Project Management

Agile: What’s in It for the Project Manager? (Part 2)

George Dinwiddie is an independent software development coach who helps organizations, large and small, to increase the effectiveness of their software development efforts. He provides guidance over a broad range, at the organizational, process, team, interpersonal, and technical levels. He is currently crusading to break down the barriers that hinder effective collaboration between the business, the programmers, and the testers. George is a frequent speaker at Agile conferences. See his blog at

If you’re anything like me, then you probably want to see some personal benefits in addition to the organizational ones; few of us are entirely selfless in our work lives. What’s in it for me? Will it make my life easier? Will I be happier? Will I look good and get raises and promotions? Possibly. There are no guarantees in life, but let’s look at what we can gain by adjusting our approach—and how agile software development can improve this situation. (Continued from Part 1)

Interpreting requirements
Getting back to the question, “How can we afford to relieve the development team of the responsibility of properly interpreting the requirements?”, we’ve got several good strategies. First, we can illustrate each requirement with concrete examples. Examples communicate better than abstract descriptions of the requirements. And these examples become test cases that check whether the requirement, at least in this example, has been met. Using examples forces development to be performed in functional slices rather than individual components that need later integration; by sequencing these examples, we set the priority order of development work.

As a double-check, we can show the growing application to the business. Remember that “periodic delivery” we got in exchange? At least that often, the business can take a look …

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