Planning & Tracking at the - ASPE – SDLC Training

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Planning & Tracking at the - ASPE – SDLC Training

ASPE Technologywww.aspetech.com1-877-800-5221 Toll-FreeRelated Training Courses:• Agile Project Management• Agile Software Development• Agile & High Speed Software Testing Techniques• The ScrumMaster Certification Workshop**There are no PMI PDU’s for this web seminar.


Planning & Tracking aSoftware Project at the “Right”LevelWhat can we learn from the AgileMethodologies?Robert L. GalenRGalen Consulting Group, LLCwww.rgalenrgalen.com


Outline• Many factors effect our planning “level”• Attributes of planning too low and too high• Potential examples of “Just Right”• Extreme Programming• Scrum• Endgames• Common themes and what does “Just Right” look like?• Conclusions / Q&ACopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC3


Goals• Given that • Estimating, planning and tracking are hard• Businesses are challenged, speed is paramount and change isconstant• There is no “Right” answer, but more so “It Depends”• Sensitize you to your planning “levels” and overalleffectiveness• Share “agile options” for you to think about, investigateand try for yourselfCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC4


Too High, Too Low andAssessing WhichCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC5


Factors Influencing YourPlanning “Level”• Experience and skill of the team, planning staff andmanagement staff• Size of the team• Distribution of the team (geographic, contractor)• Funding limitations (people, tools, training)• Company history and culture• Organization structure• Corporate processes and methods• Who is “breathing” down your neck ☺Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC6


Characteristics of Planning at TooLow a Level (Trees)• Spend a tremendous amount of time planning• Trying to capture exact requirements• Exhaustive risk analysis• Overuse of historical data• Small tasks, less than 1 day duration• Mini milestones, less than 2-323 days duration• Typically tries to capture the entire plan, short and longerterm and at a very deep level• Overreaction to negative events, “deep” analysis• Synonymous with “Analysis Paralysis”Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC7


Characteristics of Tracking at TooLow a Level (cont.)• Status reports daily updates, written or verbal• Overly reactive to daily changes normal ebb and flowof a project• Updating all task information from everyone on a weekor less granularity• Excessive action tracking, many daily meetings• Personnel interactions several times a day forinformal status gatheringCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC8


Imagery• Japanese software development team• Large room• Long row of connected desk space• 2 rows of developers facing one another• Manager at the head of the table• Every action monitored, every task reviewed, everyresource “managed” every minute of the dayCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC9


Potential Problems• You’re managing the details, but are you going to besuccessful?• Missing critical parts of the “big picture”• Missing the important bits• Get a false sense of security (unknowns risks, technicalchallenge, defect rates, etc,) Change IS constant!• Not leveraging the skills, teamwork and collaborativepower of the team• Morale of the team effected by micromanagementCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC10


Characteristics of Planning at TooHigh a Level (Forest)• Spend too little time planning• Simply put a framework of loose goals together• Or worst of all, taking the plan (date / feasibility) fromthe “Business” or Sr. Management• Attitude of We need to be building it…now!• No risk analysis• No project manager, the “managers” should be able tomanage thingsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC11


Characteristics of Tracking at TooHigh a Level (cont.)• Little / No status reporting• Little / No reaction to changing project landscape• Little updating of progress to plan / schedule• No action tracking and little follow-up• Little team interactions, everyone simply on their own • Either within functional groups• Cross functional groups• As a teamCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC12


Imagery• CEO of a small company building financial tradingsystems• 30 years at IBM, reputation as a “deal” maker• Private meetings in a darkened office over drinks(coffee) and cigars (imaginary)• A game of “chicken” to give a date, that then becomesthe strategy and “plan of record”• Team had no time to prepare a plan, no buy-in and nofeasibility, no detail and no time for it• Afraid of the truth and execution by faithCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC13


Potential Problems• You’re not managing anything, up to the team to“figure it out”• Unknown sense of security no risk management nostrategy no roadmap• Not leveraging the skills, teamwork and collaborativepower of the team• Morale of the team. Where IS the plan anyway? WhereARE we going?• Overall probability of success?Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC14


