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Show Me Your Curves

Either directly or subliminally, the message I hear from hardcore agilista big-wigs is that an agile process trumps a traditional plan-driven software development process every time and in every context – no exceptions.

No Exceptions

On the other hand, the message I hear from traditionalists is… well, uh, I don’t hear much from traditionalists anymore because they’ve been beaten into silence by the hordes of unthinking zombies unleashed upon them by the agilista overlords.

agile zombies

Regarding the “betterness” of #agile over #traditional (or #noestimates over #estimates, or #noprojects over #projects), please leave your handful of personal anecdotes at home. Charismatic “I’ve seen” and “in my (vast) experience” stories don’t comprise science and aren’t sufficient justifications for sweeping generalizations. The science simply doesn’t exist – especially for the construction of large, distributed software systems.

I suppose that if a plausible (and thus, falsifiable) theory of software development processes was to be methodically derived from first principles and rigorously tested via a series of repeatable experiments, the general result would end up looking something like this:

Agile Vs Traditional

What predictive capabilities do you think a credible theory of software development processes would generate? Show Me Your Curves.

  1. TN Phil
    December 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Bulldozer00 where nobody wins and the charts don’t matter!

  2. December 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Show me your curves big boy 😉

    What do the words say on your new avatar image? They’re too small for me to make out.

    • pdneumiller
      December 16, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Don’t you have a control button and a little roller thing between your mouse buttons?

      • December 17, 2014 at 3:57 am

        LOL, I do – Alpha Maser. Thx for the reminder.

  3. December 16, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Great one! I have trouble with those that think Agile is the only way to go, or that conventional approach is the only way that works. The truth is the context or situation matters. You would not want to have a fire extinguisher for a life vest as your boat is sinking, for example. Also, we mix the result of poorly executed project, decrying what a poor method of execution. For example, we may blame the conventional approach for loose monitoring of the progress. However, nowhere that I have read nor experienced would it be prudent to suggest the PM sit on their fanny and not continuously monitor the progress and spend time with those executing and learning about rate of accomplishment and risks that may be inbound – including late delivery.

    • December 17, 2014 at 4:07 am

      Thx for the input Jon.

      BTW, I’m trying to get my mojo back for our collaboration. I started browsing through some of the requirements books I have access to. I got depressed at how good some of them are and how difficult it would be for us to compete. 😦

      • December 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

        I am confident we can figure a way to do just that.

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