Wednesday, February 21, 2007

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Agile and Value

This concept with Agile is that it gives a means to structure the production of value, without trying to impose a pre-arranged time scale on a project which will fail in almost all cases.

In this way Agile allows you to focus on that which can not be turned in to a commodity: the talent of your people.

The people who try to impose formal waterfall like costing and planning end up finding themselves in a commodity market where off shoring options drive prices down. Somone will always be able to go from set requirements to functional spec to design spec to code to UAT for less in China, and after China there is a large world to move fixed deliverable projects.

In fact with the risk of waterfall and the fixed nature of product, and the distance between client and producer, it does not make sense to do work in Europe or even the US. The thing about cramming Java or .NET knowledge in your head is that all cultures produce geeks like they produce gays or anti-socials. Its a genetic mutation which is as common in China as it is in London.

So how do you add value to a customer, why should they hire you. And forget offshore, why don't they just install the latest version of MOSS or LiveLink themselves and save the money. A $60,000 administrator today can do with MOSS 2007 what a project for $1,000,000 would have cost just 5 years ago.

What you need is the skills of creativity and responsibility that only humans have. The magic that humans can develop and the cutural understanding to reduce risk enough to make the cost worth it.

And only in Agile context can this be managed with any methodology.;
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