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people factor in Agile process

 
Doug Wang
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Hi Alistair,
Crystal is a human-powered software process. Actually you have been focused on people factor for a long time. Also other Agile methodologies are people-centered.
Could you tell us why Agile community values people factor in s/w process? Thanx.
 
Alistair Cockburn
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It may sound trite or silly, but the Agile community focused on people, because people are the engine that make software development go. Mess up the engine, and it doesn't move fast. Get the engine working right, and it moves fast.
Alistair
 
Doug Wang
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Alistair,
In this thread, you told that:
Originally posted by Alistair:
Hire a small handfull of good people, and you don't have to worry about process at all - they'll take care of the issues all by themselves.

What do you mean by "good people"? So people in Agile procee should be of high quality, right? What qualification?
Thanks.
 
Alistair Cockburn
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You catch me in a typical overstatement - "good people and the process will take care of itself." is potentially dangerous.
I include the project manager in the "team", which some readers will not.
I give an example: Dave A Thomas of Object Technology International told me back in 1992: "I hire good people, give them good tools, and leave them alone." In 2000, he told me, "Some people deliver, some don't. I hire those that have." The point with OTI is that they cheat. Eric Gamma works for OTI (started the OTI Zurich grouP - whatever team Eric Gamma put together doesn't need a RUP or similar process - they all know what success smells like, when the requirements are too vague and need to be improved, ditto the design, ditto the testing, ditto the tools, ditto the planning, etc. So they go by intuition, smell and reflex - - - because they can.
Not every team has that luxury (ergo the cheating phrase).
Every team should have someone at that level on the team, though, someone who's done something similar before and can tell when the project is on track or off track. That person is called the "team lead" or "chief architect", and it's that person's job to sense those things
 
shailesh sonavadekar
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it is always said that it is not necessary that technical people can become good project managers . they are forced in that job. As you have mentioned that Project Manager is " THE GUY ". what attributes you see in him / her as right material ? especially technology is changing so fast , nobody can be jack of all trades.
 
Alistair Cockburn
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The good project managers I meet have 3 characteristics:
* Good at listening to (and sensing about) people - important so they can tell when someone is hiding, how to put someone at ease, how to give reassurance to and get support from upper management.
* Good common sense
* Creative at inventing ways out of bad situations
 
Joe Gilvary
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Doesn't that sound a lot like a good developer?
Especially a developer using a people centric
methodology.
The listening skills might help working with a
customer or a paired programmer. The Customer
may not be deliberately hiding anything, but they
often don't know what they do know, if you get
my point.
Good common sense helps developers and truck
drivers alike.
The creativity gets to my favorite part. If this
stuff (sw development) did not require creativity,
the industry would have been taken over by CASE
tools long ago.
Thanks,
Joe
 
Alistair Cockburn
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The people factor is much more important for the project manager than for the programmer.
 
shailesh sonavadekar
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thanks for replying Alistair. but , do you agree on the fact that the great developer can not become great project manager as human aspect comes into picture ( as you have mentioned about the three attributes of the great project manager )
how does psp , tsp from watts humprey & people approach in lightweight methodologies like agile differ ?
 
Joe Gilvary
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I think the people factor is more immediately important
for the PM in day-to-day work. But over the course of a
career, people skills weigh in on everyone's performance.
A PM without people skills blows the project and looks
for a different line of work. A developer without people
skills eventually sours a team, leading to a cancelled
project and a PM looking for work.
But seriously, career-wise, a developer's need for
people skills is as important to the developer as the
PM's need for people skills is to the PM.
Thanks,
Joe
 
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