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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2014.08.06.

One of the philosophies of Agile projects is to “build for today.” In other words, you should design, build and test only what is necessary to meet the needs of the user stories that are selected in the current iteration.

In some respects this goes against the intuition of many team members that feel it is more efficient in the long-term if they take into account potential future requirements. The thought is that you should build to support this future functionality “while you are there” and then later when the requirement is actually selected you can finalize the work with much less effort.

In the Agile model this is generally seen as a false tradeoff for four reasons.
  1. First, the time it takes to design, build and test to support future features will mean that you cannot get as much done in the current cycle. You are supporting fewer current, concrete, high-priority requirements in exchange for vague, distant potential future requirements. This is not seen as a good trade-off.

  2. Second, it is possible that this extra, future functionality will never be needed or requested. The customer may have requested this future functionality in a traditional project, but in an Agile project, the difference between “wants” and “needs” is much more focused. Who knows if the extra functionality will make it into a future sprint? The world is full of systems functionality that is written into programs but never utilized.

  3. Third , it is very possible that you may not implement the future requirement correctly anyway. The product owner will not discuss it or test for this future condition. Even if a future requirement seems simple and fully understood, it is possible for misunderstandings and errors to occur. Then you are out-of-synch trying to test and debug problems that should not even be a part of this iteration. Each cycle will also have its own challenges. You don’t need to compound things by introducing problems that are not a part of this release. 

  4. Fourth , if the extra functionality is needed in the future, it will have its turn in a future cycle. When the functionality is chosen, the work will be constructed and tested. In an Agile project, you will likely visit the same sections of the solution multiple times. You don’t have to worry about building extra functionality “while you are there” because it is very likely you will “be there” many more times before the project is completed. 

This philosophy should be applied for process functionality, performance, security, etc. The “build for today” approach is also an example of “minimally sufficient,” which is another Agile philosophy. You want to make sure that you do everything required to support the customer needs, but no more. 

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Published in Blogs
Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:17

Deming's 7th Point in Project Management

Teach and Institute Leadership

It is the age-old distinction that usually merits much lip service and little true implementation. There is supervision/management, and then there is leadership. Project managers can either be supervisors or leaders, regardless of their job title.

Published in Blogs
I have wanted to write about this topic for a while now.  For those of you who believe that Project Management must be followed absolutely or those who believe that Project Management must be done the “Right” way – sorry.  This article will only aggravate you.  Let’s talk about some of the things that we hear far too often from gurus and pontiffs about how you must manage your projects. 
Published in Blogs
Sunday, 18 March 2007 04:16

So, what about knowledge

From an epistemological perspective, a dictionary definition is "knowledge or science, the branch of philosophy that is directed toward theories of the sources, nature, and limits of knowledge.

In today's world, knowledge is the asset many organizations started to recognize as being the most important aspect for creating a competitive edge in a highly volatile business environment.

Refraining from buzz words and terminology often used by management and research, knowledge is the accumulation of thoughts and skills that give a person or an organization its ability to survive, compete and prosper in the this changing and challenging world.

Work by many researchers like Nonaka in his book 'The Knowledge Creating Company' and many other researchers worldwide, has given a new dimension for knowledge management in organizations.

The research went into the details of human interaction which generates and promotes the dessimination of knowledge. Unlike manothers who advocate an Information Technology infracstructure as being the fundamental core of a knowledge system, Nonaka thinks that it more a human issue and culture than mere computers and databases.



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