Project Management Software
Specialists in Project Infrastructure
Abstract – Agile Development
This paper presents an overview of Agile Project Management & Development Methods. The paper will describe
Current Status Agile Development
What is the current Software Project Management & development environment???
This statement by James Bach in “American Programmer” effectively sums up the current Software Management method. There is a constant need for delivering “more” in a given amount of time. The other attributes of the current development environment can be described by the following attributes.
Modeling these Software Development Process Attributes
Can we create a Model to take care of these attributes???
Attempts to model this development process have encountered the following problems.
Managing Current Development Processes
And, the current Management & development processes handle all these problems ….. Do they???
Currently, most software management & development is considered a “chaotic” activity, better known as “code and fix”. This means software is written without much of an underlying plan, and the design of the software system is cobbled together. However, there has always been an alternative to this chaotic development by using methodologies (Fowler, 2000).
These methodologies are typically known as “heavy” or “monumental”. Examples of them include the waterfall, spiral, etc. They impose a strong emphasis on process especially upfront planning. Even though they have been around for quite some time, they are not noted for being very successful or popular (Fowler, 2000).
The unpopularity of these “heavy” methodologies is a result of the massive effort required throughout the process which can actually slow down development.
Introducing Agile Management and Development Method
And, Now Ladies And Gentlemen, the Distinguished Agile Management & Development Method!!
What is Agile Management and Development Method
Agile Management & Development Method is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods with a focus on people, results, minimal methods and maximum collaboration. It is geared to the high speed and high change of today’s ebusiness projects. (Highsmith, 2000).
History of Agile Development
Who is behind this “Agile” thing???
In February of 2001, a group of people, frustrated with the existing heavy software methodologies met in Utah to find some common ground in alternate software development. They came up with this manifesto:
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more. (Agile Alliance, 2000 )
This manifesto is the cornerstone of all the different Agile Software Management & Development methods.
Agile Development Characteristics
What are the characteristics of an Agile Software Management & Development???
Today’s time-sensitive business climate requires that we quickly accommodate requirements changes during development and, after development, be equally adept a delivering the upgrades caused by software’s rapid software evolution and the customer’s ever-increasing requirements (Aoyama, 2000).
A dominant idea in agile development is that the team can be more effective in responding to change if it can
(Cockburn et al.,2001)
Where to use Agile Development
Where do you use Agile Management & Development Methods???
Agile Management & development methods are used under the following circumstances:
Where not to use Agile Development
Where do you not use Agile Management & Development Methods???
Agile development methods aren’t used under the following circumstances:
Agile Management Method Analogy
Er… Can you give me an analogy between Agile management methods and the normal heavy weight software development method ….
Let us assume that you are designing a custom coffee maker. With Agile Development methods you will
In the case of a normal heavy weight software Management & development process, you will
OK, fine…what are the currently available Agile development processes, which are available for an user?
eXtreme Programming is a new approach to software management which takes a code-centric view of the activity. XP offers several compelling features:
The development environment in an Organization which uses XP is characterized by these procedures:
(Control Chaos, 2002)
The crystal family of lightweight SDLC methodologies was created by Alistair Cockburn. Crystal is a family of human-powered and adaptive, ultralight, "shrink-to-fit" software Management & development methodologies.
Crystal is non-jealous, meaning that a Crystal methodology permits substitution of similar elements from other methodologies (Cockburn, 2001)
The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is a lightweight software methodology which has its origins in the U.K. In traditional approaches the focus has been on satisfying the contents of a requirements document and conforming to previous deliverables, even though the requirements are often inaccurate. The previous deliverables may be flawed and the business needs may have changed since the start of the project. In addition, time and resources are often allowed to vary during development.
In DSDM, the exact opposite is true, time is fixed for the life of a project, and resources are fixed as far as possible. This means that the requirements that will be satisfied are allowed to change (DSDM, 2001).
DSDM has underlying principles that include active user interaction, frequent deliveries, empowered teams, testing throughout the cycle. Like other agile methods they use short time boxed cycles of between two and six weeks. There's an emphasis on high quality and adaptively towards changing requirements (Fowler, 2001).
The Whitewater Interactive System Development with Object Models (Wisdom) addresses the needs of small development teams who are required to build and maintain the highest quality interactive systems (Nunes & Cunha, 2000). The Wisdom methodology has three key components:
Users of Agile Management Methods
Are there any companies which are using Agile Management methods ???
I found these companies making use of Agile development methods:
Escrow.com also uses agile development methods. Escrow.com has documented the results of their success with agile development methods in this table:
The data in the table speaks for the success of the company with Agile development methods.
Advantages of Agile Development
What are the advantages of Agile Management & development methods???
