jeudi 7 octobre 2010

Fundamentals of agility: The target

The focus on the target is an essential element of the engineering. The question is to know if it is possible to focus on the target. Often this target is too big or too fuzzy so that the members of the team can focus them on it.

With the V cycle, there is no definition of the limit of the target. The good teams will choose realistic targets and the others rarely. The agile methods define realistic targets.

In agility, the length of the stories or the tasks is surrounded. For the stories, the length of each story has a value in the Finobacci series. Only the stories which have a length under 7 are analyzed and can have a sufficient priority to be included in the next sprint. For the other, either they are not having priority, or they are factorized in sub-story enough small. The tasks must not be last more than one day.

The focus on the target is easier with agility because the targets of each member are more accurate. Particularly with Scrum, the roles of each are exactly defined. The members of the team program and test. They know the entire project and work on each part of it. The pair programming allow understanding the way of working of the other members. The standardization of the rules of programming, commentary and literature give a common base of working. The members can be focused on the production of a quality code. The Scrum master is focused on the respect of the rules of the agility and also on the rules defined by the company and the team. The Product Owner is focused on the needs and the priorities of the customer. The customer is focused on the appropriateness between the product and the user’s needs. It is recommended to him to factorize his needs so that they are easy to understand.

It is always easier to focus on a small target. The fractal dimension of an IT project is often forbidden. When I watch a project, I start by seeing algorithms, next in the upper dimension objects which organize and perform these algorithms, next packages which propose contracts, next services which propose more complex contracts, finally software which supply services and interact with the users. In each dimension, the analysis, the description and the programming must ask less than one day. This length is the full time of focusing on an accurate continuous work.

The target is the aim of each member of the team. The Agile Methods propose a way to create targets which have a realistic length.

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