Usually Things Aren’t So Clear…• In most cases, planning & tracking levels vary greatly by• Sr. leadership style• Functional manager style• Project management maturity level and processes• The state of the project• Amount of pressure• It’s important to note your overall project “level” andto understand the variance• Remember it’s all about achieving a properBALANCE!Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC15


Your Level Assessment• Good to assess where you are from a planning andtracking “level” perspective • Generally, where are you currently over, under or just right• Characterize your planning (methods, artifacts)• How do you track progress?• Gain the view from your teams and stakeholders, what dothey think?• Continuously evaluate “why” you do what you do. What arethe driving forces for your planning efforts? And are youbeing effective?• I think it’s prudent to frequently assess your level with yourleaders, managers and your team.Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC16


Taking a look at “Agile” methodsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC17


Agile “Extremes”• I’ve presented variables that should influence yourplanning levels and examples of the High/Lowextremes• There are 7 Agile Methods loosely related by basicprinciples Agile Alliance / Agile Manifesto• Let’s examine 3 that approach the “Right” level • Extreme Programming XP (Beck)• Scrum (Schwaber(& Beedle)• Endgame management (Galen)Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC18


Extreme Programming• Introduced by Kent Beck in 2000 book XP Explained• Based on Chrysler C3 HR system project• Small teams, pair programming, highly iterative , littleplanning, few documents, highly customer focused• Leading agile method, tremendous developerenthusiasm & synergy• Stories• Mini use cases / requirements / tasks 3x5 card per story• Derived and prioritized with customerCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC19


Extreme Programming (cont.)• Effort Estimation• Technical team estimates the effort• Collaborative, team based view of history, allows over/underestimation• Recommend ordering and identify technical risks• Planning game• Customer selection of stories and ordering• Team signs-up for work• End iteration progress reviews, carry forward to next gameCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC20


Extreme Programming (cont.)• 1-33 week iterations• Very small iterations for feedback to customer, team andinto next planning game• Ability to quickly adapt to changes• Tracking• Daily stand up meetings with team (customer)• “Tracker” collects team progress• Neither off nor on track, you just “are” where you are• Always complete the iteration! Adjustments made at iterationend next planning gameCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC21


Scrum• First described by Ken Schwaber in 1995 paper• Book published in 2001• Applied to hundreds of projects• View it as an “Agile PM wrapper” for software projects• Product Backlog (list)• Overall product / project work for the team• Prioritized list of functions, features, technologies andbusiness goals• Customer driven content and priorityCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC22


Scrum (cont.)• 30 Day Sprint• Driven by sprint goal & uninterrupted• Can change functionality as long as meeting sprint goal• Backlog updated with status on progress• Sprint Planning• Define a sprint goal• Map backlog “targets” to the sprint goal should align inpriority order• Factor in capabilities (past performance) of the teamCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC23


Scrum (cont.)• Daily Scrum (meeting)• Led by Scrum Master• Focused and brief, mandatory attendance, every teammember (chickens) speaks, observers (pigs) do not• Everyone answers 3 questions:• What have you done since last scrum?• What do you plan to do till the next scrum?• Any impediments to your work?Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC24


Endgames• Mastering the Endgame in Software Projects, late 2003publication• Endgame period from first release for testing toproduct release• Triage & repair planning, defect management &metrics, team dynamics and endgame planning• Change Control Guidelines• Code Freeze “stages” reduction in number of accepted changes• Change reduction milestones, linked to testing strategyCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC25


Endgames (cont.)• LW-CCB (Change Control Board / mechanism)• Defect repairs priority ordered w/Customer “in mind”• Scheduling / timing of the repairs• Flexibility in the repairs (workarounds, partial repairs)• Meet weekly daily, depending on defect arrival rates• Endgame Planning• Endgame Release Framework (workflow, milestones, changereduction)• Well defined release criteria goals• Endgame release iterations, every 1-212 weeksCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC26


Endgames (cont.)• Daily Meetings• 30 minute, morning, standup• Entire endgame team• Discuss status, impediments• Action lists, Top 10 issuesCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC27


