Time and Budget Charts show project status clearly.  But what happens when the scope changes?  Does the chart still work?  If so, how do you update it to reflect the new scope? The charts can accommodate change in three ways, as follows:… Read More

Agile development is hard to define, because most people define it by giving examples. For instance they give a specific description of Extreme Programming (XP), instead of defining of agile development in general. We’ve ended up with a widespread misconception that agility is about XP techniques like Pair Programming and Test-Driven Development (TDD).… Read More

Negotiation, meaning “discussion intended to produce agreement”, is fundamental to every software project.  (And other projects too – my examples just happen to come from the software industry.)  Developers and customers must reach agreement on what the system is supposed to do.   A wise agreement will define achievable goals and meet the users’ real needs.… Read More

Crystal Clear is a methodology that summarises 10 years of research into successful software teams.  Which things really matter?  Which things most influence the project outcome?… Read More

I’m sick of Gantt charts.  They’re hard to maintain and they don’t tell me what I want to know.  I want the big picture: Are we on time? Are we on budget? Gantt charts overshadow the big picture with details.  Here’s a clearer, simpler chart:… Read More

Martin Fowler is well-known industry guru, respected by virtually everybody (including me).  He suggests you can’t use agile processes on projects with fixed price and scope.  Alistair Cockburn — who is a well-known industry guru, respected by virtually everybody (including me) — says you can.  To resolve this apparent conflict, we need to understand two… Read More

Awarding contracts to the lowest bidder is optimistic at best, dangerous at worst.  So why do we keep doing it? There are many reasons.  To pick just one: we believe it works in “real” engineering – making bridges, roads and buildings. But it doesn’t.  Although it is widely used in engineering; it’s not widely successful!… Read More

Can you use agile processes with traditional fixed price contracts, contracts where both scope and price are specified up front? Yes, you can use agile processes on fixed price projects. For instance, Crystal Clear was developed and tested on fixed price projects:… Read More

David Anderson presents three facets of agility: The “toolbox” of iterative development techniques The belief that people are more significant than process Trust David points out that trust underlies the greater efficiency of agile approaches. Lean Software Development also emphasises trust. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing trust as a prerequisite… Read More