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Agile PM vs PM College

A East
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 18, 2006
Posts: 1
I have been trained in the traditional PM College methodologies (water fall) for running a project but feel that we are constantly deleting elements of the process due to the typical size of our project. The overhead of the PM College methodology work is out of balance with the average project. Agile seems like it may be a better fit for smaller projects. However, I am concerned about how effective it can be when a significant portion of the team work remotely.

Is Agile more suited to smaller projects than the traditional PM College methodology? Does it scale up well to large multi-year projects? Will it be effective if staff is working remotely?

Thanks
Lasse Koskela
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Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Moving to the process forum...


Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Ilja Preuss
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Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by A East:
However, I am concerned about how effective it can be when a significant portion of the team work remotely.


The fact is that having a distributed team cannot possibly be as effective as a colocated team. I'd still think that trying to be as Agile as possible with a colocated team will improve its effectiveness.

Is Agile more suited to smaller projects than the traditional PM College methodology? Does it scale up well to large multi-year projects?


I'd say that Agile is more suited to software development projects than traditional approaches, not matter what size.

For long-running projects, Agile is just perfect. Traditional projects typically either are "code and fix" projects, which can feel fast at start, but inherently slow down later because of a degenerating design. Or they are "big up front design" projects, where coding starts late, but requirements need to be fixed early - which poses a huge risk on the project. Agile projects strive to have a continouos stream of features developed at a sustainable pace, which is a great risk management strategy.

For projects with *big teams*, being Agile is harder than with smaller teams - but it could also be argued that it's even more important. Take a look at http://www.jeckstein.de/agilebook/index.html for more.

Does that help?


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Scott Ambler
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Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2003
Posts: 608
The Eclipse projecdt follows an agile process, called "The Eclipse Way", and it's large and distributed.

- Scott


<a href="http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/bios/ambler.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Scott W. Ambler</a><br />Practice Leader Agile Development, IBM Rational<br /> <br />Now available: <a href="http://www.ambysoft.com/books/refactoringDatabases.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design</a>
Jez Nicholson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 01, 2002
Posts: 39
I try to appease the traditionalists by showing them a roadmap and saying that the iterations can be planned but that the exact content of the iterations is flexible and the resources (i.e. the development team) are allocated as a block rather than micromanaging to the task level.
 
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