What are some of the commonthemes?Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC28


Common Themes• Team Collaboration• Daily Meetings (status, progress, issues, impediments)• Participate in work sizing and sign-up for work• Directly with each other, management and customers• Short, Iterative Cycles• Short, controlled work bursts• Continuous feedback• Quick mistakes and quick adjustmentsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC29


Common Themes (cont.)• Handling Change• Anticipates and adapts to change• Manages that change from a “people impact” perspective. Infact, engages the team in handling change• Controlled Work• Focused on short term work orchestration• Long term dictated by short term progress simply goals• Team controls workflow (pace, amount, duration)Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC30


Common Themes (cont.)• Customer “Connection”• In ordering work• In determining how to handle problem trade-offs• In visibility to work performance output, problem analysisand adjustmentsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC31


Getting to the point What IS the “Right” level?Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC32


Planning & Tracking at the“Right” Level• I think the Agile methods have discovered a powerfulset of attributes that are • People and team centered• Linked to the customer (goals, decisions, work) Really!• Highly iterative• Focused towards lightweight requirements, documentation,planning, architecture, … virtually everything. The productbeing the key artifact!• Highly adaptive and extremely tolerant of change• Attributes that you can use to rebalance your projectplanning and tracking levelsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC33


Planning & Tracking at the“Right” Level (cont.)• Connect to your team• Team work planning sessions feasibility & buy-in• Group status meetings peer accountability• Problem detection, change detection & adjustments• Plan your work iteratively• List of small, focused and prioritized work stories, defects,backlog• Short iterations (1 day, 1-313 weeks, 30 days) for feedback• Short term details, longer term goals and intentionsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC34


Planning & Tracking at the“Right” Level (cont.)• A daily meeting is powerful mechanism for• Proper team collaboration and function• Gathering status and tracking progress from the team• Understanding challenges and making adjustments• Connect to your customer• Member of the team, participate in daily meetings, a truepartner!• Direct evolution of work• Engaged in all decision making organizing work priority,problem analysis, work/schedule adjustmentsCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC35


So…Any QuestionsThe resulting ideas are the simplest planning ideas we could thinkof that could possibly work. But above all, remember all theplanning techniques in the world, including these, can’t save you ifyou forget that software is built by human beings. In the end keepthe human beings focused, happy and motivated and they willdeliver.-- Kent Beck & Martin Fowler from Planning XPCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC36


References• Auer, Ken, “Extreme Case Studies: How Extreme Do You Need to Be?” ” presentationfrom RTP SPIN Meeting available from - www.rolemodelsoftwarerolemodelsoftware.com• Beck, Kent, “Extreme Programming Explained Embrace Change”, Addison Wesley,(2000)• Beck, Kent and Fowler, Martin, “Planning Extreme Programming”, Addison AWesley,(2001)• DeMarco, , Tom and Lister, Timothy, "Peopleware"- Productive Projects and Teams",Dorset House Publishing, (1999, 1987)• Galen, Bob “Software Endgames Controlling Mastering the Software ProjectEndgame”, Dorset House Publishing, (late 2003 early 2004)• Hohmann, , Luke, "Journey of the Software Professional - A Sociology of SoftwareDevelopment", Prentice Hall, (1997)• IEEE Software May/June 2003, Extreme Programming focused issue• Schwaber, , Ken and Beedle, , Mike, “Agile Software Development with Scrum”, PrenticeHall Publishing, (2002)• www.agilealliance.orgwww.extremeprogramming.org• www.controlchaos.comhttp://crystalmethodologies.orgCopyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC37


Contact InfoRobert GalenRGalen Consulting Group,L.L.C.PO Box 865, Cary, NC27512919-272272-0719www.rgalen.combob@rgalenrgalen.comSoftware Endgames: Eliminating Defects, ControllingChange, and the Countdown to On-Time Deliverypublished by Dorset House in Spring 2005.www.rgalen.com for order info, misc. relatedpresentations, and papers.Copyright © 2006 RGalen ConsultingJune 2006 Group, LLC38

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