• In software engineering no one model will fit
all circumstances.
• But the major models all contribute
significantly to improve our processes.
• As every enterprise is unique, so too much
be the choice of major features of processes
we have looked at.
• Many of these characteristics may fit well to
the current situation and constitute our
• Not long ago, there were huge needs for
very rapid development of features and
functionality; time to market could
make/break a company.
• Agile arose out of this environment.
• While somewhat simmered, the features
developed have transcended this period
and still mark great strides in the
improvement of the software engineering
• We will consider the salient features.
• Idea behind time-boxing is to establish a rhythm for
development of value.
• When rapid delivery of features was more important
than quality, time-boxing arose!
• This is a major feature of Agile and all iterative /
incremental approaches.
• Rather than deliver software of value be developmentdriven (scope boxing) and arrive at an uncertain
cadence, forced times – with discipline – arose.
• Typically they run from two-week iterations to a 30-day
Spring in Scrum.
• Emphasis: Speed of delivery is critical; cost of delay
is great.
• In time-boxing, initial objectives (scope) for the iteration
are made solid prior to starting; roles and risks are firm.
• Objectives are prioritized traditionally based on risk and
need (provided core values to customer)
• Within the iteration, there is continuous monitoring and
controlling of the features to meet the date.
• If it appears that some of the features will not be done (again,
based on priorities), and this means the foresight for a
working, tested increment of value and potentially shippable)
then those features not accommodated are NOT used to
extend the iteration, rather, they are postponed until a later
iteration – to keep rhythm in tact. Features are scaled back.
• An arrival of a ‘stable business value’ is reached,
• demonstrated to stakeholders,
• measure and assess the success (good, bad, and ugly) of the
• revisit and re-rank the backlog (adding un-accommodated
features if any), and get ready for the next iteration.
• Important to note that ‘scaling back’ is somewhat
‘counter-intuitive and controversial’ (according to
Kennaley) to many project managers.
• They traditionally extend the work day or extend
the delivery date (a slip) and ‘press on’ with
additional hours (or people), and deliver based on
‘finished objectives.’
• If developing an Agile Project, the customer is IN
THE LOOP, and his/her expectations will be in
synch with time-boxing where delivered
increments of real business value are provided.
• A Product Backlog is simply a collection
of product requests that are prioritized
• The PB is a managed collection.
• Many forms
• Sticky notes on whiteboard (Agile)
• Stack of index cards
• Electronic versions
• This effectively removes the need for a
Change Control Board (CCB)
• Noteworthy: it is the Product Owner who is
responsible for managing the backlog including
submission, prioritization and obsolescence of items.
• This is a fundamental paradigm shift on scope
management and favors embracing the reality of
Changing Scope rather than trying to control it.
• Also implies less need for Analysts as team can now
go directly to the source for demand requests.
• Becoming less direct as there are many business
stakeholders not able to fully articulate their needs, and
• Analysts are needed through the realization that backlog
items eventually require a more elaborate form such that
acceptance testing can occur.
• Product Backlog contains collected, prioritized,
and allocated work items in time-boxed
• In the PB, the high priority items (work items)
must be well-defined as we enter an iteration.
• Especially those with complexity or other meaningful
constraints with high risk.
• In the PB, low priority items may be vague, such
as CRUD items.
• Within an sprint, work items can be reprioritized
/ removed at any time, but must be well
• Similar to the Product Backlog.
• Used to manage work breakdown for an iteration/sprint.
• What is needed for this iteration
• This backlog is used internally by the team for coordination and
management purposes and mid-iteration assessments.
• Backlogs force us to prioritize work items.
• This differs from much prescriptive work in the old CC backlogs.
• Here, the belief is that there is much more fluidity in modern software
• Product Backlog will likely never be empty until product is retired.
• Thus, it reflects a Product Management versus a Project
Management perspective.
• We term the rate of change (first derivative) of remaining scope per
unit time as Velocity to establish the notion of how much ground or
distance is being traveled.
• Central idea is that we drive the Product Backlog to zero and use the
measure of velocity to enable an extrapolation of the trend (the slope)
to assess when we will likely complete the effort.
• Note that we are addressing ‘delivered scope’ and not ‘work effort.’
• Work effort has a complicated relationship to scope.
• Just because we are doing work does not mean we are progressing.
• Work reflects the fuel being consumed. Could be at full throttle and
still be going backward if headwind is too strong.
• Using basic calculus, the second derivative – or
rate of change of velocity – will tell us if we are
slowing down or speeding up.
• Can take appropriate actions based on this info.
• In planning an iteration’s work items, we can take
the average of the velocity to address the scope of
a time-boxed iteration as some stable indicator of
what exactly we think can be accomplished within
an iteration.
• A very controversial practice fraught with logistical
• This factor is often cited as the largest factor against
scalability with Agile.
• Often meets with resistance and cultural overtones.
• Yet makes great sense – to enable the richest collaboration
and communication possible.
• Stats regarding communication effectiveness:
• Words – 7%
• Voice (pitch, speed, volume, tone) 38%
• Visual (eye contact, body language) 55%
• Often some kind of compromise is reached despite the
value of this core principle that provides fantastic
• In practice, it is oftentimes very difficult to establish, as
many want to move into their ‘cave’ vice a ‘war room’ to
be able to think.
• Key Point:
• If the great advantages of co-location are not possible, it
does NOT mean the organization cannot do Agile.
• It means that some degree of pragmatism must be
inserted such that less than perfect strategies for achieving
similar results need to take place.
• In stark contrast to command and control plandriven development
• In Agile, there is no real Project Manager.
• Closest role is that of a Scrum-Master – who is
responsible for the process (whereas a Product
Owner is responsible for the product.
