Many trainers agree that co-location is essential to really see the benefits of Agile, but proof of this has been largely anecdotal. On the ScrumDevelopment list recently, an interesting conversation was launched when a member pointed out a study conducted at a Fortune 50 auto maker, comparing productivity gains in collaborative workspaces versus traditional cubicle culture projects.
Jim Johnson, creator of the CHAOS Chronicles on project failure, answers a question outstanding after our August interview: How does he explain the amazing change in cost overrun from 189% in 1994 to 69% in 1998? Apparently Standish planned to publish a CHAOS report in 1996 but held it back due to these unexpected results. Johnson shares what their research revealed happened.
Diana Larsen leads a lot of retrospectives... So, it's not surprising that, when she asked herself "Where is Agile going now?" her response was to run a retrospective of her own. She found that leaders in our community are convinced: Agile methods have "crossed the chasm" to become a respectable alternative for managing and working in software projects. InfoQ brings you this exclusive article.
What happens to planning when teams "self organize"? Agile methods are empirical: plan it, do it, evaluate, plan again. David Hussman reviews practices for planning a project, release, iteration.
A recent SitePoint survey of 5000 Web developers show 24.37% are set to try Ruby in the next year.
InfoQ editor Deborah Hartmann interviewed the creator of the CHAOS Chronicles, Standish Group founder and chairman Jim Johnson. The Standish Group's statistics on project failure are widely quoted, as they have been since the first survey results came out in 1994. Jim spoke with Deborah about his research, and the role of Agile in changing the IT industry.
Ziff Davis' August surveys find that IT is growing in all sectors, leading to increased IT hiring. And though execs express a significant preference for IT professionals with a head for business over technical wizards, they anticipate these will be hard to find. Particularly in demand are professionals in project management, business-process redesign, business analysis and systems integration.
Peter Coffee, IT industry veteran, blogged on the recent Digital Focus survey of the state of Agile practice, noting that obstacles to Agile adoption are also general danger signs of development dysfunction.
A Ziff-Davis CIO Insight survey on Business Value reveals little improvement in how, or how well, IT is measuring value, even though most firms now try to use metrics such as IRR, NPV, return on assets, or activity-based costing. There's no consensus or consistency on which measures to use, or when to use them. And half of respondents doubt that the measures are even accurate.
In March Scott Ambler surveyed over 4,200 people to discover the actual rate of Agile process adoption and effectiveness. His conclusion: Agile is not only growing in popularity, it's working so well that adopting an Agile approach appears to be an incredibly low-risk choice. Ambler recently published not only his conclusions but also the raw data he collected.
Traditional thinking has turned budgets into fixed performance contracts that force managers at all levels to commit to specified financial outcomes, despite the fact that many of the underlying variables are beyond their control. As Agility increases the futility of this exercise becomes apparent. Thought-leader Jim Highsmith proposes a helpful alternative more harmonious with Agile values.
Jim Highsmith, Director of Cutter Consortium's Agile Project Management Practice told the APLN Leadership Summit audience yesterday: "...to achieve truly agile, innovative organizations, a change in our approach to performance management systems is necessary... 'Conforming to plan' while delivering scant business value will seriously impede agility, whether in projects or the entire enterprise.
The survey finds Agile Software Development gaining momentum: interest in Agile methods is growing across the IT landscape with 81 percent of those surveyed either actively using Agile development within their organization or looking for opportunities to do so. Launched at the Agile 2005 Conference to assess the state of agile adoption, this year 136 execs in 128 organizations responded.
On the high-volume ScrumDevelopment newsgroup, an interesting question has appeared, once again: "Is it possible to run SCRUM with fixed price contracts especially custom projects?". Ron Jeffries, Mike Beedle and others offer replies from experience.
Pareto's rule, also known as the 80-20 rule, tells us that we can acheive 80% of the benefits from 20% of the software. The implication is that we might want to stop at that 80% level whenever possible.