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Practical Agile: Making Friends With Deadlines

By Cmerrill1 ·
Agile projects live and die by their ability to be efficient. Why, then, do we so often hear a company’s internal software team isn’t meeting deadlines and hitting target dates? After all, software engineers by nature—and training—are generally motivated to do their best work despite multiple constraints.

A Practical Agile Approach to Meeting Deadlines
No one likes schedule slippages that lead to missed deadlines. And most agile teams understand deadlines are there to help them achieve both large and small goals. Over the years, though, we’ve observed many projects get into trouble when they set the same arbitrary deadlines for every project.
To position themselves for success, software development teams are better served by adopting a more practical approach to deadlines. That means taking a more pragmatic view of what needs to be accomplished throughout a project and then setting realistic target dates that result in a more successful software development experience.

How Deadlines Are Our Friends
They can be the worst possible stress inducers known to humankind, but deadlines actually help us in crucial ways:
They force us to think about what steps it will take to accomplish our goals.
They help us prioritize what to work on and how long we need to work on each item.
They push us to get things done before consequences set in.
Where deadlines become our foes is when we either underestimate or don’t take the time to estimate at all how long something will take.

What has been your experience with a practical agile approach?
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After working on and with many Agile projects.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Practical Agile: Making F ...

Who said "This is the way." didn't understand Agile. For most they think of a software project to produce the final app in a set amount of time.

Agile from my experience isn't about that at all but a series of sprints toward intermediate goals which can really upset your management who wants the end product. A lot of management is never interested in your weekly or so sprint results.

One only needs to look at a few projects to know that better than 9 out of 10 projects never finish by the deadline.

Why would you sign up for a deadline at all? Please answer!

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Agile is not about deadlines.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Practical Agile: Making F ...

For examples you can check https://www.google.com/search?&q=Agile+is+not+about+deadlines

I think https://medium.com/the-liberators/timelines-and-deadlines-how-to-handle-them-in-an-agile-environment-79f5946072ee brings up the point about "valuable functionality."

Agile also means that the goal can change. Let's say a goal was stated that the app was to be an widget maker. But as we sprint along we discover that we really needed wongles. This change alone would mean that the project is a complete miss on both target and time (deadline.)

Agile is about change, not only in how we develop but also how we can change the goals along the way.

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