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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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This post gets to the heart of my issues with Agile. 

Agile’s biggest weakness is that they minimize forecasting. Most companies today, when they commit to a million dollar project, want to know what they get for their money. They want to know when they get it too. And they want to know before they sign the check. The less planning you do at the beginning of a project, the less you know about the end of the project. This is hard for non-Agile companies (or executives) to swallow. By minimizing the upfront planning, Agile teams minimize their ability to forecast the pending results.

I think it requires a mindset change not only for the developer/architect, but also the PM.  And I’m not sure that many PM’s are ready to make this mindset change.  It takes a leap of faith on their part, and PM’s are notoriously non-faithful.  In addition, I don’t think that PM’s have the necessary tools to plan/schedule an Agile project as well as they’d like.  I think that all of these issues are surmountable in time, but buy-in on Agile is going to be slow until that has happened.

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:57 AM Architecture | Back to top


Comments on this post: Agile's Biggest Strength is Agile's Biggest Weakness

# re: Agile's Biggest Strength is Agile's Biggest Weakness
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I work on an Agile team, and we do tons of planning. We are hardnosed on this point: We won't begin development until we actually know what we are going to make. If analysis isn't done, we don't know what to do. We force planning to actually happen before development begins.

We also react to changes in plans. If a change happens, we don't continue on with the original (now invalid) plan and try to force square software into a hole that's becoming increasingly round.

We do not minimize forecasting - we just acknowledge that there is no possible way to predict exactly. We acknowledge that giving prediction numbers would be worthless because there is no way they would be correct.

I used to do waterfall style development, and moving to Agile style has been very rigorous. I work much harder now because Agile development requires much more discipline.
Left by Jeffrey Palermo on May 10, 2006 10:14 AM

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