J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Why Agile?

Why Agile?

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I thought I had written about “Why Agile” before, but I don’t see anything crisp enough.

Anyway, here’s my latest rundown on Why Agile?

  1. Increase customer involvement which can build empathy and avoid rework
  2. Learn faster which means you can adapt to change
  3. Improve quality through focus
  4. Reduce risk through shorter feedback loops and customer interaction
  5. Simplify by getting rid of overhead and waste
  6. Reduce cycle time through timeboxing and parallel development
  7. Improve operational awareness through transparency
  8. Drive process improvement through continuous improvement
  9. Empower people through less mechanics and more interaction, continuous learning, and adaptation
  10. Flow more value through more frequent releases and less “big bang”

Remember that nature favors the flexible and agility is the key to success.

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  • How does prototyping fit in to agile???

    Are you big on prototyping???

  • @ Dragan -- Prototyping fits in well.

    I would look to the principles and values of Agile.

    Prototypes help communicate and test pains, needs, and desired outcomes for users.

    A good concept to keep in mind regarding prototyping is the difference between a high-fidelity prototype and a low-fidelity prototype.   The downfall is to spend a bunch of time on high-fidelity prototypes that aren't adding any more value (communicating needs, testing ideas, reducing risk, etc.)

    Personally, I'm a fan of paper prototypes.   It helps to stay focused on what really matters.

    Along those lines, another important concept is to test user experiences.  If you can get the user experience right, then it helps narrow down which technical risks to deal with.  I've seen many people burn lots of time doing the reverse.  They test all the technical risks, only to find out, nobody wants to use it anyway.

    The sooner that you have user experiences validated, the better off the rest of the flow will go.

  • @ J.D Meier, I had no idea that paper prototyping was actually a known method. For anyone else interested:

    en.wikipedia.org/.../Paper_prototyping

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