• The Scrum Master is more about facilitation dealing
with sprint planning, coordination, issue or ‘block’
resolution when it comes to execution of a Sprint,
and interfacing with management for reporting (if
required from the process perspective).
• This practice hinges on Theory Y management,
which states that employees ‘may be’ ambitious and
self-motivated and exercise self-control.
• This is opposite to Theory X Management, which
many traditional managers practice) in which
management ‘assumes’ employees are inherently
lazy and will avoid work it they can, needing to be
told what to do.
• These contrasting philosophies surround the issue
of workplace motivation and self-actualization and
suggest that a ‘trusting management environment’
must exist for the phenomena of highly performing
software delivery teams to occur.
• This software engineering practice was not
invented by Agile, but has definitely been
popularized through the Agile movement.
• The military has done this for years.
• Note: this does not mean that there are no
• Management focus changes to be that of an
escalation path for exceptional conditions where
the team does not have the necessary visibility
into the right course of action.
• Styles of governance tend to lead to discussions around
the meaning of leadership, leaders, and management.
• Here are a couple of definitions:
• To manage: to handle or direct with a degree of skill: as to
exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory
• To lead: to guide on a way, especially by going in advance;
the process of social influence in which one person can
enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment
of a common task.
• - Webster’s Dictionary.
Often disagreements between the faithful of the PMBOK (Project Management
Body of Knowledge) sometimes called the traditionalists, and Agile (sometimes
called the progressives) in which claims of obsolescence of the Project
Management role are made.
These roles / philosophies can be argued.
Bottom Line: existing Managers need to become Leaders, leveraging all the
skills they have accrued over the years, shelving what does not reflect reality
in modern software engineering, independent of any one method’s branding.
Make no mistake: management of large scale investments will still be the
norm within business circles for some time to come with all the compliance and
fiduciary duty legal issues.
But if common ground exists to help better articulate the real value
proposition Managers can provide to IT Delivery teams, it is that of
• This is a practice coming from XP community; frequently
mentioned with Agile.
• This practice is now a hallmark of the typical custom
development project that is deemed Agile with most if not all
Configuration Management (CM) vendors claiming CI capability.
• Key concept: integrate & test early and often
• But CI takes the concept to the extreme
• with a per check-in build being triggered if configured in
this default way, with at least daily check-in advised.
• Issues typically arise when builds do not have enough time to finish
for extremely large developments, or with product-line and multigenerational product management, so various strategies exist to
support ‘almost’ continuous integration, with staged builds and
variations in build scope.
• So what happens in more robust parallel development
strategies, integration builds and test triggers occur on a perdemand element, such as on a ‘feature, story, scenario,
activity,’ so that “effective” integration occurs at a less
frequent pace.
• Is usually supplemented with the typical daily check-ins and
local developer builds and test execution, along with
potentially daily resynchronization enforcement with the
• Along with the build trigger mechanism that ties CM
infrastructure with build servers, unit test jobs are
also triggered at a near continuous frequency, with
the key goal to prevent defects from “breaking the
build,” thereby ensuring project health.
• Continuous / near continuous release is a little more contentious of a
practice it turns out when dealing with most complex IT organizations.
• With the Agile practice of Shippable Product, the intent is to have a
complete increment of a product ready for a customer.
• This means done-done within the Scrum community.
• But, if you read the practice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a release
will occur, contrary to what some Agilist perspectives might say.
• The key issue is the ability for the business customer to consume a
• At whatever frequency realized
• demand can be ”pulled” by the customer,
• any deployment must be automated and scripted for repeatability and
avoidance of human errors,
• and integrate with Release Management orchestration.
• Pairing is a practice popularized by XP.
• It is where two developers sit at the same terminal and take
turns developing software.
• One is typing the code (driver) and the other is called the
reviewer, who performs real-time code reviews.
• Practice is linked to another agile practice called shared code
ownership, where pairs rotate among teams such that shared,
collective understanding of the entire code base is achieved.
• Benefits claimed include
• knowledge loss risk mitigation,
• increased discipline and time management and
• the concept of having two pairs of eyes rather than one to solve
complex problems.
Your author asserts and wonders why this notion is restricted to developers.
Why not to other along different skill-sets.
Microsoft calls the concept of pairing along different lines “failure crews.”
A failure crew is a small, self-organizing team made up of a problem domain
resource (analyst) and a solution-domain resource (developer).
This configuration is also referred to as a Lean work-cell.
Key skill-sets of the analyst are brought to bear to facilitate an understanding of
demand through their knowledge of the problem space, and the soft skills necessary
to elicit the tacit knowledge associated with the demand.
The Developer is responsible for leveraging their problem solving skills (design) in
concert and concurrently with realizing a solution based on current technologies and
technology constraints.
The key benefit of pairing along this way is that the team evolves through the
Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning team lifecycle.
They learn how to interact with each other in a non-silo’d way such that their slice of
the software delivery value stream is efficient and effective.
• Another example emerging from the Agile community is
known as Test Driven Development.
• Precedent for this practice comes from XP and Kent Beck.
• TDD is realized through the idea of having developers
design unit tests (as opposed to functional or acceptance
tests) before writing code.
• These tests are usually developed using unit test harness
tools such as Junit, FitNesse, etc.
• These unit tests are integrated with Continuous
Integration infrastructure such that they are executed
every time code is checked in to a common source code
• Similar pre-cursors to this practice have
existed in relation to certain object-oriented
• One such language, Eiffel, invented by
Bertrand Meyer.
• A manifestation of guiding developers to
think about failure conditions before writing
algorithms (thereby abstracting interraces,
either type-based toward the specific, or
instance-based towards the generalized

Chapter 6 Unique contributions of Lean, Agile, and the