At InvoiceFair we’ve adopted Go as our primary development language. How did we choose it and what alternatives did we consider? All is revealed here.
One particularly large client I recently dealt with was struggling to get their teams to meet their delivery commitments. It appeared that in every sprint they lost significant time to blockers, in some cases causing them to miss a commitment by as much as 50%.
This was a large project spanning multiple teams, of the order of about 800 people in total across development, test, product owners etc., with an estimated duration of more than two years. The impact of a consistent 50% delivery rate would literally break the budget, the customer, my client and probably the project.
A little analysis identified the problem to be rooted in the silos into which the teams were organised. In this instance, the silos were pretty rigid with poor communications between the teams. That lack of communication fostered an environment where blockers could emerge and live for extended periods of time.
If managed not to slumber through Part 1 on estimation, then you find yourself waiting with bated breath for the dramatic climax of our tale of estimation and fixed bid projects.
For the sake of this discussion, a fixed bid project is a project that has a fixed price based on a defined timeline. Of the fixed bid projects that I’ve seen, the timeline often has a 10%-15% leeway on the timeline. The cost almost never does – so you can be late, but you’re going to swallow the cost. Also common, just to twist the knife a little bit more, is the penalty clause. If you miss the date, not only are you going to pay for the additional time and resources, but you’re also going to have to pay the customer for the privilege.
I promised I’d post something on the curious case of agile and fixed bid projects. These two concepts don’t often find themselves sitting side by side, which is a bit of a curiosity to me.
As I wrote this post, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to make it in one post. Technically, it would fit in a single post, but you’d lose the will to live before you finished, so you’ll find a part 1 and part 2 to this topic (this is part 1 if you’re not paying attention). This post will deal with the estimation factor, the next will deal with Fixed Bid projects.
I recently delivered my ‘Introduction to Agile’ presentation to a client that is in the process of transforming from a very structured SDLC / Waterfall model to Agile, specifically Scrum.
The presentation is deliberately short; it is intended to spark conversations and questions rather than a detailed workshop on agile practices and processes.
The company in question has had some challenges in transitioning to agile, which is why I got a call to come in and help. I often use the introduction presentation as a tool to explore where there may be challenges. It has the extraordinary effect of opening people up, revealing numerous avenues to be explored.
On this occasion, one of the comments that came up completely took me by surprise.