Agile Approaches in SW Development Projects

Yesterday I attended a presentation session, organized by the GPM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projekt Management), called “Agiles SW-Projektmangement – Ist Softwareprojektmanagement ohne agile Techniken und Werte noch verantwortbar?”, which basically means weather you can ‘afford’ to do Software Development Projects without using Agile Apporaches. Presented by Dipl.-Ing. Bernd Oestereich, Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter oose Innovative Informatik GmbH, based in Hamburg. The outline says:

Aktuelle Studien zeigen, dass agile Methoden wie Scrum, APM und XP sich immer mehr verbreiten. Ebenso bedienen sich auch viele traditionelle Projektmanager immer systematischer bei den vielen einzelnen Techniken aus dem agilen PM. Was dafür sorgt, dass die Übergänge fließend werden.
Statistiken von Standish, Gartner & Co. in den letzten Jahren zunehmend mehr erfolgreichere SW-Projekte ausweisen, so sind die absoluten Zahlen doch weiterhin unbefriedigend. Als ein entscheidender Unterschied zwischen erfolgreichen und weniger erfolgreichen Projekten wird immer wieder das so genannte agile PM angeführt.
Trotzdem ist Agilität kein Allheilmittel. Eine aktuelle gemeinsame Studie von GPM, PMI und oose zu den Erfolgsfaktoren agiler Projekte belegt, dass weniger die Wahl einer Methode wie Scrum, APM etc. erfolgsentscheidend ist, sondern das richtige Verständnis und die richtige Anwendung weniger ausgewählter Konzepte und Techniken. Welche das sind und vor allem, was das bedeutet, stellt Bernd Oestereich in seinem Vortrag dar.

Bottom Line, you should look at Agile Approaches and decide which one could work in your project, like making small iterations rather than slow motion waterfall and other approaches.

Great presentation with lots of facts. I was sitting in the audience and used a different type to minute that presentation. I used twitter to highlight the key messages. Here is the stream:

  1. Attending GPM presentation in Frankfurt on agile software project management. Keen. Will start soon.
  2. Interesting study results are presented. Agile vs waterfall – succesful vs unsuccessful.
  3. It’s all about applying the right agile technics to the approach you are using for your software project.
  4. Iterations are short and sweet. Average 4 weeks and certain technics (planning, retrospective, etc.) are to be applied.
  5. Changes are welcome in agile. Requirements are designed, developed and presented to customer. Achievements secured.
  6. Milestone vs timebox. Deliver a scope or deliver a timebox (things achieved in a certain timeframe).
  7. Project level followed by release level followed by team- and iteration level incl feedback loops and propability questioning.
  8. From project target via product features via release features and iteration features to the word order.
  9. Now we see an example where agile methods have been applied. Container terminal software project in hamburg.
  10. Explaining the apm-timebox-iteration-modell. Wow, what a slide @presentationzen wouldn’t like this one.
  11. Question on costs. Agile more expensive but higher quality, higher likelihood to be successful, customer receives what expected.
  12. Q&A almost over. Question on who would apply the approaches presented … Small number of hands. How ever, great pres.

Interesting way of floowing a presentation and stepping into a discussions with followers on Twitter. Looking forward to the next session.

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Torsten J. Koerting

Torsten J. Koerting is a project management-, paragliding- and Outdoor Enthusiast, Consultant, Author of several books and engaged as a speaker at many conferences. As Managing Partner at projectyzer he is specialised in supporting companies and organisations in reinventing their strategy as well as turning projects around that are in trouble. He worked in Europe, US and Australia for more than 20 years for global Blue Chips. He does hold the German and Australian Citizenship and lives with his wife and two kids between Europe and Australia. He is also a certified Bank Clerk, Executive Bachelor and Project Management Professional (PMI) and used to be Board Member of the PMI Queensland Chapter (Australia).

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