Dec 16

It seems to me that every single time I sit through a training/presentation session on project management given by folks with PMP certifications they talk a lot about ways to get things delivered faster; Fast tracking, resource balancing, etc. Never have I had a PMP person talk about the difficulties in doing this and the reality that 1 resource does not equal another resource, there are tasks that cannot be done effectively by multiple resources and some tasks have specific time span constraints regardless of how many people are working on it. 

For instance if a complex algorithm must be developed, once the logic is designed writing the code is likely not something that you want more than a couple of developers working on together. If you are dealing with testing a system and the test needs to take 3 days to execute because you need to let the system process for three days to exercise the system it might just take 1 person to push the start button and monitor the test. 3 people will not make it take 1 day. Not only that, more developers working on the same parts of a system will step on each other and actually slow down development.

I think it would be good for more PMPs to read The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Fred Brooks. 

Jun 24

Agile is all the buzz in the development community. SCRUM is one of the most popular forms for agile software development. There are plenty of would be gurus ready to help you implement Agile SCRUM and plenty of books to go along with it. Agile SCRUM promises to help you push out better software, faster, and at a controlled cost.

So can Agile SCRUM deliver on its promises?

I've been doing Agile SCRUM for about 2 years now and the best answer I can give to that question is yes; as long as you understand what Agile SCRUM really does. Following Agile SCRUM will not solve your problems by itself even if you think you're following it to the letter. It will not replace good development practices and solid architecture. It will not make up for inadequate quality control or badly designed applications.

What it will do is help shine the light on issues. There will be pain involved in going to an Agile SCRUM world. If you manage the transition the promise is real, but the challenges are many.

Going forward...

Going forward on this topic I will discuss many of the challenges I have seen and overcome. I will also discuss the challenges I am currently dealing with and my attempts to solve them.