Agile Project Planning

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Avoiding Software Project Disasters

Why do 5 out of 6 software projects wind up late, over budget, or failing to meet the user's expectations?

There are many possible reasons, but according to a report by the Standish Group, some of the key factors include long development cycles, and changing requirements.

I think that project success is always tricky, but the longer you keep the end users from seeing what they're going to get, the more risky the outcome. The key to successful delivery is a series of short, manageable iterations where the development team can show progress, and get rapid feedback from the users.

This feedback loop, while not a guarantee of success, does guarantee that the business will have timely information about the state of the system with which to make further decisions. Features can be reprioritized, discarded, or enhanced well before the project deadline.

Requirements ALWAYS change, because businesses change, and the problems they're dealing with continue to evolve.

It's about time our project planning methods evolved as well.

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