Practical Agile: Making Friends With Deadlines
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.
[b] A Practical Agile Approach to Meeting Deadlines [/b]
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.
[b] How Deadlines Are Our Friends [/b]
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?