project. And, you have a specific team to do the work. (There are other impossible projects. Such as when you have a collection of people who multitask among several projects.) Can an agile approach save these projects? No. An agile …

Projects, Products, and the Project Portfolio: Part 2, Assess & Rank the Work

Part 1 was about seeing the value in the various projects. I called the value stream a product so that people would think about who would use it and why. I suggested that we stop work on specific products when you have more products than teams. That would allow you to work on other projects …

Tactical Ideas for Agile Budgeting, Part 1

Too often, organizations want to budget for an entire year. The managers run around for two or three months in advance of that fiscal year, attempting to predict a ton of things: Estimates for not-well-defined projects or features, Capital equipment or tool needs, “Headcount” aka, people needed. Then, the organization doesn’t finalize the budget until …