Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Agile is like driving

As I ran to the store at lunch today, it occured to me that iterative development is a lot like driving.

When I first get into the car it's pointed in the direction that I want to go, but there are lots of variables that make that change. I know what my destination is, but people can be walking, there are other cars on the road, some streets can even be under construction. The constant adjustments that are made to drive safely are the iterations. The closer together these iterations are with driving the better. Waiting 5 minutes to open your eyes and check for any changes will probably cause an accident.

Iterations within project development are the same, they need to be small enough that you can prevent accidents before they occur. In my current project we are using 1 week iterations. I have only used 2 week iterations in the past and I was skeptical. However, now that I'm doing it, I like the one week iteration. We have daily feedback on our status, weekly feedback on the development that was expected, and we can adjust our schedule according to changes and unforeseen issues.

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