I think most people’s forays into Agile Development is done via Incremental versus true iterative development. Sadly, I think all of us who do incremental development actually think we are being very agile and doing iterative development.
The project was to create a Campground Reservation service for the Province of Manitoba and was quite successful. We implemented a public website to allow the reservations of campgrounds in 92 days and we made the date. Although we did a lot right, we also did quite a few things wrong. We developed incrementally, we had a separate test phase, our iterations were a month long, we had people owning parts of the application, etc…
The why did the project work? Well I believe we did four things extremely well from Agile/Lean
- We had the client decision maker on site 100%
- We had an all star team and implemented visual project management and daily stand ups
- We allocated a person for the entire project to design the testing and then test continuously
- The style of leadership on the project was very collaborative and respectful. The team together created as the estimates and lived by them. (Although we did not use relative estimating or planning poker)
Which goes to show you that rarely does the first Agile project ever do agile correctly and that even doing it incorrectly still provides benefits if you get a couple of the key principles right. I was the Project Manager for that project and have learned since about all the aspects of Agile and Lean and how I would execute the project again.
Next Post: Why I think a testing phase is a concept that is so hard to let go of…