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The Challenges and Pitfalls of Agile Delivery with Jonathan Balmer

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Jonathan Balmer

The Challenges and Pitfalls of Agile Delivery w/ Jonathan Balmer

Building software is not at all like building a building. Something that’s brick today might become tile or green paint tomorrow. More importantly, it’s impossible to know how much it will cost and when it will be done at the beginning of the project. That’s why explaining to the customer what an agile approach is and how it serves the project better is crucial.

A Roundtable Chat About Agile Development

In this roundtable episode, we chat with Jonathan Balmer, Delivery Director at Haefele Software, about the challenges and pitfalls of agile development.

Join us as we discuss:

  • How we define agile and what it is (and isn’t) good for
  • The problem with business estimation in agile
  • Communicating the agile methodology to lessen client resistance
  • How to maintain transparency through the agile process

Key Insights

Defining and implementing Agile development

Adjustments for dynamic industry and market variables are rapid. It requires high levels of team transparency, trust and collaboration to succeed. Adaptations should be cost-effective to create and deploy. Knowing when and where to follow an agile development model context is king. It’s no different when deciding if agile development is right for you. Consider it if you don’t know a lot about the project at the start, expect changes along the building journey and want to respond to feedback quickly.

The pitfall of business estimation in Agile

Scope creep is nearly impossible to avoid, so estimations based on what’s visible at the start of a project aren’t 100% accurate. Our way of estimating timelines and costs for agile projects involves analysts. They’ll spend roughly one week estimating a high level backlog of stories, and we use our performance data (e.g. our throughput) to estimate how long it might take to clear that backlog. “You can't estimate a project at the beginning of a project. You can only do it a couple of weeks, a couple of months down the line as you get closer to the end.” — Jonathan Balmer

Episode Highlights

  • "There is definitely a trend towards the market understanding agile, but it's still a long way to go."
  • “You can't estimate a project at the beginning of a project. You can only do it a couple of weeks, a couple of months down the line as you get closer to the end.”
  • “The first checklist in terms of value should be, Is the end user actually using this piece of software and is it making their lives easier or more enjoyable? If it doesn't, anything else doesn't matter.”

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