In the grand theatre of development projects, there is often an unintended comedy playing out. Project after project stumbles and fumbles its way to the finish line, much like a bumbling character in a Shakespearean play (hopefully without a murder on route). So let’s dive into our experience of the world of delivery misadventures and discover why they go awry, and consider how our agile style approach that could help save the day.
Act 1: The Phantom Scope Creep
Imagine, if you will, a project that starts as a seemingly simple task but morphs into a colossal, monstrous endeavour. This is the phantom menace known as scope creep. It enters our project stage left, often in the form of stakeholders with a million “just one more thing” requests. Our poor Delivery manager, in an epic struggle of their own, valiantly tries to fend off this shape-shifting villain. And as my Dad always told me “There is no such thing as a JUST job”.
Enter 345’s Agile style approach: The hero with a plan (sans the cape). Agile processes are all about iterative development, welcoming changes with open arms and communication. In the agile world, changes in scope are not intruders; they are expected guests at the project party. Instead of pushing back, teams are ready to adapt and embrace new requirements and ensure that consequences are clear and common sense prevails. The show must go on!
Act 2: The Curse of Overwhelming Complexity
Picture a developer knee-deep in an ever-expanding sea of code, where even the best-laid plans go astray. In this project opera, complexity is the villain, lurking behind every corner, waiting to pounce.
Our approach takes the complexity by the horns and wrestles it into submission. With regular inspections (aka, sprint reviews and demos), agile teams ensure that the code is like a well-practiced actor, sticking to the script and delivering what was expected. This iterative approach not only makes the complex seem manageable but also provides quick wins for the project, keeping the team motivated and the audience (stakeholders) engaged and aligned.
Act 3: The Data Drama
Now, let’s move on to a classic drama that unfolds when data is involved. Picture a project where data migration is like trying to herd cats. Ever heard the phrase “Like trying to put kittens in a box”? The data refuses to conform, making the project team feel like they’re navigating a labyrinth in the dark.
Agile introduces us to the concept of “user stories.” These are bite-sized tales that describe what a user needs to accomplish with the software. By focusing on these stories, our agile teams can pinpoint the essential data migration needs and tackle them one at a time.
Act 4: The Never-Ending Testing Trilogy
In a galaxy not so far away, there’s a project testing phase that drags on and on. It’s like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but without the epic journey and enchanting landscapes. And as a Tester by heart, this is my playground, my happy place but it’s also the demise of many a project.
345’s approach promotes continuous testing with a heavy lean towards Shifting Left. With each sprint, the team tests what’s been built so far. This means that issues are spotted and addressed early in the project, instead of waiting for the grand finale when testing everything at once could bring the project to its knees.
Act 5: The Communication Conundrum
In this development project comedy, miscommunication takes centre stage. Stakeholders are expecting a musical, and the development team is delivering a sci-fi thriller. The result? An unamused audience and a standing ovation for confusion.
Our approach, with its frequent communication through daily stand-up meetings, weekly reports, DevOps boards and more, keeps the team and stakeholders on the same page. Our Delivery Managers ensure the project is aligned with stakeholder expectations, like the director steering the play in the right direction. With open, honest, pragmatic and common sense approaches, we talk easily with stakeholders, knowing that a problem is just an opportunity in a different jacket.
Epilogue: The Agile Encore
The play may have had its moments of tragedy and comedy, but in the end, our experience and approach emerges as the hero. By embracing change, taming complexity, focusing on user stories, ensuring continuous testing, and enhancing communication, these principals turn the project delivery theatre into a well-orchestrated symphony of success.
In the world of Development projects, the show must go on, but with our common sense approach as the lead actor, it’s bound to be a hit. After all, in this comedy of errors, we feel Agile holds the key to a standing ovation from satisfied stakeholders and a drama-free project experience.
Now someone get the donkey off the stage……………………………
Article written by Sally Birch, Principal Consultant at 345 Technology.
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