The Old Guard and Agile Principles
The traditional way of running a large software project relies on extensive upfront planning and design, detailed plans and milestones and often a gated process to carefully control and manage change and hand-overs between different functions. We look at why this fails so often and how the principles behind the Agile Manifesto, iterative development and continuous improvement can improve the delivery of software.
The Agile Obstacle Course
Agile development is an umbrella for a lot of different techniques, some alternatives but many complimentary to each other. We'll briefly look at the ever popular Scrum and how this contrasts with Kanban before delving into the meaning behind XP (eXtreme Programming) and discussing the benefits of TDD (Test Driven Development) and UCD (User Centred Design).
Estimating and Planning
Often agile development is wrongly seen as an excuse not to have requirements or estimate or plan work. We take a look at helpful tools such as User Stories and the use of Story Points and Planning Poker to estimate. We also look at release planning as a way of providing some guidance as to where a project is going.
Resistance and the Enemy
There are many common objections to agile development techniques; "You just want to be able to de-scope work" and "I need dates". We look at some of these and how to overcome them. We also look at some of the enemies of any agile transformation including purists in ivory towers and those sleepwalking and simply going through the motions of 'the process'.
Although there will be various exercises and games throughout the day during the afternoon we'll carry out a large scale simulation of Scrum using Lego to demonstrate some of the principles learned and show how agile techniques can prove successful over a very short period of time.
Training is provided by Northern Shore director Jon McNestrie. Having worked as a developer, team leader and project manager and all round software consultant for many of the IT companies in the North East of England Jon has gained a lot of experience in building and developing software teams and delivery and knowing what works and what doesn't.
Jon is a Scrum Alliance Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner and a Certified Scrum Professional; one of very few in the region. Also the founder and organiser of the Agile North East group and experienced in the delivery of many talks, workshops and training courses over the years. Jon is a passionate advocate of Agile Software Delivery and an experienced Scrum Practitioner.