The benefits are significant and include:
Limitations of Agile Development
What are the limitations of Agile development methods???
The limitations of Agile Management methods are:
Personal View on Agile Development Methods
My two cents on Agile development methods!!!
I immensely like the short development cycles prescribed in all of the Agile development methods. This is very practical and is true in many organizations. I have also observed in my professional experience in the software industry that having short development cycles of 15 days to one month, and going for a review of the entire project after that really is very pragmatic.
Now for the darker side of Agile development methods. Agile development methods place too much premium on people. It expects highly motivated people. It also expects colleagues to interact in a very close manner, everyday, without disagreement, emotions or bias. This will just not happen. It is very tough to work very closely with a group or people and get along with them. People will have disagreements everyday, which will affect the way in which future interactions with clients and fellow developers will be affected. If the heavy emphasis on people is not sorted out, Agile may end up being a very bold experiment.
Agile methods are light weight software methods. Agile development methods are very pragmatic in understanding the fact that requirements in a business environment changes constantly. Highly creative people who have understood the shortcomings of normal software management processes are using agile development methods in organizations. Many organizations all around the world are trying out the various available Agile development methods.
AgileAlliance .(2001, February). History: The Agile Manifesto. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://agilemanifesto.org/history.html
Amber, Scott. (2002). When and when aren’t you Agile Modeling? Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web
Aoyama, Mikio. (1998, November). IEEE Software: Web-based Agile Software Development. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Aoyama, Mikio. ( ????). Summary of Progress-Implementation Projects. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Chromatic. (2001, May). O’Reilly Open Source Convention: An Introduction to Extreme Programming. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Cockburn, Alisair., Highsmith, Jim . (2001, September). Agile Software Development: The people Factor
Cockburn, Alistair. (2001, October). Philosophy of crystal Methodologies. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Control Chaos. (2001). SCRUM software Development process.
Control Chaos. (2002). What is Scrum? Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Disaster. ( 2001, July). Recipes for Disaster. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
DSDM. (2001). Overview: Why is DSDM different. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Fowler, M. (2000, December). Put your process on a diet software development. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.sdmagazine.com/articles/2000/0012/0012a/0012a.htm
Fowler, Martin. (2001, November). The New Methodology. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Fowler, Martin., Highsmith, Jim. (2001, August). The Agile Manifesto. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.sdmagazine.com/documents/x=844/sdmo108a/0108a.htm
Highsmith, Jim. (2001). Adaptive Software Development. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.chc-3.com/cs511/fall2001/talks/team2_asd.ppt
Hodgetts, Paul., Phillips, Denise. (2000). Extreme Adoption experiences of a B2B startup. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Interaction Design. Using XP to develop context-sensitive Adverts for the web. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Marick, Brian. (2001, Febraury). Agile Methods and Agile Testing. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.testing.com/agile/agile-testing-essay.html
Maurer, Frank. (2002). XP in detail: University of Calgary. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://sern.ucalgary.ca/courses/SENG/609.24/W2002/slides/XP2.ppt
Nelson, Elden. (2002, January). Extreme Programming vs Interaction Design. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.fawcette.com/interviews/beck-cooper/
Nunes, N., Cunha, J. (2000). Wisdom: A software engineering method for small software development companies IEEE software, September/October 2000, 113- 119.
Pickering, Chris. (2001, June). Agile Is In. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/columns/ecomm/article/0,,2791_7_8031,00.html
Roger, K.J., Whitman, Larry., Underdown,Ryan. (1998). The Enterprise Integration issues Encountered with Agile Process Introduction. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://arri.uta.edu/eif/rogersfaim98.pdf
Russell, Lou. (2001). AGILE Development: A Tale of Two Cooks Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
UTA. Summary of Progress-Implementation Projects. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web:
Wolak, Chaelynne. (2001, July). Extreme Programming ( XP) uncovered. Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.scisstudyguides.addr.com/papers/cwdiss725paper4.pdf
Wolak, Ronald. ( 2001, April). DISS 725-System Development: Research Paper1 SDLC on a Diet: Retrieved Sept 22 2004, from the World Wide Web: http://www.scisstudyguides.addr.com/papers/rwDISS725researchpaper1.pdf
Addicam Sanjay has over 7 years experience in the Consumer Electronics Industry in Technical as well as Management positions. His primary focus is in producing Home networking software with quick turn around time and with engineers spread in multiple geos. Sanjay received his Masters in Information technology from University of Maryland. His other works are available at http://members.cox.net/asanjay
Project Perfect sell “Project Administrator” software, which is a tool to assist organisations better manage project risks, issues, budgets, scope, documentation planning and scheduling. They also created a technique for gathering requirements called “Method H” ä , and sell software to support the technique. For more information on Project tools or Project Management visit www.projectperfect.com.au