When you get any work in your personal or professional life, can you analyze and estimate is very easily? Most of the times, it is difficult to identify if this work is feasible and can be completed within estimated time frame and cost using your finalized approach. Anyhow, if this work is completed, will the result provide value to the end user? By the end of this blog post, you will know how to handle such works or projects. You will also know origination of agile methodology and how it has solved these problems.
Table of Contents
- Types of Project Work.
- History and Origination of Agile Methodology.
Either you accept or not, future is unpredictable. Only thing which helps you to make estimation accurate is your experience, knowledge of procedures, tools & techniques.
Before moving to Agile Methodology, let’s understand type of project work.
There are basically two types of project works. It ranges from definable work to high-uncertainty work.
Definable works are those works which are similar to already proven, already completed and verified works. They are characterized by clear procedures that have proven successful on the similar projects in the past. The production domain, processes, procedures are well understood for completion of definable project works. There are low level of uncertainty and risks. For example, production of highways, bridges, electrical appliances or a car.
Therefore success of definable project work is predictable hence its feasibility and estimation are almost accurate. If there is any minor change, it is fulfilled by change requests.
As compared to definable project work, high-uncertainty project works have high rate of changes, complexity and risks. These characteristics create problems in traditional predictive approach because that approach or methodology cannot afford too many changes and risks.
Root cause of uncertainty is new designs or new solutions, which are planned to use such tools and technologies that are not done before. It requires subject matter experts to collaborate and solve problems to create a solution e.g. product designers, software engineers, doctors, lawyers and may problem-solving engineers. These subject matter experts create practice guides. Project team uses practice guides to undertake high-uncertainty work projects.
Because of high rate of changes, complexity and risks characteristics, high-uncertainty works are undertaken by agile approaches. Agile approaches are created to explore feasibility in short cycles and quickly adapt based on evaluation and feedback.
Agile software development history doesn’t begin with the Agile Manifesto. Its roots go back much earlier. It is the time of around three decades ago.
The problem was, businesses moved faster than that, even 30 years ago. By the end of project completion, requirements, systems, and even entire businesses were likely to change. That meant, many projects ended up being cancelled partway through, and many of those that were completed didn’t meet all the business’s current needs, even if the project’s original objectives were met.
In certain industries, “application delivery lag” was greater than three to five years. If you take the example of defense and aerospace, it could be 20 or more years before a complex system went into actual use. In an extreme but by no means unusual example, the Space Shuttle program, which operationally launched in 1980s, used the information and processing technologies from the 1960s. Now you can assume, what could be the product in this case?
Ultimately, leaders were frustrated. They were looking for something that was more timely and responsive. They felt that there had to be a better way to build products or software.
The dependent products with a software development component, such as computer hardware, electronics products, phone switches, autos, or aircraft, software was often an afterthought. Mostly because software development didn’t start until the hardware design was fixed in place. But building the software wasn’t a priority for most product teams at the time.
Therefore, leaders sought ways to quickly build working software and get it into the hands of end users. Fast delivery approach provided a couple of important benefits like getting some of the business benefits of the new software faster and enabling the software team to get rapid feedback on the software’s scope and direction. This is how; agile methodology or approach was come into picture.
This blog post has provided description, how to tackle such high-uncertainty works or projects. You have also gone through the origination of agile methodology and how it has solved high-uncertainty project work problems.
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Rapid feedback and willingness to change turned out to be the key features of the agile movement. Now, if the software team isn’t confident in understanding what the user needs, it delivers a first approximation and then listens to feedback. They monitor the application in production and collect data on user behavior. Real-time analysis of that data tells the team what to do next and what happens next will take no more than a day or two.
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