Hi. It’s been a while, I know. Sorry about that. How’ve you been?

Me? Well, I’m still working my butt off on this project.

Yeah, that’s the one.

What’s changed since we talked last? Some more really smart people joined. Some really bad ones left. We’re just starting to hit our stride fully.

Yep, still agile. Big project agile. And -

No, “big project agile” does not mean “waterfall”, dork. Some people would probably argue that statement, especially in the so-called enterprise. As if big IT is the enemy of agility.

Yeah, I don’t think it is. Admittedly, with a software company and a small team of developers, you can do amazing things. But, big IT projects differ from that and, normally, the companies running them have the resources to throw at it. We can’t just let them fail because they want to run bass-ackwards processes, right?

Well, most managers on those big projects want to feel like they’re in control. They do that with Gantt charts and milestones and project plans and big-up-front design. But, you and I know that kind of control is only an illusion of control.

Right, they vest more faith and energy in the plan and the artifacts of the plan than in the plan’s goal. That goes directly against that thing in the Agile Manifesto. I think it says, “Software documentation is stupid!”

Oh, yeah, that’s right: we value working software over comprehensive documentation. «chuckle» Well, you got my drift.

And, that’s the way that hold true to our agile beliefs, by preserving the tenets of the agile manifesto and picking the management and development practices necessary to organize and plan the project. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do on this project: make plans for budget and release schedules.

Yeah, backlog total divided by velocity equals the number of sprints. I know that tried and true equation. The problem emerges when you change the nature of the teams’ work. If I can get the teams to maintain the integrity of their relative scoring of the story points, then I can, in theory, double their velocity by removing half of the work they have to do.

Pipe dream? No, not a pipe dream. If I have a two teams that don’t do domain modeling well because their OO, DDD, FDD, blah-dee-dah-dee-fu isn’t good, then I can provide implementaitons for those folks. The stories don’t change complexity, so the scores shouldn’t change. However, if I remove 50% of the time that they spend doing stuff they’re not good at, they can spend that other 50% on work that they can do. Boom, doubled velocity. That’s what I’m talking about.

Yeah, that’s the tack I’ve taken. Obviously, the “WORK HARDER UNTIL YOU BLEED” strategy didn’t take off for us.


Just trying to keep the pace sustainable because some of us are going to be working on this for a while.

That’s right, a big project.

Hey, I’ve got to run to my next meeting. But, if you want to hear more about how we’re doing this, then come to agile.next on 22 August.

Yeah, I’m giving a talk entitled “Planning for Success - Large Project Setup for Scrum”. Little beknownst to the organizers, though, I think I’m going to have to stray away from scrum and into other methodologies. Because, we have to change the way we do things if what we have doesn’t work.

Yeah, let me text that URL to you.

-> http://agiledotnext.com/Home/Session/11

And, when I get everything ready for delivery, I’m going to post it all at agilemongous.info.

Yeah, laugh it up. I picked the name for the laugh factor.

No, the conference isn’t free, this year. They’re charging $99. But, they’ve included some good food with it and they rented Studio Movie Grill.

Yeah, the food last year was pretty good, too.

It was free? I don’t remember that. Down at Minute Maid? I thought it cost $50 or something. Maybe not.

Yeah, I did win a prize! That’s right. I still haven’t used that gift certificate….

Dumb? Me? Yeah, that’s true. «chuckle»

Okay, yeah, I’ll see you around. Let’s get some coffee, next time.

Ok, hope to see you on the twenty-second.