April 13, 2012

My top ten list on how to succeed with large projects. (7)

#7 Scrum slowly in the beginning.

I really like scrum or other agile methods, but I am not one of the religious fanatics. Scrum like any method has its strengths and weaknesses. Scrum is time boxed and is focused on dividing a task into smaller subtasks that can be given time estimates. It is an effective method when the domain is well known. The focus on what instead of how can however be a problem when making the system analysis. It is all too easy to forget that you cannot build a system without taking time to make up a lasting architecture, simple enough to be understood and rich enough to cater for the whole system, not just for a sprint. Although agile methods have mechanisms for system analysis, it just doesn't seem like a first citizen. Agile methods are focusing on keeping the work and produced code up, not for taking it slow and think. But no thinking makes a stupid system architecture.
Don't do until you know what to.

System architectural decisions early in a projects lifetime are decisions that lives for a long time and are hard to change. It can be mistakes that will cost many, many hours.

So use scrum, but take it slow in the beginning. Make time for some thinking.

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