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Topics: Agile
Agile vs. Winging It
One of our developers refuses to follow our structured SDLC. He says that he prefers Agile, but if you ask me it looks like he is just winging it with very little process, documentation, or controls.
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Hi Anonymous,

So there wasn’t a lot to your post but have you ever managed an extreme or agile project before? If not, I can see why you would think that your developer seems to be winging it. Perhaps you are most comfortable with waterfall only?

I would recommend several different books for you – Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovating Products by Jim Highsmith or Radical Project Management by Rob Thomsett.

That being recommended, I would also add that depending on the project, agile can be an awesome thing and it does come with “structure” – It’s recommended for projects where the client\customer doesn’t exactly know what they want and requirements have not been well defined, provides a working model as soon as possible, great for high risk projects (because lets face it, if you have something that is high risk, you want to know as soon as possible if it will be a failure – think: pull the band aid off FAST), and flexibility is needed.

Lastly, I would just note that there IS a difference between a software development life cycle and a project management life cycle.

Agile can be a beautiful thing when executed properly. I would love to hear future postings from you as your project advances.
Dear Anonymous, Agile is definately not "winging it". I quite agree with Ms. Schoenick's excellent reply to your post and excellent reference books. Agile project management does have process and structure and lends itself very well to a wide variety of project types. I would only add that many organizations allow for both a structured SDLC process for project efforts that lend themselves to a traditional Waterfall like model and an Agile process for project efforts that may be characterized by unknown requirements, high-risk, and short timeframes for development. I would suspect that your developer that refuses to follow your structured SDLC might have some good insights to share for process improvement - be that improving upon your existing SDLC or setting up and using Agile. As always, for any process to be effective it has to be usable, useful, and improvable. Good post, I look forward to hearing from others. -- Mark Perry, VP of Customer Care, BOT International

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