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Observations On Balancing Discipline And Agility

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Article Review: ‘Observations on Balancing Discipline and Agility’Agile development methodology is based rapid development and delivery and thus promise higher customer satisfaction, lower defect rates shorter development cycles and is also flexible enough to adjust to changing requirement. Plan driven approaches on the other hand promises predictability, high assurance and better stability. Neither Agile or plan driven provides a silver bullet, both of them have their shortcomings, if ignored can lead to project failure. Author explains a way to balance two approaches to compensate for their weakness and to take advantage of their strengths by presenting six observations to develop such risk-based approach.No Agile or Plan-Driven Method Silver Bullet: Any single method cannot tackle difficulties of software’s complexity, conformity, changeability, and invisibility. Agile can help cope with changeability and invisibility but cannot handle complexity and conformity since, it cannot scale up to large complex project.

Plan driven with the help of substantial documentation can handle conformity and invisibility but cannot manage changeability.Agile and Plan-driven Method Home Grounds: There are home grounds for pure agile and pure plan-driven development and author have defined five critical decision factors associated with these ground rules which are personnel, size, criticality, dynamism and culture.Future Applications Will Need Both Agility and Discipline: Things are changing nowadays. The author have given example of how large scale project can no longer rely on low rate of change and cost of rework and delay in delivery in plan driven method will cost them huge. Thus, they will need to rely on both methods.Future Applications Will Need Both Agility and Discipline: Some methods such as Crystal orange, DSDM, Lean development have emerging to achieve balance in development methods. Although it is not fully developed but each project will need some thought to apply it in particular situation.

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Build Your Method Up – Don’t Tailor It Down: Plan driven methods are all-inclusive approach which needs to be tailored down to fit a particular situation while agile has better approach of starting with minimal and only add extra where it can be clearly justified by cost-benefit. Focus Less On Methods – More On People, Values, Communications and Expectation Management: It is right to value individual and interactions more than process and tools. The saying Software Engineering is done “for the people, by the people and for the people” explains everything. We should strive to provide high value per unit cost of stakeholders rather than focusing inward to improve software productivity. In software development project success rate is as high as level of communication between peers and with stakeholders. Conclusion: The observations shows that agile and disciplined method both works towards same goal of satisfying customers, maximizing their business and reducing cost. Since, both methods has their individual strengths and weaknesses we should look forward for some innovative techniques to take advantage of their strengths and coverup their weaknesses.

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