Update from the Break Period

Its been a temporary break since writing the chronicles of the application and also implementing. We have been busy reading and discussing lots of activities internally. Further, I have been having some trouble on the personal front. Hence, the activities on the Agile Project Management front have been lying low. However, it has allowed us time to step back, observe, gather opinions, hopefully understand and come back with renewed vigor over the next few months.

One of the activities is an Agile Project Management System. We have been reviewing a lot of SCRUM and XP based Project Management Systems. While some have some features which work very good, there are many which appear to be a drag. We are still undecided on a make vs. buy decision. This is possibly the biggest challenge in making a technology decision for a process. We should not forget that technology does not solve the problems – it can be an enabler and a very effective enabler, however, it will not solve most of the deep rooted process and improvement issues. Hence, while we are discussing the project management system, we should not loose sight of project management.

I read somewhere that effective change takes about 02 years to percolate down. It is heartening when the teams talk sprints/ iterations and daily SCRUMs. There was a time when development used to start without a clear idea of what the client wants. The wireframing and prototyping phase [which precedes the sprint immediately] has allowed us to confront the fact that We now need to think about the next level. I think the teams now to understand the importance of updating a project backlog, estimating the stories upfront and deciding how many stories would they want. Once this is done, we should then start at defining the steps for a project. Hence, “Stories and Tasks” should be the next from our motto of activities.

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