Software Development – The trekker's way
Another proposal I sent for the Agile 2006 conference
The objective of this discussion is to understand why we need agility in our software development process.
I have been trekking/hiking for almost the same duration as developing software. I have, always been surprised with the similarity I find in these two diverse activities. Drawing the analogy between trekking and software development has given me greater insights into the following:
1. Impact of team dynamics on any group activity like software development
2. Essence of light weight, flexible methodologies like Agile
3. Importance of communication and visibility for collaborative activities
4. Importance of relying more on reactive planning than proactive, predictive planning
5. Impact of team size on a group activity
6. Value of a motivated, self disciplined and self organized team
7. Importance of baby steps and iterative approach to achieving a bigger abstract task
8. Essence of eliminating waste and getting continuous feedback early on in the process
9. Value of simplicity and the inherent difficult practicing it
10. Importance of using quality tools and techniques to boost productivity
As a stretch goal, we can try to come up with similar analogies.
Fishbowl cum Bird of Feathers [BoF]. Facilitating the session using fishbowl and BoF format will allow me to move the conversation in the directions I feel will help us discover the most information by keeping the topics fresh and focused.
Anyone who has some exposure to trekking and is interested in a different perspective to software development using light weight methodologies. I have found this topic to be a great way to introduce someone to agile.
Section 1 : 90 Minutes
Icebreaker and Overview : BoF format
a. Introduce the presenter and his background
b. Participants introduce themselves with their background
c. Provide overview of the session and its format
Draw analogy between software development and trekking : Fishbowl
a. Present the topic to the participants
b. Select initial discussion participants
c. Explore similarities and differences
Lessons applied from trekking to software development : Fishbowl
a. Select initial discussion participants
b. Explore stories from trekking that can or has helped the participants
c. Understand the need for agility in software development process
Conclusion : BoF
a. Summarize the lessons learnt from trekking and how they helped in software development process
b. Think of similar analogies that can help us better understand software development