Nov 11, 2006

Agile and My Speed

Well Its Actually not My speed but it is the speed I am going to think in a Agile environment ... I dont really know If I am a slow Thinker neverlest have I got that kinda response ... but anyways the reason I talk about speed here is most of the agile projects somewhere or the other move into a terrible slow mode .. be it thinking, executing, developing or whatever ... anything else but Thinking I think can be easily covered ....

But this is not a case with a Project Manager or a Scrum Master only .. you will find this issue with every single guy who is involved into a software project ...
Basically, when working with software, thinking takes as long as it takes and there's nothing you can do to think more quickly.

So what do we do to make sure that we work faster and think quickly at the same time .. believe me when you ahve to work faster you cant think correct ;).. My Personal experience says that Under Pressure we all suck.... But I realised that we somehow overcome this issue when being Agile .. Let it be working late, Deferring non critical issues or eliminating the time waste ...

I think that the biggest worry for the Indian Software Engineers or to that matter Indian IT worker is the wastage of time .. tea, Coffee, Gossips, Lunch , Snacks, Non required Meetings and un-necessary phone calls or whatever somewhere or the other they waste around 40% of there productive time doing the crap ... Well ofcourse if they are working 8-9 hrs then believe me they just produce 20% (Average Ratio .. dont buzz me for this please)

In an Ideal scenario I would say elimination of waste time should be a part of the Iteration or Project Plan ... The Software workers(thats the real term that hurt them ;)) can for sure get frustrated if the amount of time wasted in a project duration is too high ... (Blame Your Project Manager if you wanna get out is the right attitude). My recommendation is that there certainly has to be a control over the folowing things ..
1. Switching the Tasks
2. Waiting for response
3. Un-required processes
4. Un required documentation
5. Un Used features
6. Un wanted Team members

These elements eat most of the software development time ... If this is being worked upon I think the Software projects following the Lean Development Approach will definately work perfect ...

Deferring non-critical work is certainly as important as it is to kickoff the Iteration involving the whole Team ... In Extreme Programming where a onsite customer or a product owner in the Srum is used to prioritise the work by business value, and the development team selects the amount of work equivalent to their velocity from the highest business-value items. My take on this is that this needs to be decided right on the day Go whether it is critical or not and be deferred righ away ....

"I was in the office till 2:00 AM last night" this is the most commonly used word across the software development world ... atleast in India in the short-term, working late can boost productivity but in the longer term excessive hours cannot be sustained. When you work late for extended periods your personal life and your health are not the only things to suffer. More directly, your concentration levels, your ability to focus and think clearly, and your attention to detail deteriorate and ultimately degrade the quality of your work. This style of working rapidly becomes a negative spiral.

While Extreme and Scrum has a all together different approach they both try to derive one thing from this that you should work only as many hours as you can be productive and only as many hours as you can sustain.

So if the projects are run considering some of the above facts it will for sure be of great help to the Drivers of the Projects ... ofcourse I fall under the crime level 3 as for now ... and am really thinking hard to change the intutive appraoch I take being long at work ... I hope that makes my Boss Happy :D


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